“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.

It’s spring cleaning time. Another year, another spring, and another chance to get your sanity back. If you, like me, don’t like winter, or if the past few months have been tough on you then no time is better than spring to help you recharge and shake things up for the better.

Here are four science-backed ways to spring clear your mind and feel more relaxed before the summer.

Tip#1: Expose your negative thoughts for what they truly are

Ever listened to Rap God? Eminem raps the last verse of the song at an insane speed that not so many will comprehend it properly without checking the lyrics first. Similarly, this is how your deeply-integrated fears, worries, and negative thoughts operate inside your mind – probably 10X faster.

You see a hot somebody walking towards you and all the sudden you`re scared shitless. Suddenly, all the insecurities and failed experiences with the opposite sex pop up out of nowhere. You don`t know what had occurred to you, but you`re so damn sure you`re not feeling confident around that person.

Your only way out of this dilemma is to put those thoughts under the microscope and examine their validity. But you can`t do this unless you journal these thoughts on paper so you can analyze them slowly and with better understanding.

Many studies recommend daily journaling for better mental health. One study found that four weekly sessions of journaling – 20 minutes each – helped American veterans cope with their post-war lives.

Another study by Michigan State University found that writing about your feelings makes you less worried and may help you perform better in an upcoming stressful task. If all these studies suggest you should keep a journal, then it might be a good idea to try it. After all, what`s bad about getting to know yourself better.

Tip#2: Meditate as if your life depends on it (Cause it does)

Life is so stressing and anxiety-provoking, and if you have a bad temper, that`s even worse. I used to be a very short-tempered person. Not the typical short-tempered man but more of the take no shit from nobody, can`t stand a critic type.

Everyone around me told me I should meditate, or see a doctor, but I didn`t. Until I lost my temper one day in front of a big fish who didn`t like my attitude – well, who blames him – and I lost a dream, five-figure a month client.

The first thing I did back home that night was open the Word file where I keep my journal, scripted down the entire situation then wrote to myself this line: That`s Why You Should F*ckin Meditate. And I vowed I would meditate every morning for the rest of my life.

I`m cool now, all from ten minutes of just sitting down there and watching myself breathing in and out. And I recommend you do the same cause meditation rocks.

Daily meditation will ease stress, enhance your self-awareness, increase your attention span, lower any depressive symptoms, improve your sleep, and will give you a better mood. So why not try it? Use this detailed meditation guide. No matter how busy you are, you`ll always have five spare minutes to do whatever you want. Make them count.

Tip#3: Run, Forrest, Run!

Months ago, I had a surgery and the doctor told me not to do high-intensity workouts for a while. If I was to exercise, I had to either choose between brisk walking and light jogging, so I reluctantly chose the latter and yes, it changed my life.

Though I couldn`t burn as many calories as I used to with high-intensity training, I began to cherish the pep talk Will Smith once gave on MTV. What Smith said on live TV was that running is the best way to overcome the inner voice within you that begs you to jump ship when the going gets tough– he precisely called running the key to life, why?

Because when you – and I`m quoting Smith – learn how to defeat that voice when you`re running, you`ll learn how not to quit when things get hard in your life. You teach yourself how to concentrate and how to tunnel your vision, breath, and power to the single goal of getting one step closer to the finish line.

I highly encourage that you run around the block, or at the gym, at least once a week. Don`t do it for the six packs. There`s a bunch of other activities to lose weight faster, but not so many that will teach you how to control your mind and stay mentally sharp.

Originally published at www.pickthebrain.com