Got Ugly Thoughts? How To Start A Mental Detox

Read More: Personal Development

Got Mental Toxins?

For more than 10 weeks I’ve been on a self-prescribed journey to detoxify the thoughts that have not been serving me. It hasn’t been easy to get rid of mental toxins that seemed to have invaded my mind and affected my behavior.  But if your goal is to discover ways to access mental relief and while you're at it heal your mind and spirit, then you'll find this information beneficial to you.

Changing a thought pattern takes time. Why? Because YOU are physically changing your brain patterns and how your cells communicate.

Can you change a behavior quickly? Yes.

Lots of people have done it and continue to engage in this type of behavior. For example I know of a family member who quit smoking ‘cold turkey.’

However even though her outward behavior changed she still struggled and had to work on her mental patterns.

I like to say that it’s important to give yourself permission to love yourself and be who you love to be.

So, then, how do you even start changing your thoughts or cleansing your mental plane of what does not serve you?

There are many things that you can do to help you through this process which some people call mental detox. I engage in quite a few tasks to help me start and maintain good vibrational thought patterns. Some of which I discuss below.

Remember that you always have a choice, an opportunity to change yourself. And when you do, it also affords you a chance to encourage change in others through your example.


Know also that every interaction gives us a chance to REVEAL or RESIST our willingness to be wholly responsible for ourselves.

You always get to choose. So…

  1. Set Early Intentions. Every morning while still lying in bed and before you even open your eyes go ahead and set your intention for your day. Remember to do it before you put your feet on the ground. Quieting your mind enables you to hear what gets muffled by the constant and daily grind and mental struggles that you may experience.
  2. Carve ME Sessions. Immediately follow your wake-up ‘intention session’ with some “me time” or ‘”me activity.” It’s as simple as making your favorite cup of tea and serving it in your favorite teacup or going to the mirror and giving yourself an air kiss… just because you love yourself. And of course because you are hot!  Basic Steps To Detoxify Negative Thought Patterns In essence, take time to love yourself. It's more fun to take the lead than to wait anxiously for others to tell us we're worthy.  You're just would benefit from a reminder with no need to wait for other's approval.
  3. Engage in Dump Sessions. Release what is clouding your head. Sometimes what’s clouding your head is just the TON of stuff (relevant & irrelevant) that's taking room in your head. Every day engage in a dumping session.  What does that entail? Dump that information (all your "Coulds, Woulds, and Shoulds)" onto paper.  Just because you’re releasing it by no means does it indicate that it’s not important.  On the contrary, by you releasing it onto a piece of paper you are more likely able to SEE it in a different light and maybe find better ways to handle specific situations. When your mind is bogged down with information (however important), it tends to slow you down because it has to keep up with the sheer amount of internal deciphering and the external stimuli being bombarded at you.
  4. Strive For Personal Alignment. Find opportunities to create a balance in your life based on your personal needs. Remember balance is relative to you and your life situations. I like to refer to balance as personal alignment (mind, body, soul). How can you create a semblance of balance? Create and follow a pattern. Are you gasping right about now? Or maybe even saying, “Isn’t that rigid and suffocating.” I say, structure can be your friend.  I know people that can take the proverbial “To Do” list and calendar to an extreme.  I recall falling into that category.  Yet the more I practiced and just let the idea of planning mesh with my personality and no one else’s concept of balance…just my own definition of personal alignment, then it helped bring a semblance of clarity and a sense of power to my day and my life. Therefore,
    • Be Purposeful. By devoting time to being more purposeful in your life, you allow yourself to be more relaxed and flexible particularly when you may be experiencing the nasty and ever present “State of Overwhelmed.” Do you know it? AH! Some of you may be plagued with it especially as it relates to your activities with your children, your spouse, your business & business partners, your friends.
    • Get Your Planner Out. Plan your day with a calendar in hand. At first it will feel strange and awkward writing down everything that you “THiNK” you should be doing.  It’s all about creating a new habit. Remember when you started to ride your bike and you were kind of wobbly with the steering, and maybe even not so great with the brakes. Well it’s just like that… you end up getting into the right gear and know when to push yourself, when to slow down, and when to hit the brakes when your surroundings are not aligning with your needs and wants. You start sensing and even predicting when to be more purposeful.
    • Break It Down. You can get yourself a wall calendar with a 3-month view for your office and a calendar for your purse. The trick will be to ensure both are current.  Note and break down your activities into several sections and perhaps color code them (Personal-ME Time (fitness/meditation); Family; Business (online/offline); Friends...). You can go all techie and use your mobile to keep track of your activities with a hot, flashy app but gotta tell you that this gal is kind of “Old School.” There’s something to be said about recording information on paper using a purple pen with pink sparkly feathers tickling your nose. Okay not that girly but hopefully you get my drift. Get tools that inspire you, a novel pen or gorgeous leather bound planner. Ultimately I think that by taking a writing stance you are physically engaging more parts of your body and coordinating them with your mind in order to strenghten your commitments.

What a list. It may sound hokey-pokey but I like it. I like it because it works. Following these steps have worked for me and many of my students. I’ve found that my most productive periods were those when I engaged my mind, body, spirit and calendar. Try it.

Keeping a record of what you do and how you do it has proven to be of great use in many different fields and by many great leaders. By studying your worst self, you certainly can find your best self. It’s wonderful when YOU Start Changing Your Thoughts how your LIFE soon follows.

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About the Author: Miriam Buhr

Member Since: 01/24/2010


Industry: Training and Development

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