Detox your mind, not just your body

Detox — it’s the buzz word of the health-conscious community. It’s being talked about in magazines, blogs, and TV shows. The idea of detoxing or cleansing the body has been around for centuries. The Egyptians used to cleanse or purify the body. Christians, Muslims and Jews all have times of the year that they detox for religious purposes. I once knew a man who told his son he was going to fast during the day in hopes that his son would change his behavior. The idea behind most detoxes and cleanses is that we need to rid the body of toxins. But it seems that we’ve detoured from cleansing the mind and are just focusing on cleansing the body. How can we expect a cleanse to work when we’re only focusing on the body?

Since I just completed a 30-day yoga challenge (no white food, no sugars, no alcohol, daily meditations and yoga), I am particularly attuned to ideas and discussions about cleansing. It occurred to me recently when I was reading some articles for this blog entry that when anyone participates in any fast that he/she should also fast the mind. How would you go about doing this? Depending on your religious faith or spirituality, you could pray more, meditate and perhaps even unplug from the connected world. What about that thought?

Have you thought about all the toxins you are allowing to enter your mind¬†from TV ads, Internet sites, Facebook, texting and radio. What if you were to get off the grid for just one day? How do you think your mind would react to being still for that length of time? Back in the beginning of October, I did just that. I took some time off from work and allowed myself to turn off my phone, not check any emails and watched only one TV show for a whole weekend.It was amazing. I felt so revived, so alive and so refreshed. I allowed my mind to take a break and just be. It’s hard to do this when my job requires me to be on 24/7. To allow myself a break from work, I do take time off and turn off my phone. On the days I do yoga or run, I don’t have my phone. My staff know that I do these sports and know what to do if they can’t reach me. Even have those simple pleasures helps.

Going to a yoga studio and practicing yoga, even for 75 minutes can also give you that detox time. It allows your mind to refocus, recharge and just be. I challenge you to go to a yoga class at least once a week. The benefits far outweigh the inconvenience it might cause when you first adjust your schedule.

I also encourage you to try daily detoxing with your food. The easiest way to do this is to eat a morsel of whole food each day. Some examples include banana, apple, potato (you can even make fries by cutting the potatoes and baking them), dried fruit (with no added sugar or sulfates), nuts, carrots, any greens (think Kale and collard) – boiled, stemmed or raw, salad mix with squeezed lime for dressing… the ideas are limitless.

Next time you embark on a cleanse, perhaps you can set an intent to be aware of what you are eating as well as what’s coming in to your mind. Are you nourishing yourself? When was the last time you gave your mind a break and just sat — without any noise or stimulation?

Each week on the Intent Blog, we feature articles, videos, and images to inspire you to live a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life. This week, our focus is Healthy Eating. If you’ve recently set an intent related to Health Eating, share it with us in the comment section below. We’ll do our best to support you with interesting content to keep you motivated along the way!

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About Michelle Cowden

Michelle Cowden has been writing and advocating for healthy lifestyle for over six years at her blog www.wholehealthgirl.blogspot.com. As a licensed clinical social worker, she knows all too well the importance of finding healthy balance in life. Michelle believes that in order to live a healthy life, you must embrace the whole person, not just your mind or body. She has facilitated trainings on the effects of food and behavior at conferences and universities nationwide, and balances her work life with spending time with her husband and dog. She enjoys rock climbing, cycling, and yoga, activities that help her cultivate more balance and inner peace.

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Comments

  1. Jessica says:

    Water fasting is an amazing way to cleanse your body! It allows your digestive system a break from the constant breaking down of food. Think about it, we eat even if we are not hungry…sometimes it's for comfort or emotional reasons, but not because we are actually hungry. So your body is using energy to digest unnecessarily when it doesn't have to. A water fast ( 3days) allows your body to redirect that energy into other things like the breaking down and elimination of toxins and stored fats. A water will will dissolve cysts, tumors and eradicate infections in the body. Doctors should be prescribing a water fast instead of drugs for almost all ailments.
    Happy fasting! :)

  2. Yumi says:

    I'm a big fan of taking internet / technology fasts and of course regular meditation breaks. Thank you for the inspiration!

  3. Lynne says:

    Interesting concept. My assistant is amazed at my ability to know so much about our employees – names, work areas, badge numbers, phone numbers, etc. (I am a On-Site Coordinator / Staffing Supervisor with over 230 employees and a turn-over rate of about 30%). I told her that I don't know how I do it, but I meditate a few times each week and maybe that helps rid my mind of the unnecessary information and makes room for the more important items…just a thought.