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A Mental Detox

by Emily (follow)
happiness (53)      health (31)     
We’ve all heard of detoxes of the body – diet detoxes, juice fasts, cleansing detoxes. Have you ever considered a detox for your mind? Unlike the fad diets that come and go, a mental detox is safe, healthy and has lasting effects.

Sunlight through window
"Sunlight through Window" by Michael Slonecker

Rather than categorise things as ‘good’ and ‘bad’, I prefer the words ‘helpful’, ‘ unhelpful’ and ‘neutral.’ That is – helpful, unhelpful, or neutral when it comes to the effect something has on your happiness and mental peace.

In order to take a mental detox, first consider everything that goes into your mind. The number of advertisements you watch or hear; the trashy magazine articles and ‘reality’ TV shows; gossip at work or among social circles; strangers complaining on public transport.

Negativity and tension can build up unnoticed in your mind, causing stress. When you make a conscious effort to rid yourself of all the unhelpful things going into your mind, you have more mental space. Consider turning off your phone in the evening, reading or meditating instead of watching television, and make sure you get lots of sleep.

Sunlight through window
"Just sit back and relax!" By Vinoth Chandar

When you clear your mind and give yourself the gift of empty time, you open yourself up to the possibilities of imagination. Perhaps the mental rest will enable you to finally make that breakthrough, come up with a new idea, or gain clarity on something that has been causing you unrest.

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It's such a wonderful tool and has saved me so much emotional energy!
I always use the term "is this helpful".. in my own mind. I think I got the idea from Katie Byron.. But it has been really wonderful for helping me to rid myself of negativity. In a recent situation, I was getting drawn into someone else's drama and in the end I just asked myself.. "is this helpful"... and when the answer was no, I could easily let it go.

Great article.
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