Guest column: Start fresh this spring | Opinion

It’s my favorite time in Northern Michigan — the time when the snow starts to melt away! The temperatures are starting to increase, and it’s no longer a necessity to warm my car up for 20 minutes before running to the store. Spring is finally here! One of the greatest parts about spring is that we start to see new life all around us. The leaves start to grow on the trees, baby animals start to come out to play, and everyone gets to enjoy some much anticipated sunshine.

Spring time can be a great opportunity to clean out the house or garage, get rid of that old stuff that has been piling up over the years and start fresh. Being able to give your mind that same chance at a fresh start can be a great thing too. As a mental health professional, I work with people from all different backgrounds. Something I see every day are people who are dealing with things from their past. Sometimes people have years and years of thoughts, feelings and emotions built up and being able to come to terms with these things can be extremely refreshing.

When working with a new client, I always start by gathering their past history. This gives me an idea of areas to focus on in treatment and also gives me some insight into the person’s background. Being able to help them identify those “things from the past” and ultimately figure out how to get rid of years worth of baggage is very rewarding. Sometimes these issues manifest into depression, anxiety, anger or other intense emotions. But by being able to work through these issues and essentially start fresh it gives a person the opportunity to live a happier, healthier life.

There are many different ways to let go of things from the past. Sometimes just having someone to talk to can be helpful. When approaching a situation, I always recommend journaling or writing things down. Being able to get these thoughts out of our heads and onto paper frees up space for more positive thoughts and ideas. Another great way to let things go from the past is to focus on things in the future. Setting goals for things you want to improve in your life, such as rebuilding an old friendship, or forgiving someone who has wronged you in the past. Be focusing on these things, it gives you a chance to let go of some of the negative emotions that have built up over time, and start fresh with the future.

So if you or someone you know struggles with their past, there is no better time to start fresh than now. Take that moment to focus on the things you want to let go, and where you want to start heading in your future. Reach out to someone who can listen or don’t be afraid to ask for professional help. One of the greatest parts of my job is being able to help people improve their lives and find inner peace.

So now is the time to start letting going of these things from the past, and start cleaning out your…

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