It’s hard to go far with heavy baggage. These mental detox tips will help you offload the dead weight and bring good energy.
We all know how important it is to cleanse your body. You drink 10 glasses of water each day. And you make kale juice with lemonade to flush the toxins out. But have you ever thought of getting the toxins out of your mind?
Our brains are wired to cling to bad memories, past traumas, and fear for the future. It makes sense because we need them to stay alert and protect ourselves from potential danger. But when these bad energies keep piling up in your mind and get stuck, they become a burden.
That’s why mental detox is a must for mental clarity and wellbeing. You can’t live to the fullest without a fully functional brain. And mental detox helps you remove your mental blocks. So keep scrolling to find out what is a mental detox, how to know if you need one and how to do it.
What is a mental detox?
Mental detoxing means getting rid of the toxins in your mind. They may include:
- Traumatic experiences
- Guilt and regrets
- Self-doubts or fear for the future
- Limiting beliefs
- Relationships that are dragging you down
Mental detoxing doesn’t necessarily mean removing them from your life. For example, when you are hurt by someone else, the memory may stick with you for a lifetime. To detox, you learn how to digest and move on, so the incident doesn’t affect your presence.
For the things we can get rid of, like limiting beliefs, it will take time and patience. You may need to practice reversing those beliefs multiple times before your brain can flush them out. So mental detox is not a once-and-for-all solution. Instead, it’s a mindfulness practice that works with repetition.
When do I need a mental detox?
Mental detox is just like cleansing your body – you have to do it every once in a while. But how do you know when to do it? Look for the symptoms below:
- You feel tired even when you have enough rest
After a good night’s sleep, you are still exhausted. And no amount of rest seems to be enough.
- You keep forgetting things.
When you have too much on your plate, it’s hard to keep track of everything. And that’s a sign you need to get the less important stuff out of your mind.
Insomnia has various causes. But if you find yourself ruminating on the past or worrying about the future when you try to sleep, it’s time to shake off the baggage.
Do you fear saying no or doing what’s good for you? Or are you stuck because of uncertainty for the future? You allow yourself to be free again when you get these limiting beliefs out of your system.
Doable ways to mental detox
Unfollow accounts that promote unrealistic standards
Some of us find motivation in comparison. When we see people who look better than us or live a better life, we feel the urge to step up our game.
But that only works in a reasonable range. The perfect selfie on the Internet may take hundreds of shots and hours of makeup to create. Houses and cars may take years of wealth accumulation. Therefore, comparing yourself to the seemingly perfect figures on social media is like comparing the first page to someone’s best chapters.
So if you feel stressed or doubt yourself after consuming those contents, maybe it’s better to unfollow those accounts. Instead, follow those who bring actual value to you, the content creators who show you how to be where you want to be rather than how good a life they live. Social media, or the Internet, is not evil as long as you use it correctly.
Write down your worries on paper.
One thing I wish I have done sooner is a brain dump. It means to transfer your thoughts on paper instead of carrying them around in your mind. If you are like me, who juggles different life responsibilities, you probably have a list of things you can’t deal with now. But you don’t want to forget about them either.
So take out a piece of paper, preferably a journal, where you can keep track of things you have written down. And start listing what’s bothering you right now. It may include:
- A difficult conversation you need to have
- Money problems
- Your self-doubts
- The uncertainties you are facing now
By writing your worries down, you are not just offloading the weight on your mind. You also sort your thoughts out in the process. And you may find that what seems daunting is no longer that terrible when you get it on paper. If you are new to it, here’s a template to get you started.
Cut off toxic people.
At any point in life, losing people is difficult, whether voluntary or not. It creates stress because, in social norms, you are selfish if you stop responding or helping.
But I have learned throughout the years that you are not a bad person for wanting what’s best for you. And you can love someone but still want them out of your life. After all, you are not helping anyone by burning yourself.
And if that toxic person is your parentsibling, or someone you can’t cut off entirely, try to reduce your interactions with them. Maybe move to another city, town, or just further away down the street. Notice how you feel when you don’t see them every day.
It may be hard at first, and the people you try to cut off may blame you for distancing yourself. But if it does good for your mental health in the long run, it’s worth the effort.
Get rid of self-doubts and limiting beliefs.
I started practicing splits when I was 27. Everyone around me told me that I was crazy because I was too old for it. Part of me agreed with them. But part of me wanted to see how far I could go.
So I started to practice daily. After six months, I could do a basic split with bend legs. After a year, I could do a full split. And now, I am on my way to doing an over-split. I am also more flexible and toned. And none of these would have happened if I didn’t try at the beginning.
Scientists have proven that our brain’s potential is unlimited and often under-developed. Yet, students are labeled as smart or dumb at school and either born to be math people or not.
These kinds of perceptions stop many of us from even trying. Like muscles, each time we learn something new with deliberate practices, we build new neuron connections. We expand our brain capacity, and that’s why you can do what you don’t think you can.
So I challenge you to write down your limiting beliefs. And then ask yourself one question: “really?” “Am I really terrible at math?” “Do I really have to stay in this job forever?” When you shake those beliefs, you allow yourself to be amazing.
Set boundaries and guard them
What is the one thing you don’t want anyone to do to you? As an introvertI need time to recharge. So my friends and family won’t be able to reach me after 8 pm except for emergencies.
But that becomes difficult during the holiday season when the family gathers. We would talk and drink and have fun after dinner, and I hated to be the only one going back to my room at 8. So I stayed most of the nights and felt exhausted the next day.
That’s why I was reluctant to go to family gatherings. And I voiced my concern to my mom. “Oh dear, it’s ok to just do what’s good for you. If they have anything to say about it, that’s their problem, not yours. “
My mom’s words were a wake-up call for me. It made me realize that those who genuinely care about you will not ask you to sacrifice your wellbeing. Instead, they respect your need for space and don’t interfere with your personal life. They are the ones that deserve your attention.
So if you are like the old me that worried about irritating people by setting up rules, know that people respect those who respect themselves. If you give too much, people will keep on asking. But if you stand firmly, it sets a clear guideline on how you should be treated.
So take some time to write down your boundariesrules, and bottom lines, and think about why they are so important. Then, next time when someone tries to cross those lines, remind yourself and say no when you need to.
Focus on one thing at a time
In the perfect world, you do more by tackling multiple things simultaneously. But in reality, your mind needs time to switch from task to task. And the gap in between may cost you more than the time you ideally save.
Multi-tasking is something I wish I had quit earlier. I used to have 7 tabs in my browser and stared at the screen, not knowing what to do next. When I finally trained myself to mono-task, surprisingly, the amount of work I had done increased.
And most importantly, I had more new ideas and a better understanding of my work because of the depth I went to. None of this would be possible if I kept jumping from task to task.
So the last thing to get rid of in the middle of the year is multi-tasking. It would not be easy to break and build a new habit. So start with baby steps. Maybe try to keep only one tab on and mute the notifications on your phone. The more you practice, the better you will be at it.
It’s your turn
So here are the tips to mentally detox. I hope these strategies will give you fresh perspectives and a new mind set. Let me know how you implement them and how you feel about it. You can reach me by replying to this email or tag me @_OurMindfulLife on Instagram. And I will see you next week.
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