In life we acquire many possessions along the way. Some things we keep to inspire us, some out of sentiment. Many things are kept simply because we forget about them or never got around to sorting them out. A Spring Clean is a useful way of ridding ourselves of clutter and unwanted items. And so it is with negative habits, people, attitudes. Sometimes it is useful to look at what has attached itself to us over the years and decide whether or not we want to keep it.
Negative habits often start in childhood. They may originate as part of a ritual or security routine, the intention being to keep us safe. As we become older we may stop doing one habit and acquire another one in its place, thumb sucking can evolve into the more acceptable nail biting, for example. Habits often start as a distraction when we are feeling embarrassed or lacking in confidence. They are a means of busying ourselves if we feel vulnerable or exposed. Many people started smoking as a young person to boost their confidence. They fitted into a group, felt more grown up or had something to occupy their hands or concentrate on at awkward times. Letting go of entrenched negative habits from childhood may require a little support, but these habits are often of no value to the adult person. Counselling and hypnotherapy are an effective means of boosting ones confidence and enabling a person to move on from childhood patterns.
People can stay in our lives because we do not pause to evaluate the relationships. Either sending a Christmas Card year in year out, or including someone in our inner circle, there comes a time when it may well be a relevant exercise to look at the people we keep in contact with and occasionally spring clean some of them out of our lives. Check out the people who are negative influences or who are holding us back from achieving our goals. Is it time to let some of them go ? It may sound harsh but sometimes we need to address what baggage we are carrying around with us.
Attitudes can stick with us for a surprising length of time. Some of these viewpoints can be passed through families for decades and are called inter-generational learning, because they are intrinsically held. Sometimes we get over these limiting beliefs ourselves. Something may happen that pulls us up short and we realise that we are thinking or looking at something in a counter-productive way. Other times, counselling and hypnotherapy can help us to address the patterns that need to be changed and help us live our lives more constructively.
The way we look can benefit from a spring clean and being updated from time to time. When is the last time you reinvented yourself or freshened up your look ? Maybe it is time to look at your hairstyle, clothes, makeup. There are many people around who are able to advise on the colours, look, style that would convey the image you want. Similarly a personal trainer can help get the body fit and in good shape.
Interests sometimes need to be given a new lease of life, especially if we have been doing the same things for a while. Change to a newspaper with a different outlook or watch a documentary once a week. Read that book you always wanted to read. Make an effort to open yourself to new influences.
Meeting new people can be a real boost to ones self esteem and a good way of achieving that result is to start a new interest that requires regular involvement. A language course, painting, walking, theatre or other interest group can bring new enthusiasm into our social life and also requires that we make the effort to attend on a regular basis. Many people find that once they have made the initial effort of going along and joining in they are glad that they did. They become a person again in their own right, not just Mum, wife, daughter.
Shedding the old routines, negative habits and thought patterns makes way for new, interesting things in your life, and that will certainly put a spring in your step.
Susan Leigh, Counsellor and Hypnotherapist
About this authorSusan Leigh is a long established Counsellor and Hypnotherapist, with over twenty years experience. She is a member of several professional organisations and is committed to a programme of Continuous Professional Development.
She started the practice in 1988 with her husband Frederick, and after being widowed at the age of 39, took over the practice full time.
Prior to working as a Counsellor, Susan worked for many years with a blue chip company and has experienced the stresses of balancing a corporate and personal life. Now she balances writing regularly for many organisations, is a regular contributor to BBC radio and has a thriving Counselling and Hypnotherapy practice. She works with individuals, helping them cope better with the pressures of daily life, works with couples to provide relationship counselling and improve communications, and in business to provide support to staff members and teams. She has had a lot of success working with clients with unexplained infertility in women and also with managing pain in childbirth. Many of her clients have successfully gone on to become pregnant and have a positive experience of giving birth. For more information see www.lifestyletherapy.net