By Alexa Santory
DETOX /dēˈtäks/ abstain from or rid the body of toxic or unhealthy substances
This week, we’re learning all about detoxing and its many forms. Detoxing is the process of getting rid of toxins in your body. Toxins are essentially the things we consume that make us feel sluggish, unfocused, and just not 100% our best selves. Most of us walk through life feeling weighed down by these factors like they’re normal. Detoxing, however, is extremely beneficial and will leave you feeling more like “yourself” than ever before.
So, what exactly are toxins?
Glad you asked! If you’ve ever been exposed to anything deemed as “toxic,” you know it’s probably not good for you. Like that fast food we enjoy every once in a while. There are, however, different types of toxins: ones that your body naturally produces (don’t worry though, these are good for us if they don’t build up too much), ones that we consume or are exposed to (pollution, mercury, mold, etc.), and ones that we engage in (aka toxic behaviors).
How can I detox?
You just have to find the one that’s right and works best for you and your lifestyles. It can be as simple are drinking more water to flush out your kidneys and liver, or as intense as detox dieting, which puts intense restrictions on what you eat. The beauty of detoxing is that it can be performed in any number of ways.
So this week is all about the detox and we are starting with the mind.
It's important to remember that the mind has ways of healing itself. Mental health is just as important as physical health. And so, learning to detox your mind is just as important as detoxing your body. As human beings in the 21st century, we feel stressed out more often than not. Anxiety and depression rates are on the rise, especially among millennials. Whether it's a serious mental health matter or not, we all need to take time to decompress and detox the mind.
Doing mental health check-ins with yourself is one of the most effective ways to keep your mind’s health balanced. This helps us become more aware of our mental health on a regular basis and how our day-to-day affects us.
During Ayurvedic week mindfulness was mentioned throughout; that principle, being conscious and present, is important to apply to every area of life. One of the most popular ways to detox the mind that costs $0.00 is practicing mindful meditation. That is: sitting (or lying) comfortably, focusing on your breathing, and letting your mind be present in the moment -- as opposed to what's happened or what's to come. This method is especially helpful for those of us with anxiety and can help ease the thoughts that make us anxious in the first place.
Meditation is a loaded word, and truthfully, we've got some major misconceptions about it. Many of us think we simply can't do the practice because we "can't stop thinking" or "can't sit still." Don't worry about that. Remember, mediation is about being present and sitting in that--accepting it, appreciating it. No need to add more anxiety and stress because you think you won't do it the right way. Try to take a few minutes out of your day to breathe easy and be present. That's all. This tiny bit of self care will change your energy, perception and mood.
If, while meditating, your mind wanders, no worries. That is completely natural. Try to let go of those thoughts and bring your mind back to the present moment. It's hard to focus on one thing these days, but with practice it can be done.
This oldie but goodie TED Talk reminds us all why we should check in with our mental well being.
Remember, detoxing is a form of self-care. Take your time, learn what’s holding your body and mind back from being the best it can be, and give it what it needs. Be mindful.
Speaking positive words over your life is so powerful. Once you put something into the universe it becomes reality. So when you tell yourself you're worthless, you can't do it, you don't see how this thing will work out, you begin to carry that negative energy in your spirit. It can really affect how you feel about yourself and others. Think of it this way: would you talk to your friends the way you talk to yourself? Probably not--you wouldn't have ay friends left!
When you speak kindly to yourself, giving yourself words of affirmation, you begin to carry that as well. So much becomes possible when you embrace positive self talk and really believe that you are worth those sweet words and self love. Watch your happiness elevate and doors open up for you.
If you don't follow @lalahdelia on Instagram, you should. She posts uplifting, encouraging, real words of affirmation and positivity. If you don't know how to begin affirming yourself, check out her daily quotes--they'll change your life.
Remember, words and thoughts are super powerful and have the ability to really affect our everyday lives. Be gentle with yourself.
Remember having a super secret diary as a kid, and writing down all your innermost prepubescent thoughts and emotions? It's time to bring that back. Journaling is such a great form of self expression; it really helps you to release and let go. Journaling is also great for getting out ideas, expressing frustration, giving gratitude, working through issues and so much more. The cool thing about it is, you can journal however you want! There's no right or wrong way to express yourself, and that's beautiful.
Poketo makes beautifully crafted stationary. Check out their notebooks and journals, find one that speaks to you and incorporate it into your daily life. We all need a form of self expression.
In some communities, especially PoC ones, therapy is stigmatized and look down upon. Let's change that. There is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help for issues you can't fix, or need help with. And therapists aren't just for venting or working through traumatic life experiences, they can also offer reasonable and thoughtful ways to make better decisions in all areas of life.
Talking to someone who is a licensed professional trained to listen and help is, well, incredible! You don't have to go through life alone. Friends and family are great and essential to a healthy life, but therapy offers something different. Remember, therapy is totally normal and super beneficial. We don't know everything, and our loved ones don't either--no need to denounce speaking to someone is trained to help. Let's break the stigma! Finding the right therapist can be so monumental for your mental health. Check out Therapy for Black Girls to find a therapist in your area, and listen to the podcast! Dr. Joy speaks about real life issues and suggests helpful ways to deal. A true gem.
Detoxing the mind can come in many forms. These tips can be implemented at different stages in life, and when done mindfully can really help to clear out the mind and embrace a fresh start.
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Tomorrow we explore how to detox the body! You won't want to miss this.