When the first signs of springtime emerge there’s a natural inclination to come out of one’s hibernation and start cleaning up the dust and stagnation that winter brings. As you feel motivated to get your home, office, or car back in ship shape, it’s a great time to also use that same renewed motivation and discipline to rid your mind of its dirty little habits! Here’s a check list of 5 healthy mental habits you can cultivate to clean up your inner-act and create healthier, whole self this season—and beyond:

1)    Choose positive thoughts.

“One of the last human freedoms is our ability to change our attitude in any given situation” – Viktor Frankel

Empower yourself to realize that you are in control of your thoughts. When you become conscious of what is streaming through your brain, you can select the thoughts you want to cultivate more of and notice the thoughts that make you feel negative in any way. Acknowledge the negative and then replace with a positive. When you do this, very soon you will notice you’re starting to believe yourself! Then you will start radiating light and happy energy, which will attract more of that same energy in to your life.

2)    Let go of excuses and be accountable.

“Blame keeps the sad game going. Dear one, wise up” – Hafiz

Only you can make yourself feel bad. Only you can decide what you choose to do today, or what action comes next. You have the power to change your life circumstances right now and be accountable for how you feel and what you do, if even by shifting your attitude as mentioned before. Make a decision to focus your attention toward finding a solution, not on what is causing the problem. When you trust a solution is available the answer will most certainly appear—if it isn’t already right in front of you.

3)    Forgive yourself.

“Today live like you want to, let yesterday burn and throw it in a fire… you’re never going to go back, you only live one life. Let go, let go” –Matisyahu

If you make a mistake, do something foolish, or act in a way that is not in alignment with who you really are—forgive yourself. Beating yourself up will only perpetuate the behavior. Instead of allowing shame, guilt, or self-berating language dominate your mind it’s helpful to acknowledge what happened and then simply let it go. Offer yourself a thought of compassion and understanding and watch how the behavior looses its power. The more you fixate on it, the more power it gets. Let it go. Onward and upward!

4)    Trust your own capabilities.

You already have within you everything you need. One of the greatest lessons to learn about life is that you are totally capable to walk through the shifting circumstances around you with grace and strength. Let go of trying very, very hard to control things. Yes, you must show up and make an effort each day, but you can’t cram the infinite possibilities of the universe in to a neat box.

 It’s possible to find a balance of effort and ease, a balance that can be cultivated through your regular yoga practice. Know with all of your being that whenever life presents, that you already possess an innate capability to deal with it in your own unique and beautiful way. Stay present for all the daily learning, be open, keep moving forward and surrender in complete trust that your path is already unfolding perfectly.

 5)    Stop seeking happiness outside yourself.

““You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” – A combo of Buddah & Sharon Salzberg

External circumstances that promote happiness are wonderful and meaningful but fleeting. Your internal happiness is perpetual and always available, steady, and peaceful. It doesn’t mean that you’ll always live in this place of happiness but when you first glimpse it, then its possible to continually navigate your focus back to it.

Know that within you are deep wells of love, compassion, and healing capabilities. Think of the person you love most in the world and how you treat that person. It’s totally possible to treat yourself that way as well! When you realize this, there is no longer a need to seek happiness from any other source. You can actually nurture and care for yourself with your own internal dialogue. It takes effort at first but will become second nature with practice.

 So…

Each of these intentions directs you toward the same place: total inner freedom. From this freedom you’ll access deeper self-acceptance and a new level of self-esteem that naturally promotes healthy choices throughout all areas of life such as eating well, exercising, enjoying a fulfilling career, and having healthier relationships with friends and loved ones. Clean out the attitudes that no longer serve or uplift you, and make more space for the light and love that is you, always.