Spring Cleaning For The Mind

Spring Cleaning For The Mind

The company you keep is important.   Think about it, if you leave your coat in a room where people are smoking, pretty soon it will reek of smoke.  You can have on the best cologne or perfume, but enough exposure to any odious, stronger scent can overwhelm the sweetest and most beautiful scent.

It’s the same with your mind. Just as a coat absorbs scents, so does your mind absorb thoughts. It absorbs the thoughts of those with whom you associate.  Whose thoughts are you wearing?  If your thoughts had a scent, what would it be?  Is it stinking thinking or beautiful thoughts of peace, harmony, success, faith and love?

Whomever has a lot of your time has your mind.  Wherever you live, work, pray and socialize, it is your external environment shaping your in-vironment.  In other words, your external world shapes your internal world.  So who is shaping your thoughts? A lot of people and things – parents, friends, spouses, lovers, co-workers, media, society, school, church, job, social organizations.

The coat your mind is wearing will affect how you’re feeling. I’m sure there have been times when you went outside thinking that it was going to be hot and found out it was much colder than you anticipated !  Having to run around outside in the cold is hard enough but doing it with a Spring jacket instead of a Winter coat is much harder! When your thoughts are constantly self-critical and defeatist, that’s precisely how you’re going to feel AND how you’re going to act.

“I’ll never be as happy, smart, successful, good, beautiful, accomplished as (insert name here)”

“Even when I try, it’s never enough. I’m not skinny, smart or as beautiful as (insert name here)”

“No one notices all the work I do. Maybe it’s because I really don’t matter.”

“My life, marriage, relationships, education, future sucks”

“If I don’t get this degree and get married by 30, I’m a failure.”

“There aren’t enough good men anyway, so I’ll stay with him even though he hits me and makes me feel like crap. He’s better to me than other guys were.”

“Nobody loves me. Everybody uses me.”

These thoughts are like a tight jacket that choke and squeeze your mind.  When you find yourself around gossipy-critical-negative-complaining-little faith-much drama-reactive people, either you fit in and speak their language OR you gravitate towards another kind of people and conversation that is positive, productive, progressing, solution-oriented, loving, hopeful, caring and proactive. Remember that you can always change your “thought-garment”.

Change what your mind is wearing! It may take some time but just like you memorized your ‘A,B,Cs’ you can memorize good thoughts. Read positive, inspirational words. Scriptures, proverbs, beautiful quotes are all available for you to meditate on. And change who you’re hanging out with so your mind can absorb better thoughts. You’re never stuck with the same old tired, ripped, depressed winter coat! Spring is here! Change your thoughts and you change yourself!


Akua G. Asare M.D. graduated from Case Western Reserve University with her B.A. in International Studies. She went on to receive her Medical Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. After her Psychiatric Residency at The University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital, she was awarded the American Psychiatric Association’s Jeanne Spurlock Congressional Award for 2011. In this capacity she worked as the Health Legislative Fellow for senior Senator from Ohio, Sherrod Brown (D-OH). Currently she is pursuing opportunities in the areas of domestic and global public health policy and infrastructure.

  • Farooq B

    This is a beautiful piece. Thank you for the advice. I will be sure to share.

  • SAm

    Very true znd straight to the point,….made for a rewarding read on easter monday.

  • Efua

    Thank you Akua for this piece! It is very important to be careful of what your mind absorbs. I know the difference your external environment can make on your internal environment. Thanks again for sharing.

  • Theodore

    Akua, this is nice. For sometime now I’ve always had these thoughts about why people assume negativity when there’s a better option. I must admit it’s a wonderful write up and some extensive work must have gone into it. keep up the good work.

  • Definitely a must-bookmark.Wonderfully written.Even though I’m aware of how our thoughts are affected by those we hang out with often, this has been a sort of affirmation.I like how you compare the thoughts we think to garments.I’ll wear the ‘smoke-reeking’ garment when I’m around the ‘smokers’ 🙂

    I’m also glad I read this.I like to read on things concerning thoughts.
    I hope to read more from you 🙂

  • Kweku

    Akua, the GOD in you is really really manifesting. Kudos and keep the best of your work. I’ve always be a fun. LOVE YOU DEAR. ciao

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