Do you need a mental detox? In our high tech culture where everything moves fast, it hardly seems as if we have time to take care of ourselves anymore.
As we run from our jobs to taking care of our children (which can be a full time job in itself), to taking care of our home and trying to fit in exercise, many of us don't even realize we are creating or building up stress. This may go on without our noticing for a while, but eventually it will take its toll in our physical and/or mental health.
symptoms of stress are short temper, anger, depression, or and
anxiety. Physically, stress may come through as nausea, hair loss,
dry skin and fatigue. Learning to take a few minutes to take care of
your mental health can make a difference in your outlook on life,
your productivity and your relationships. For some, a mental detox
means to allow yourself to let go of the worries and the stress. For
others, it may mean prioritizing events and circumstances in your
life to help you remember what's important. Either way, here are
some simple mental detox techniques that can help you stay blissfully stress free
and live a healthier, happier life.
Mental Detox Techniques
Breathing – Of course we all breathe, but, believe it or not, you may be breathing wrong. Often, during stress or when we are busy, we simply do not breathe deep enough. Taking time to sit and breathe deeply can help your body relax and de-stress. Some yoga practices call for breathing just enough so your in and out breaths sounds like ocean waves. As you concentrate on those, you tune out the rest of the world – if even for a few minutes – leading to greater physical relaxation. Sitting for a few minutes and taking deep breaths can help alleviate anger or depression. Breathing techniques can greatly help anyone; and an added benefit is helping your body detox your lungs from environmental pollution that we usually forget is all around us.
– Meditation is a practice that is beneficial for everyone, even if
you can only devote five minutes a day to it. The simplest form of
meditation for Western minds is to sit upright, and try to focus only
on your breathing, counting each in and out breath as one, for up to
four counts then over again. During meditation, the goal is to stop
thinking about all other things including letting go of the stress
and worries of the day. An added bonus is this type of mental detox
also helps you learn to have better concentration and focus. The
meditation described here is not the only form, there are many
different styles to suit many different personalities. It does take
practice, but clearing your mind will come soon and is well worth the
effort – both physically and mentally.
Yoga – While some think of meditation as merely practicing a set of stretching exercises, it is more than that. A yoga class usually consists of learning or doing a set of poses and holding them. Often, these poses require flexibility and strength, and regular practice can bring muscle tone and fitness. Some feel it is beneficial during a body cleanse to help open up pathways of elimination. Believe it or not, this practice can be mentally challenging as you focus on different parts of your body, performing different movements at the same time. This requires concentration and helps you exercise your mental focus and discipline. As you become more flexible and physically fit, you not only take your mind off your troubles, but you develop a deeper connection with your body, allowing you to learn where you may store stress, therefore allowing you to better manage it.
Massage – This is a favorite for many as a stress reliever helping to manage pain, remove toxins during a body cleanse or just to relax. Massage is well known to help those of us who store stress throughout our bodies, as it rubs away the tension while we need only to relax and enjoy it. It benefits our mental health as we learn to physically let go of stress; and the more we are able to let go physically, we can also let go mentally. As getting regular massages can be costly, there are alternatives. Look for a local massage therapy school and see if they have a public program in which the public gets discounted massage sessions while the students fulfill their required hours in order to get their license. You can also take the classes yourself along with your significant other and learn to give each other massages. Not only will you help relieve stress, wind down and relieve aching muscles, but you and your partner will bond and learn to manage stress together, creating a deeper and more fulfilling relationship.
Music – Music therapy is beneficial not only to relieve stress, but some evidence shows it even relieves physical symptoms such as nausea and pain. Some clinical trials show that calming music helps relieve anxiety and helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure. Music therapy may include listening to music, making music and even writing lyrics, which may be highly beneficial to release pent up emotions. Some music is made for relaxation and meditation and doesn't cost that much either; just check at your local music store or go online and search for relaxation music, then take a few minutes for a mental detox at the end of your day and learn to let go.