Living: Purge your mind

Whenever we speak about health, our body is most likely the first thing that comes to your mind. When we get a bruise we cover it up with a bandage. But what about the bruises that get inflicted on our mind?

Haven’t we all undergone, or at least thought about undergoing, a “detox” or a “cleanse”? The purpose of detoxification is to flush out all the toxins and other harmful substances, helping you recharge your body and improve overall health. But while physical cleanses certainly have several health benefits, emotional health — an important part of overall wellness — is often overlooked.

Many cancer patients are unable to process what’s happening to them because of an emotional haze that lingers on and on. This prevents them from understanding what is happening to their bodies and from making wise decisions.

What is emotional healing?

We’ve all been there, after a stretch of poor eating habits and other unhealthy activities, our bodies start to feel sluggish and ill. When bad chemicals build up in our bodies, it causes a toxic overload. Similarly, negative emotions can weigh heavily on our minds, spirits, and bodies when ignored.

Just as a physical detox removes the chemicals and other toxins that make us sick, an emotional detox will cleanse all the negative emotions that plague our minds and souls.

Life is just one big roller-coaster. Experiencing extreme emotions is part of what makes us human. We face challenges every day that cause us to experience negative emotions. And while almost everyone can benefit from an emotional healing detox, anyone currently experiencing toxic emotions may want to start sooner than later. Here are a few signs that indicate the need for an emotional detox:

Are you experiencing negative emotions or thoughts? Like…

  • Anger
  • Resentment
  • Regret
  • Hurt
  • Discouragement
  • Bitterness
  • Shame
  • Sorrow
  • Powerlessness

Research has shown that chronic emotions, such as anger and hurt, can cause increased heart rates, higher blood pressure, and poor immune response, all of which can ultimately lead to higher risk of depression, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious conditions.

Tricks to an emotional detox

Taking regular emotional healing breaks will help you handle your feelings with ease and cleanse your entire system so that you can reach your full potential and enjoy the abundant life. The following 11 tips will give you a head start on your emotional healing journey:

1. Forgive others

We’ve all been hurt by someone one time or another. But holding on to that pain is one of the unhealthiest things we can do. Letting go of the past and forgiving those who have wronged you is the first step to emotional detox. A grudge can not only weigh on you mentally and emotionally, but it can affect you physically as well. Research has shown that people who forgive identify hills to be less steep and could jump higher in a test of fitness.

2. Forgive yourself

It’s the golden rule: Love others as you love yourself. But what if you don’t love yourself? What if you look in the mirror and loath the person staring back? By forgiving yourself, you’ll find it’s easier to release toxic emotions that have built up over the years.

Regret and shame can quickly take control of your mind and spirit. Stop blaming yourself for the past and look toward the future. Start by realising that no amount of mourning or regret can change your past actions. Move on, slowly if needed, and focus on things you can change.

3. Practice self-love

Now that you have forgiven yourself and others, it’s time to love yourself. Every day, we are bombarded with images, especially in social media, of what we “should” look or feel like. This can have a negative impact on us and cause us to feel hurt, shame or even discouraged. But by practicing self-love, we can move past these negative emotions. There’s no right or wrong way to practice self-love. As long as you’re working to build your self-esteem, you’re moving in the right direction.

4. Recite positive affirmations

Reciting positive affirmations is one of the easiest and quickest ways to build self-esteem and self-love. Constant negative thoughts not only lower your self-esteem but they also have a severe impact on your physical health. Several studies have highlighted the impact of positive affirmation on individual growth.

5. Don’t look back

Now that you’ve made it this far and you have the fundamentals behind you, don’t look back. It’s easy to look back and regret the decisions you have made. While it’s natural to regret when you’ve made a mistake or taken the wrong path, coping with that regret is important. Here are a few helpful ways you can do so:

  • Remind yourself that life is a journey
  • Remind yourself that everyone makes mistakes
  • Remind yourself how great you are on a daily basis
  • Instead of dwelling on the things you did wrong, learn from those mistakes.

6. Have a good cry by yourself

We’ve all had moments in private where we just break out into tears for so many different reasons. There are many emotional benefits to crying. Whether you’ve lost a loved one, ended a relationship or have witnessed a touching moment, shedding tears is a great way to express your emotions and learn more about yourself. Tears are therapeutic, in fact, crying releases many toxic substances from the body.

7. Cry with someone you trust

Speak to a close friend, loved one, or even a professional counsellor. Since we all hold on to negative feelings, such as regret, stress, fear, and anger, it’s important to talk with someone who can relate to your situation.

However, don’t open up and dump your toxic emotions on just anyone. Remember, sharing details of this nature gives the other person an open window into the intimate parts of your life. Try to find less judgemental people to confide in. This is where speaking with a professional may help.

8. Have faith

Ask yourself this: “Do I deserve to be well? Is it possible to have emotional stability, and the abundant life?” If you honestly answered, “Yes,” to those questions, you’re ready to move on. Have faith in yourself. It’s not enough to just go through the motions if you don’t believe in yourself. Once you have convinced yourself that emotional cleanse is possible, you will start developing positive feelings and emotions, which will push you to succeed in life.

9. Remove distractions

Avoid distractions at any cost. People, places and things can all distract from what’s truly important: your emotional health. While you work to cleanse negative emotions, you are more susceptible to hurt because your guard is down. Be honest with yourself when opening up to others and avoid those who may feed on negative thoughts.

Similarly, you should also avoid places or situations with similar motives. Time after time, I see people visit places that are associated with negative memories. This self-destructive behaviour is counterproductive. Instead, surround yourself with positive people and create new happy memories.

10. Ditch social media

Yes, I know, this is easier said than done. Social media addiction is unhealthy. Take a break from Facebook and other social media, at least while you’re in detox. A recent study has found that Facebook can trigger feelings of jealousy and envy and cause you to develop unrealistic comparisons. This has serious consequences on your overall well-being and can even lead to depression.

11. Talk to a professional

Your family and friends are probably poorly equipped to help you deal with your negative emotions. If you get a sense that they lack empathy, it’s not because they don’t care, it’s because they can’t relate. A professional can provide guidance if you’re not afraid to ask. Talking about your feelings is an important step in an emotional healing detox and you need to ensure you talk to the right person.

Seeking professional guidance is not a sign of weakness. It doesn’t mean you have failed. In fact, it shows how committed you are to become a better person and finding an emotional balance. Be honest with yourself and take an honest look at your needs. When you embrace someone else’s strengths, you can find a more strategic path to full mental and emotional healing detox.

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