We spend lots of time on the physical body. We decorate the outside with clothes, make up, jewelry, tattoos and stuff, and stuff, and stuff. So naturally, when we think of detoxing, the first thing that comes to mind is detoxing the physical body with a fast or a cleanse. But just as you rid your body of toxins with proper diet and exercise, cleansing your mind of toxic thought is even more important. First you think, then you speak, then you sow, then you reap. That’s how this Universe unfolds. Everything, including your own self, begins with a thought.
Why should we care about detoxing our minds? Thoughts have tremendous power. Every thought has weight, shape, size, form, color and quality. Every thought is a creative power. Thoughts control your life, create your character, and literally shape your destiny.
Thoughts are actually separate entities and independent of your mind. Your mind is literally a wireless transmitter and receiver. Believe it or not, you are surrounded by and floating in a sea of thoughts. Just like the electromagnetic spectrum allows you to receive TV shows, Facebook posts and your favorite songs on the radio, your mind is also receiving messages from a very subtle field known as the manas. Thoughts you receive are dependent upon your own frequency. You are constantly absorbing thoughts and repelling others.
Your thoughts determine the health of your body. Stressful thoughts create sickness and disease. Healthy, happy thoughts create peace, love and abundance. Even your facial expressions, lines and wrinkles are determined by the contents of your mind. Your face is like a billboard, advertising what’s going on inside.
Your thoughts affect others, and ultimately the world. You can tell immediately when someone is in a bad mood and harboring negative thoughts, just as you can tell when someone is feeling light and love. These thoughts are not only written on our faces but their energetic vibration extends beyond our body so that those around us can actually feel them. Wouldn’t you rather be around someone who is “feeling” positive? Yes of course, because you are attracted to that positive vibration. Thoughts are contagious, so be that which you wish to see in the world.
So how do we detox our minds? The first step is our diet. The foods that we eat have a direct impact on the types of thoughts we attract. When we eat foods that are spicy, pungent or stimulating such as garlic, onion and caffeine, our minds become agitated or busy. Our thoughts race and we find it more difficult to concentrate. When we consume foods that are heavy, stale, or take a long time to digest such as meat and dairy, we become sluggish, sleepy or lethargic. Eating pure, simple, healthy foods cleanses the mind and purifies our thoughts. We are what we eat. When our thoughts are stressful, our body becomes stressed. When our thoughts are pure and light and happy, our body responds with good health.
A good way to begin to detox your mind is with a fast. It is not necessary to fast for long periods of time, and if you are new to fasting, a juice fast is a great way to begin along with a light meal of soup and salad. While you are fasting, this is the time to empty your mind of all the toxic thoughts. Abstain from watching TV, listening to the radio, reading newspapers and social media. Don’t worry, if anything really important happens, someone will tell you. Keep your mind clutter free. Be vigilant about what you allow to enter your mind.
Practice yoga and meditation. Traditional yoga asanas were designed to remove toxins from your body. Keep your practice slow and meditative with focus on proper breathing. Pranayama or breathing exercises will cleanse your mind along with your respiratory system. Practicing meditation will allow you to become much more aware of what thoughts are entering your mind. Practice observing these thoughts, without judgement, without attaching any meaning or emotion to them. Let the thoughts float in and right back out of your mind. This observation will help you to stop identifying with your thoughts. Observation and reflection are important in detoxing the mind. When negative toxic thoughts enter the mind, replace them with their opposite positive thought. This may seem silly or useless at first, but it is a very powerful and effective practice. When anger enters, replace it with compassion. Replace irritable thoughts with thoughts of patience. This simple practice will cleanse the mind of toxic thoughts and fill it with positive energy, which will then begin to attract like energy and thoughts.
Proper relaxation is also necessary for detoxing the mind. Most common forms of “relaxation,” such as movies, parties and drinking alcohol, are actually stimulating more thoughts and depleting us of our vital energy. Many times we return from our vacations feeling more tired instead of relaxed. Our body actually produces a surplus of energy each day, enough to last us for the next day. But just one short moment of anger or stress can deplete all of our stored energy. Proper relaxation is physical, mental and spiritual; it replenishes us with an abundance of energy. Yoga relaxation practice or sivansana relaxes the entire physical body from the toes to the crown of the head. The entire nervous system is relaxed while the mind remains quiet and aware.
Begin your mental detox today by implementing a few of these tools. If you would like to give yourself a real detox kick start, come to our yoga, juice detox retreat this November. You will get an abundance of information and simple practices that you can take home with you to keep a clean and healthy mind, body and life.