Do any of these sound familiar?
I feel sluggish and exhausted. How do I get rid of this brain fog?
How could I forget that? My mind is so cluttered! I’m so overwhelmed!
I know I keep relentlessly going over this in my head, but I can’t seem to stop!
Why is it that I set intentions and goals but can never seem to find the motivation?
If you can relate to any of these, your mind is telling you: I need a break! A mental detox, mind reboot, brain declutter is just what the energy healing practitioner ordered!
Similar to our bodies, our minds can become congested up with junk over time. We need to detox our minds periodically to ensure we are balanced and running at full capacity. What exactly does a balanced mind look like you ask? Good question:
Patience and willpower occur with greater frequency and force.
A stronger ability to focus and concentrate.
Thoughts and perceptions are cheerful.
For every negative thought, idea, or judgement; a positive or neutral alternative soon follows.
Mental detoxing has also been shown to vastly improve mood, decrease stress and anxiety, and combat depression.
Here are several simple practices you can accomplish when your mind needs to declutter and cleanse: Most importantly, start by establishing a plan to take a mental detox.
Over the past decade many studies have emerged linking gut-health to brain-health. It was discovered that we have over 100 billion neurons deep in our gut, which is more than we have in our spinal cords! Google ‘second brain.’ This gut-brain connection provides full evidence for why we need to become vigilant about the foods and drinks we use to fuel our bodies. This is why the number one suggestion for detoxing the mind is to fast. There are many different ways to fast. With any new health practice, remember to start slow and build up over time. Also, be sure to consult your healthcare practitioner before diving in too deep to fasting.
Beginner Tip: Start Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a great introduction to full-on fasting. Intermittent fasting is when you limit meals to a fixed period of the day. For one week, restrict eating times to an 8-hour period. For example, restrict your eating times from 7am to 3pm, where you would fast the remainder of the 16-hours. Specifically, you would stop eating at 3pm until 7am the next day when you will break you fast (breakfast!). If you cannot make it a full 16-hour period without eating, then start lower amount of hours and build up over time. Remember to drink plenty of water at anytime, both inside and outside of the eating time period.
Advanced Challenge: Participate in a 48-Hour Water Fast
The central purpose of a water fast is to cleanse your body and allow it to heal. Participating in a 48-hour water fast gives your digestive system a break, allowing it to eliminate solid waste products and neutralize toxins.
2) Unplug and Reconnect with Yourself
Unplug from all of your devices, meaning anything plugged into wi-fi, electricity, batteries, or any other external power source. Reconnect with yourself and the nature surrounding you.
Beginner Tip: Go for a 5-minute ‘mental detox walk.’
First off, remember not to leave your cell phone or fitbit at home. Taking a walk outdoors is a great reset for your mind! For this walk, do something a little different: take a slow walk with intention. During the first part of your walk, go a little more slowly than you would normally. During the second half, or on the way back, slow down even more. Enjoy each moment, take in all of your surroundings — the smells, the sights, the sounds — and notice how you feel.
Advanced Challenge: Do a full digital detox for 24-hours
Disconnect from all devices, including: television, cell phones, wi-fi devices, the internet, and all digital and electronic devices for 24-hours. Set yourself up for success and be sure to plan in advance; mark your calendar; plan non-digital activities, and tell friends and family that you will be offline. It may be difficult at first to resist grabbing your phone, but push through the temptation because the results are worth it! You may feel like a brand new person with a deeper connection to yourself.
3) The Power of Saying ‘No’
Often times we struggle to say no. But when we overextend ourselves, we inevitably become drained. Failing to set healthy boundaries in our lives can lead to stress, resentment, anger and feeling overtaxed on a mental, physical and emotional level. Think about the relationships in your life where you give or compromise too much – whether it is with your time, your resources, your emotional or financial support or even your physical space. Now is the time to take action! Start saying no to others so that you can start saying yes to yourself.
Beginner Tip: Pause and check in.
Instead of automatically saying yes the minute someone asks you to do something, hit “pause” and check in with yourself. Tell the perso
n you need to think about and you will get back to them. Now you have time to reflect and ask yourself ‘if I were to say yes to this commitment, how would I feel?’ Connect with yourself
Advanced Tip: Just say no
Using your ‘no’ will help you get to ‘know’ yourself.
4) Practice Mindfulness
Bring more awareness to your thoughts, actions and reactions.
5) Just Breathe
Beginner Tip: Alternate nostril breathing
Advanced Tip: Alternate nostril breathing
Alternate nostril breathing — or Nadi Shodhana (NAH-dee shoh-DAH-nuh) — is a purifying pranayama technique used in yoga. This breath technique has so many benefits! By alternating the blockage of each nostril when breathing, the nervous system calms, tension and anxiety is reduced, and the body relaxes. It is great for concentration, cleansing and is a fantastic headache cure. The Art of Living’s short online video is a great start to learning more about this practice.
Some of the results from implementing these simple mental detox practices after one week:
Significantly less brain fog,
More restful sleep,
Less mood swings,
Little to no anxiety,
Overall increase in well-being.
It’s time to take your health seriously. Tune into the messages your body and mind are sending you. Start with just one of the suggested beginner tips and see what works for you. Experiment, test and observe your results. Then build on your success! You got this!