Spring Clean Your Emotional Health!

by self-help expert Dr Pam Spurr.

Spring’s the perfect time to kickstart a new emotional outlook. The sunshine helps us feel we can start afresh.

Check out these tips.

  • Challenge your worries. Many are natural born worriers – worrying about everything from being on time to the way we look. From today, when you start to worry ask: what can I do about this situation? Then focus on your answer – instead of allowing the situation to spin over and over in your mind.
  • Change the way you respond. You might check out a situation (as above) but realise there’s nothing you can do to change it. But – and it’s a big but – you can change the way you respond to it. Don’t feel you have to get angry or upset about it. Just let it go.
  • Say ‘yes’ to spontaneous invites. You get asked to meet for coffee, to a gig, or just hang out – go for it! Studies show being more spontaneous gives you more confidence.
  • Challenge yourself. Set yourself a challenge and boost self-belief. What’s one thing you want to do but keep putting off? Go for it – your sense of achievement will be a big step towards regularly trying new things.
  • Be aware of ‘future-dependent happiness’. Do you think things like, “I’ll be happy when I get a boyfriend,” or, “I’ll be happy when I get a job?” Hinging your happiness on the future means missing out on happy times today. Each evening think back to the happiest moment of the day.
  • Change your ‘fallback-mode’. Under stress, or when angry, everyone has a fallback-mode. Maybe you sit and stew, throw a hissy fit, or reach for the biscuit tin. Do these solve the problem? Probably not. Start identifying how you react under stress. Think how you can change this and react more positively.
  • Put yourself forward. Have you missed out on something because you don’t feel ‘good enough’ to put yourself forward? Like volunteering for something, or heading up a project at school/work, etc. It’s your time to shine and share something like a skill you have.
  • Rejection is a learning experience. Everyone faces rejection – like someone you want to go out with isn’t interested, or someone gets chosen over you, etc. What can you learn from this experience? Could you have done something differently? Or perhaps not to take it personally if someone hasn’t liked you back.
  • Reach out. Often we see someone is struggling but don’t say anything. Maybe we worry we can’t ‘help’ them. Trust yourself that showing you care is probably all you need to do.
  • A time for random discovery. It’s emotionally demoralising doing the same thing every day. So open your mind in small ways – even checking out a new pub or cafe. Or maybe you’ve never been to an art gallery, gone hiking, been to a gym, etc. – try these things.
  • Set boundaries on negativity. Maybe someone you care about – a friend, family member – is negative about everything. Don’t be dragged down. When they criticise something, come back with a positive about it.
  • Face one fear. It’s absolutely true – face something you’re frightened of and you discover it’s not bigger than you!
  • Self-care comes first. This spring become healthy in all ways – eat well, get enough sleep, let someone know if they don’t treat you well enough. Believing you’re worthy, that you count – so you look after yourself – is the best thing you can do!

About the author: Dr Pam Spurr is an award-winning radio presenter, agony aunt, relationship, sex and behaviour expert, and life coach. Dr Pam is the author of 14 self-help books on topics including sex, dating, happiness, emotional eating and dream interpretation. She has appeared as a contributor on TV programmes including This Morning, Loose Women, LK Today, Daybreak, GMB, The Wright Stuff, BBC Breakfast, and for ten years running as a resident behaviour expert on Big Brother’s Little Brother and Big Brother’s Bit on the Side. Pam has a doctorate in psychology from a London teaching hospital and is a chartered research, academic and teaching psychologist. Her doctoral and postdoctoral research looked at parenting/family issues.

You can follow Dr Pam @drpamspurr or visit her website at www.drpam.co.uk.

image by jill111 under CC0 license