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Most of us are familiar with what a physical detox is, but what about a mind detox? When you’re trying to make major changes to your life, you can get stuck. A mind detox can help you internally clear out what is keeping you from moving forward, align with the shifts you are making in your life, and reduce the stress you’ve been carrying around with you.

Visualize Your Future

One way to begin a mind detox is through visualization. Visualization is a powerful tool for achieving your dreams. Spend some time focusing on some positive things by imagining where you plan to be in 3 or 5 and 10 years from now. Memorialize it in some way – write it down, create a vision board, record it. By visualizing your future, you are telling your mind that you truly believe that future is possible. The positive reinforcement that you get from yourself can begin to transform your subconscious mind and purge the self-doubt. Mindfulness meditation is another way to detox your mind as it cultivates staying in the moment and gracefully letting go of the random thoughts that continuously arise.

Watch and Adjust Your Self-Talk

Bring the words you say to yourself in alignment with that vision. Your words matter and not just the words you say to others. What you say to yourself matters deeply. Create a few affirmations to say to yourself every morning and/or evening. A mindfulness practice can include intentional awareness of some of the negative things you say to yourself and honest assessment of the truth of the matter. There is the truth (“I will never be tall.”) and there is unnecessary self-criticism. Where you are being unnecessarily critical of yourself, reframe. Transform, for instance, “I cannot ______” to “I do ____ well and am still learning, growing, and strengthening my skills,” or ” I hate my body” to “I love all of me, including my body. And, I will work to improve my body in a healthy way that makes me happy”. What words of self-criticism can you reframe in a more encouraging way?

Let the Steam Out

Everyone needs to blow off steam. Writing it down or in some other constructive way releasing your emotions can really help to reduce stress and anxiety. Another good way to do this is to simply ask a friend if they have some time to listen. It’s important to ask because your friend may be facing something difficult themselves. If that’s the case, perhaps you can share this time and serve as a listening post for one another Then after about 20 minutes or so you can shift the conversation back to a more uplifting exchange. 

Step Away from the Technology

While technology is helpful, it definitely has its downsides – physically and mentally. And, we are all likely suffering from virtual fatigue now. Research is showing how important it is to take a break from our devices and social media. Take time to break away from your technology, even if it’s just 10 – 15 minutes a day. Go for a walk, meditate, play a game, do a puzzle, read a book, chat with your neighbor, spend some time doing absolutely nothing. Decide and act on what you can do to give the technology a break.

Detoxing the mind is really important when you want to make significant changes and you want them to stick. What is your go to practice for mentally clearing out what’s in your way to make progress on your dreams? Getting a coach or cultivating a mindfulness practice may be just the impetus you need to clear out the mental interference and get out of your own way.