Informational Spring Cleaning: Cleaning Out the Closets of Our Mind

[Photo by andreswd via iStockPhoto]

Make a happiness circuit in your brain while clearing your unconscious mind with meditation and a positive mindset.

Spring is a wonderful time of year. It’s a time when the whole earth is renewing herself. New leaves and blossoms appear on the branches of trees, birds and butterflies chase each other in the sky, and the crisp air of spring carries the hopeful hint of summer’s warmth.

It is also the traditional time of year for spring cleaning, a chance to brighten and freshen our living spaces so that we, too, can feel renewed and refreshed. This year, I’d like to suggest doing another kind of spring cleaning as well—informational spring cleaning. It’s the perfect way to kick-start a total transformation of self.

Information Is Your Brain’s Food

Our brains love information. It is like food for the brain, and our brains can never get enough. In today’s Information Age, we are drowning in information as it pours out of all sorts of media from our readily-accessible devices—the Internet, social media apps, books, radio, advertisements, TV, and more. Just like we can consume too much food, we can consume too much information, which causes our minds to race with myriad thoughts and impulses.

Some information is fairly innocuous; it just passes through without much influence at all. But other information sticks around as content we use to form our beliefs about ourselves and the world. For the sake of informational spring cleaning, it is important to determine which pieces of information are serving us and which are not. In ordinary spring cleaning, we throw out trash and get rid of stuff that is no longer of use. Informational spring cleaning is the same.

Power Brain Information

When determining what information to keep and what to shed, an important question is: “Does this information assist me in living according to my true self?” If we can answer, “Yes,” if the information assists us in living our best life possible, is inspiration or helpful, then it benefits us to keep that information. A brain that lives by this kind of information is what I call a Power Brain because its potential is limitless.

The information that needs clearing gives us a “no” answer to that question. This kind of information unnecessarily creates feelings of fear and undermines our sense of confidence and self-worth. Sadly, our culture is swarming with bits of information of this type, and it takes many forms in our world: fear-inducing news reporting, paranoid conspiracy theories, unrealistic standards of beauty, and advertisements that preach the notion that happiness can be bought.

Some of these things may have influenced us while others have not. To determine how influenced we’ve been by fear-based information, we can look very carefully and honestly at the beliefs we hold. What beliefs that we have are stopping us from doing what we really want to do? What beliefs stop us from believing that the world can be a peaceful and wonderful place? What beliefs stop us from loving others unconditionally? All of these beliefs were constructed out of negative information that we have accepted as true.

This does not, of course, mean that we should be a Pollyanna, always ignoring the unpleasant realities of life. Information about legitimate dangers and realistic assessments of difficult problems is not negative information because it is actually quite helpful. The information that needs cleaning goes far beyond reality by creating fears that serve no purpose and diminish humanity’s ability to create a better world. Newsletter signup banner

The Habit of Positive Thinking

Most negative information has collected like dust and dirt in our brains because we have let it in. For most people, negative thinking, such as the assumption that great results are impossible or that human nature can never be trusted, is a habit. With some patterns of negative thinking, it is knee-jerk—certain situations will ignite negative thoughts in our brains, and then we become lost in the negativity. The source of these habitual patterns of thinking lies in our unconscious minds, where it is difficult to recognize, although we can witness its effects.

Our insecurities, inexplicable emotions, and illogical behaviors come from the huge amount of information in our unconscious minds. This information, and the unseen ripples it creates, can determine our fate. However, the moment we recognize the information hidden in our brains, its power over us disappears. We free our consciousness and spirits when we see this information and when we know that the information is not who we are but something we possess.

Free to Use Our Whole Brains

Unconscious information cannot be converted into knowledge. It can’t be used, but it can be witnessed. We can negate its effects on our lives by looking at it, changing it, and cleaning it out through breathing and meditation.

We can also catch ourselves when these effects pop up. If we find ourselves in negative thinking, instead of beating ourselves up with more negative thinking, we can just watch ourselves and remember that the thoughts we’re having are not who we really are. We have a choice, and we can change them. We can say to ourselves, “I’m choosing to be negative right now,” and replace those automatic patterns with a positive twist. Or, if that is too hard, we can do our best to go into a neutral emotional state—a zeroed state. From there, we just might be able to see the positive aspect that exists in all situations—the proverbial silver lining. Over time, more positive thinking will become a new habit, and our lives and everyone around us will benefit.

Positive thinking acts like a vitamin in our brains; it’s the best food. If we can see happiness in a big way in any situation, a “happiness circuit” is created in the brain. It’s made by the expectation of happiness, and it’s reinforced the more we expect happiness. With this expectation, misfortunes that happen can seem very small and funny instead of the end of the world. Conversely, if a “misery circuit” is created in the brain, we won’t even recognize happiness when it comes to us.

We can better use all the powers of our brains by paying as much attention to the thoughts in our head as we do to the food we eat. We can stay positive and use our unconscious minds when we keep them clear with awareness, breathing, and meditation.

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