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Detox your mind and body

Updated on February 14, 2011

Spring is a good time to detoxify - to purge the toxins that have accumulated and built up in our bodies, to purify and cleanse ourselves, ready to embrace the new season with better purpose and purpose (and maybe a bit less cellulite). Here in the 21st century life can be very toxic, and when you consider all the directions those toxins can come at us from, it's all quite overwhelming...

  • additives (colors, flavorings etc) in our food
  • hormones and chemicals in our water supply
  • antibiotic and other artificial hormonal residues in animal food sources
  • particulates and pollution in the air we breathe into our lungs
  • chemical compounds, applied to the skin in make-up and toiletries
  • mercury in our fish, and the fillings in our teeth
  • medication, prescription and otherwise
  • pesticides and herbicides applied to our crops, and airborne from their distribution

As you can see from the list above, it's impossible to avoid taking in any toxins at all, and most of us add to the daily load through the decisions we make - for example, by consuming animal products, non-organic food, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, medication, and so on. No wonder it's becoming increasingly popular to have at least one annual overhauling 'clean up', just to reset the dial - but it's far from a new idea. Most of the world's major religions and traditional cultures have some kind of fasting or abstinence ritual at least once a year, with the aim of curbing the excess, flushing the accumulated debris, and teaching appreciation for the abundance of the natural world.

Cleaning up our act on the food front is pretty straightforward, and there is lots of information out there about how to do it - cut out all the meat, dairy, wheat, caffeine, and overly processed and refined foods, for a period between 7 and 28 days, and you are sorted. But can you clean up on the mental and emotional side, and detox your mind as well as your body? It's actually surprisingly easy to tackle both challenges at once, and emerge from the process a new person,wholly renewed and refreshed.

Detox your judgments

It's time to eliminate your prejudices, along with your old cell toxins. Sure it's hard, but if you can give up the coffee and wine you can also give up the ingrained mental habits of prejudging and categorizing people and situations. Try to notice and be mindful, every time you jump to conclusions and expect certain attitudes, behaviors and opinions from others, and ask yourself where these judgments come from. What you could replace them with, that is makes fewer assumptions, and sees what's really there instead? Why not challenge yourself to get to know somebody new, perhaps someone with whom you would not expect to have much in common - enjoy seeing how your preconceptions are challenged and your mind re-opened.

Detox your commitments

Next, have a long hard look at your schedule. Detoxing is about simplifying, and eliminating the waste and debris... can you apply these principles to your diary, and make some time for you? In the short term, perhaps you can carve out an hour to go for a lovely detoxing massage... but what about more lasting changes? Review your regular commitments, are there tired and unnecessary habits or duties there draining your resources, building resentment, or could simply now be handed over to someone else? People will respect you if you ask for help in a well-reasoned, realistic and positive way. If you spend an hour detoxing your diary now, and you could be looking forward to a more relaxing, focussed and peaceful summer and beyond.

Detox your attitude

Make a decision to be a Jim-Carrey-style to be a ' yes person' for a day. This is great fun, and you will learn a lot - you can tell people what you're doing if they all act like you're nuts, but you'll gain more if you keep your private motivations to yourself. Remove the negativity from your mind and your responses. Simply greet each situation, question or decision positively by saying yes - and see what happens. You can always find a way to change things later if this turns out to be a mistake in the end, but simply saying 'yes' can open so many doors. You have so many exciting things to discover. For example, try a new food in its natural state - great discoveries await you.

Detox your ears

No we are not talking hopi ear candles or syringes!  Even though, when you start to clean up the food you eat, you can notice toxins releasing from the oddest places.  But what I am suggesting here is to take a day (or even a part of a day), to rest your healing by spending time in silence.  You can do this at home, at a spiritual retreat, or by finding somewhere peaceful and beautiful in nature.  No talk, no music, no media... just quiet.  Create some art if the mood takes you, read some fiction, write a journal... listen to the silence and enjoy it.

Detox your environment

Cleanse and detox your home!  Sweep, dust, polish... clear out the clutter:  are your possessions beautiful or useful, or are they adding noise and weighing down your life?  Let things go.  Throw open the windows, let the fresh air in, and the stale old stuff out.  Bring the outdoors into your home, with fresh spring flowers and greenery.  Use natural cleaning substances like vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, and natural oils and incense.  Celebrate your beautiful cleansed home by inviting round friends to help you fill the space with love and laughter.

Detox your conscience.

Get in touch with what worries you and bothers you.  Those deep inner fears, regrets and concerns.  Bring it out into the open, examine it - get help from a professional or a trusted friend if you need to, so you can identify what nagging worries are holding you back.  Can you work out any way, anything you can do, to help you let go of it, and be more OK about it now?  Perhaps there isn't - things from the past can't be undone, but they can still drain our heart and energy, even if we rarely think of them consciously.  you may not be able to  turn back time, but perhaps you can find a way to make up for it now, or consider paying it forward somewhere/to someone else - let what goes around come around.   You will feel liberated and released, if you can let go of those old guilts and doubts and nagging worries, with a positive and generous action.

Detoxing your body feels great, but when you detox your mind and body together you will both look and feel amazing!  It takes a bit of effort and persistence, but is so, so worth it.  Good Luck!


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