How to Naturally Detox Your Mind and Body

The human body is a sophisticated machine. It is self-healing, self-regenerating and even self-detoxing. In a perfect world, your body's natural defenses are all that is necessary.

But we don't live in a perfect world. Air pollution, processed foods, chemical additives and information overload are just a few external threats that our bodies and minds weren't designed to handle.

Over time, these pollutants can quickly build up in our systems, producing a range of negative effects on our physical and mental well-being.

Maybe you or a loved one:

  • Is feeling more sluggish than usual
  • Gets sick more often than before
  • Is moody or quick to anger

Some people even feel depressed when their body’s natural detoxing mechanism starts to slow down.

There are simple steps you can take to delay reaching this point. For example, following a well-balanced diet with plenty of exercise and rest is one of the best ways to keep your body's defenses at peak physical condition. In addition, the benefits of eliminating or reducing intake of caffeine, nicotine and alcohol are well documented.

But sometimes, your body needs a little extra help. By hitting the reset button, you can purge yourself of unnatural buildups and speed up the body’s amazing self-detoxing capabilities.

Different Ways to Physically Detox

There are many different ways to naturally detox your body. Massage, exercise and acupuncture (through a licensed practitioner) are renowned for:

  • Improving blood circulation
  • Removing blockages from your system
  • Reducing pain, stress and fatigue

Certain foods are also known for their detoxifying qualities. If you’re not sure where to start, it’s often best to focus on the liver — the body’s primary detoxing organ. Incorporating the following foods into your diet is a simple way to slowly purge your liver of unwanted additives and chemicals:

  • Garlic
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapefruit

For a longer list of liver-cleansing foods, click here.

If you're more interested in general detoxing for the entire body, you can expand your list to include:

Incorporating any of the above should produce measurable benefits over time. But if you're more interested in immediate results, there is no shortage of reputable detox diets out there, ranging from the ancient to the new age.

However, as with any diet, it’s best to set a specific deadline. Most detox programs last anywhere from 24 hours to 30 days. Anything beyond one month no longer qualifies as a “diet.” And you should consult with a licensed medical professional before making any permanent lifestyle changes.

You should also be leery of over-the-counter pills that make grandiose promises about detoxification. Natural is always better. Stick with organic, unprocessed, non-pharmaceutical foods that contain ingredients you can pronounce (without having to consult a dictionary).

Remember that detoxing is more than just a physical purge of your system. It's also a mental process — one that is becoming increasingly important in today's world of information overload.

How to Mentally Detox

It’s been estimated that a single edition of the New York Times contains more information than the average 17th entire lifetime.

It’s difficult to say whether or not this statement is true, however, we are bombarded on a daily basis with:

  • News stories
  • Commercials
  • Violent images
  • Texts & emails
  • Social media updates

This constant tidal wave of data can be overwhelming and stressful. Fortunately, there are many different ways to quiet the mind and tune out this information overload, including:

  • Journaling (or writing in general — especially with pen and paper)
  • Meditation (inclusive of prayer, reflection or “quiet” time)
  • Hobbies, exercise and any activities that result in flow

You could spend a lifetime searching for the right complement of mind-calming activities. But many find that a simple “media fast” offers immediate and tangible benefits.

For the next week (or even month), commit to reducing the following activities as much as possible:

  • Television: Especially violent movies and sensational news.
  • Social media: Believe it or not, the world won’t stop turning if you don’t update your Facebook status for a week.
  • Smartphones: Use it only for incoming and outgoing calls, and give Candy Crush a rest.

You might also consider installing browser plug-ins that limit access to time- sucking websites. You’d be amazed at how liberating it is to temporarily opt out of all the traffic accidents, Hollywood gossip and trending stories.

Should You Mentally and Physically Detox?

Detoxing is a personal decision. And you shouldn’t feel forced to follow any dietary regimen or media fast if doing so conflicts with your long-term goals.

But if you feel that your mental, physical or emotional health needs a quick boost, there are many benefits to a safe and temporary detox. Start slowly, try out a few of the strategies listed above and see if there’s any improvement. The results might surprise you.

If you are breastfeeding, I recommend you read up on how to safely detox while breastfeeding.

Author Bio:

Bonnie Coberly is Certified Health Counselor at Natural Horizons Wellness Centers. Bonnie focuses on smart dietary choices to help individuals reach their wellness goals.

3 thoughts on “How to Naturally Detox Your Mind and Body

  1. I have recently quit smoking after my health started to deteriorate, and even though two months have passed, I haven’t regained complete energy. I will admit that I have been restless and a bit lazy to adjust back into my energized self. I think, I will follow the steps you have mentioned, and try to live a cleaner life. Sometimes a there has to be an inspiration or a well written article to motivate you, thank you for that.

  2. “Social media: Believe it or not, the world won’t stop turning if you don’t update your Facebook status for a week.”

    Ha! I’ve given up Facebook for the past week and man, I don’t even want to go to it anymore. I went there last night because I notice I missed the blog updates I subscribe to so I was going to collect those website links to save individually, outside of Facebook, and I had a lot of anxiety just messing with Facebook and couldn’t wait to close it again. Annoying! I also realized I can probably script all of my friends‘ posts for them. So-and-so will post about this today, so-and-so will say that. It never changes! Yawn. Not worth the time.

    That said, I think it’s time I tackle the other stuff on this list!

  3. Right now, I’m dealing with pain and fatigue, and desperately need to detox and reboot my system. So far, I’ve given up caffeine and alcohol, and no longer eat any processed foods. I have noticed a significant difference, but I still feel drained. It’s interesting that you advise against too much TV, social media, and smartphone use – these are the things I had overlooked completely. I’m also a night owl which doesn’t help, and I will often be browsing on my Kindle or smartphone after 10 pm.

    No more of that for me. Thank you.

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