How to Detox Your Mind and Why Your Body Needs It
If you caught last week’s post, I talked about the trend of detoxing and how it’s really taken the nutrition world by storm in the past few years. I went over three super simple ways that you can support your body’s natural detoxification every day – this is so much more effective than just doing a cleanse once or twice a year without making changes to your habits the rest of the time!
This week, I want to discuss a bit more about the idea of detoxing the mind, and how important this is not only for our mental and emotional health, but also our physical health.
What am I talking about when I talk about a mind detox? Well, I’m referring to how holding onto negative thoughts, beliefs, and emotions can be a form of chronic stress which has a serious physical effect on the body.
Our bodies have a physical reaction to stress that is created in the mind. Even if the things that we are stressed about present no actual immediate physical threat (it’s not very often now a days that we actually have to run away from a hungry predator) our bodies react in much the same way. Our bodies release stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline in response to ongoing mental stress, just as they would if we were faced with a life-threatening situation.
While these stress hormones serve an immediate purpose for preparing the body to either “fight or flight,” the problem is that we often have chronically high levels of these hormones, which is what begins to cause a wide variety of long-term problems – it can make us gain weight, cause increased inflammation in the body, affect our sleep, decrease immune function, and hinder our digestion (to name a few.)
So the solution to this is to begin actively “detoxing” stressful emotions, thoughts, and beliefs from our minds on a daily basis, which can effectively decrease stress hormones in the body and improve both our mental and physical wellbeing.
How do we do this? There are several ways that we can manage our stress. It begins with releasing these emotions and thoughts. This can be done through both talking through such feelings with someone you trust and setting aside time each day to journal.
Practicing journaling, in which you actually write out your thoughts and how you feel, helps to improve how we handle stressful situations. All you need is a pen, notebook, and 10 minutes each day. It might feel silly at first, but it’s an extremely effective way to detox the mind of stressful emotions. Putting it out on a page instead of burying it in our minds can have a strong effect on both our mental and physical health.
The second thing that I strongly recommend to almost all of my clients is to incorporate some form of meditation into their routines. Meditation doesn’t have to involve sitting on the floor for an hour each morning and attempting to clear the mind of all thoughts.
Meditation can be done for just a few minutes each day (start with 3 minutes if that’s all you can commit to!) but working your way up to at least 10-20 minutes is a great way to create more clarity and calmness in your life.
You can sit in your favourite chair, or opt for meditative exercises like yoga or tai chi instead. The purpose of meditation is not to rid your mind of thoughts, but to focus on your breath and accept thoughts as they come and go without trying to change them. How often do we give our minds a chance to just “be” without distractions or expectations?
I have personally noticed an incredible change in my mood, focus, clarity, and productivity throughout the day since I’ve started meditating for just 10 minutes each morning! There are plenty of great apps and online, guided meditations that you can try out for free to help you get started.
Stress management can look different for different people, but what’s important is that you make time for it and create time and space for the things that bring you joy in life.
It’s time we start thinking about our mental health before problems arise (whether those be in the mind or the body) so try out some of these today! You might be amazed with how good they make you feel!
By: Ali MacBoudreau
Ali MacBoudreau, is a Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant. Her mission is to help you discover just how vibrant and amazing you can feel, by giving you the tools you need to make lasting changes. (Hint, it involves delicious food!) To learn more about Ali and holistic nutrition please visit her website https://www.holisticali.com/about