Just like our bodies, our minds get clogged with toxic thoughts. Today, I’m sharing 11 ways to detox your mind to allow more self-love and greater self-care into your life.
This is Part 2 of the Self-Love Series. If you missed part 1 (On Healing Self-Doubt), you can catch it here: What is Self-Doubt and How to Overcome It.
Why do we need to detox the mind?
We get stuck in patterns of overthinking that not only do not serve us but make us feel down. On top of that, these thoughts often nudge us to take actions we later regret.
This weighs you down and makes it challenging to think clearly, let alone move forward in life.
Because it’s so common that we get stuck replaying negative thoughts through our minds, I created an entire program around the principles of detoxing the mind and resetting. Check out Radical Reset.
The benefits of detoxing the mind
A clearer mind helps you think better, aids focus, stops the feeling of overload most of us have gotten used to which has negative effects on the mind, body, and our life.
You’ll feel relieved, lighter, even, after making the decision to cleanse and clear the mind.
Here are 11 Ways to detox the mind
Give your mind a break with meditation. It helps clear the mind and focuses you back on the present.
Today’s Self-Love Series meditation is on detoxing the mind. Enjoy!
Can’t finish this meditation now? Subscribe to the YouTube Channel HERE and come back to it later.
2. Stop giving so many f*cks.
In Mark Manson’s article & book Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, he explains that we’re way too caught up caring about stuff that doesn’t really matter. This can be draining. Obviously.
Have you ever noticed yourself worrying over something someone said to you at work? Or spent hours thinking about an embarrassing moment? Rehashing it in your brain over and over until you’re almost sick of yourself?
The moments when you feel like this, you’re stuck in a bubble of overthinking about other people’s opinions of you.
I heard an expression once: ‘It’s none of your business what other people think of you.’
Repeat that to yourself when you find yourself stuck in that negative bubble, worrying about someone else’s opinion.
It’s wasted time and energy and makes you feel even worse.
3. Brain dump
Ever did a brain dump and immediately felt better after? That’s usually what happens.
You’ve got so many things to do and to plan, so much you keep thinking about.
Dump them onto the page.
When you’re in deep contemplation about a problem or trying to work something out logically, mulling things over in your brain is good. It’s brain-exercise. But running your to-do list through your head for the millionth time is not. It’s just exhausting.
In fact, it only contributes to you feeling overloaded and reinforces the feeling that you’re so behind (even though you’re not).
Write down what’s on your mind, especially things that are pressing.
4. Stream of Consciousness writing
Stream of Consciousness writing is a powerful technique for clearing the mind and even sparking your creativity. Similarly, you may have heard of Morning Pages, a concept author Julia Cameron made popular in her excellent book The Artist’s Way.
Here’s a video with a brief explanation of how to do it effectively:
5. Journal prompts
Journaling is a powerful way to release thoughts and pent up feelings. Over the years, keeping a journal has helped me learn to release a lot of toxic thoughts from my mind. It’s not an instant win. Like most things, it takes time but is always worth it in the end.
Need journal prompts? I have tons (in different categories) in the Self-Care Lounge
6. Do more active rest activities
There’s such a thing as active rest. Yes, active rest. Sounds weird, right? We usually think of rest as being passive.
But it’s a life-changing concept (or was for me some years ago when I found it).
Most of us are lacking activities where we are active but our mind is resting. Examples are running, painting, or other hobbies where we ‘zone out’ while doing them. There’s no prescription, one size fits all for this, you have to find your own best fit. I also share this powerful concept in You Don’t Need More Hustle, You Need More Rest.
How much active rest are you getting? How often?
Find the right activities that feel like active rest for you and layer them into your life.
7. Stop focusing on the past
Especially stop focusing on things like rejections and mistakes. I have two articles that may help with this (Getting over Rejection & How to Stop Focusing on Mistakes). Every time we get stuck focusing on these situations, we lower our mood and sometimes take those actions we regret later. So then we have more to beat ourselves up over later. And the cycle continues.
Stopping isn’t as easy as just making a decision. We’ve had years of habitual focusing on the past. So we have to find the combination of tools and mindset shifts to help. There’s no magic answer. This is why I share many different ideas and suggestions. Choose a few and find what works for you.
8. Forgive yourself & other people
Forgiveness clears your headspace for ideas, thoughts, emotions, energy that serve you, rather than keep you tied to negative events.
I know this.
We all know this.
But it’s a must. Forgiveness is about accepting yourself and your life as it is (and the things that have happened). Easier said than done, I know. But not impossible. It starts first by deciding you want to forgive. You can even write this down in your journal or notebook. Write about who you want to forgive and how your life will be enriched just by doing this.
Here’s a meditation on Self-Forgiveness:
9. Watch your self-talk
Let’s be honest, we don’t say the nicest things to yourself. The reminder I tell myself often is:
If I wouldn’t say this to my best friend, don’t say it to myself.
It’s that simple, and it works. Usually, it stops me.
10. Move more
The effects of exercise on the mind have been proven time and again. But you don’t need scientific studies. You know this. Even go for a walk, and your mind starts to feel clearer. If you can exercise in nature, it’s even more of a positive. But if not, don’t let that stop you.
If you can’t get out into nature or don’t want to, at least go to the gym or spread out an exercise mat at home and get busy. Move the body.
11. Let sh*t go
From grudges against co-workers who were rude to you to relationships that feel like self-betrayal. Start the process of letting go.
I mention it’s a process because letting go of the big things is rarely an immediate thing. It’s difficult to just instantly walk away from these thoughts/situations/people.
And that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up about that.
But do start the process. What do you need to do to walk away? Who can you turn to for support? What specifically needs to be in place. Take some action.
Start the process.
Some people schedule body detoxes. I suppose you can do the same with mind detoxes, and schedule them throughout the year.
Or do like I do, and make sure you’re doing things throughout the week that help clear the mind.
I believe in tiny habits. Trying to take on everything all at once doesn’t work. Ever.
Pick one or two suggestions from above, schedule them, and give them a try.
Are there things I left off this list? What do you currently do to detox your mind? Let me know in the comments below.