It’s now mid-way through 2013, the halfway mark for all of our New Year resolutions, hopes and goals. So have you ticked off half of your list? Or are you struggling to remember why you set your goals in the first place? Find out how you can get everything back on track with our life detox.
And this clutter, congestion and sickness usually happens mid-way through the year when we find ourselves feeling uninspired, unmotivated and all round uninterested in doing the things that we’re meant to be doing.
To help you get past the mid-year slump, I’ve put together an easy ‘Detox Your Life’ guide that will have you feeling incredible.
Step 1: Identifying the areas of need
Your first step in detoxing your life will be to identify your individual ‘pain points’; that is the areas of your life that you’re most dissatisfied with. A good way to get this list started is to think about where your mind goes when you’re worrying.
Do you worry about money? Or perhaps you’re concerned about a relationship with one of your friends or family members? You might even feel frustrated and bored at your job or want to change the direction of your studies.
Allow your mind to deliver your pain points to you. Don’t push or force yourself to worry. What comes up naturally and organically is what really matters to you and what you should focus on.
Once you’ve spent about 10 minutes thinking about your pain points, write them down on a piece of paper or in a document on your computer. From here, you’ll be able to bunch your pain points into categories and come up with a pretty good road map of what you need to address during your detox.
For instance, if your worries include: a fight with friend, feeling unappreciated at work, feeling bored at home, having no social life, hating your boss and feeling lonely, then your categories would probably be ‘social life’, ‘home life’ and ‘work life’.
I have covered a few of these categories in this article, but for any that don’t pop up use your common sense and figure out why you’re not happy and what you can do to improve things.
Step 2: Eat well to feel well
Your next step is to detox your diet. This doesn’t mean that you have to go on a 14-day juice cleanse or pack up and head off to an ashram retreat where you are forced to eat clean for a month.
Nope. It’s far, far easier.
All you have to do is remove the gunk from your diet and replace it with good stuff. Eliminate soft drinks, processed foods like chocolate, donuts, pastries and cakes, take-away food such as McDonalds and KFC (yes, even stuff from their ‘salad’ menu) and replace the gunk with fresh salads, fruit, wholegrains, lean meat and fish.
After a while you’ll be able to sense what is making your body feel good and continue nourishing yourself with these types of foods. You’ll also be able to tell which foods are making you feel sluggish, sick and tired and stay away from these.
Trust your gut – literally!
Step 3: Spring clean
This is my favorite part of a life detox because it’s such a great opportunity to get rid of all the junk that clogs up your bedroom and home. It’s also the part of the detox where I really feel like things are coming together. For me, I find it really hard to concentrate if my house is a mess.
If I don’t have a clean, sweet-smelling space to work in, then I go berserk and get a little destructive. But after a good ol’ spring clean, I feel like a new woman!
To help you get started, here are my top tips to detox your home and your bedroom:
- Wardrobe maintenance! I make it a rule to clean out my wardrobe once every year and donate anything that hasn’t been worn over the last 12-months.
- Files, away. Luckily, we don’t receive too much printed communication anymore and we can opt-out and subscribe to email notifications a lot of the time. However, there will be times when you need to store and file physical paperwork. Once a quarter, set aside time to file all of your paperwork (if you’re lazy like me and leave it all in a cluster somewhere) and organize it so you find it easy to locate later.
- Get a professional in to clean your carpets, your couches and even your mattress. If possible, invest in an eco-friendly cleaner. This will get rid of all the dead skin cells, germs and dust that have been hanging around.
- Allow some fresh air to get into your bedroom and home every day. Open all the windows and the doors.
- Buy an indoor plant. And then, try to keep it alive!
- Open all of your blinds and curtains and let sunlight into your home.
- Strip your bed and wash all your sheets, pillowcases and doona cover.
- Give all of your surfaces a good clean, including your bathroom and kitchen.
Step 4: Self-love
Now that you have cleaned your home, your bedroom and your body (by eating healthfully), I would like you to delve into cleaning out your mind.
I’ve said this before, but every day we have up to 70,000 thoughts. Of those thoughts, 90% of them are exactly the same as the ones you had yesterday.
What does this mean? Well, essentially, it boosts the importance, and power, of the thoughts you have each day because when they are repeated over a long period of time they are like a self-fulfilling prophecy.
However, changing your thoughts is far easier said than done. As humans, we have a built-in negativity bias, which means we are far more likely to look at the negatives of a situation than the positives.
And while this was awesome during the Stone Age when we had to view any expeditions out of our caves as justifiably dangerous (can anyone say saber-toothed lions?), this negativity bias is not as necessary in our modern lives. In fact, it kinda sucks.
When we’re constantly thinking negatively, we restrict our ability to feel and act positively. We limit the opportunities that are delivered to us and the positive experiences we can enjoy.
To round out your life detox, you’re going to have to nip your negative Nancy in the butt. A good place to start is by simply becoming aware of your thoughts and the types of things you tell yourself each day. Whenever you notice yourself thinking negatively, make a point to acknowledge it rather than ignore its presence.
I started this habit a little while ago and at first I was very specific with the things I was looking out for. For me, my negative thoughts can often be put into two categories: my mean girl and my ego. These two personalities send out nasty, horrible and depressing thoughts such as “You’ll never be as good as such and such,” and “you’ll never be able to do that!”
But once you’ve become familiar with your thought patterns, you can begin to change them. One of my favorite ways to do this is to try out some affirmations to counteract any negative thinking.
For instance, if you see your reflection in the mirror and feel like your butt looks huge, you could try this affirmation:
I love and accept myself wholeheartedly. I am perfect just as I am.
Or if you’re having a bad day and you feel like nothing is going your way, you can use this one:
Everything that is happening now is happening for my ultimate good.
There are affirmations for every situation, feeling and emotion (check out Louise Hay’s books for some great ones!) so rest assured that your negative thinking can be counteracted.
And eventually, with enough affirmations and negative thinking interventions you will begin to believe the positive words you’re telling yourself and flourish as the beautiful, wonderful person you are.
Step 5: The friend cleanse
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Jim Rohn
What do you think when you read this quote? Are you relieved? Worried? Neither?
The truth is that you’re probably a combination of all these things. Because while we all have friends that inspire us to achieve great things and that simply being around is a great pleasure, there are also those friends that make us feel less than great and decidedly more dull.
I like to call these friends the hangers-on and the ‘drainers’ because they emotionally drain you (like emotional vampires!). They’re the ones you know you should probably ditch, but keep putting it off because you don’t want to hurt their feelings or cause any drama.
Unfortunately, their negativity and bad attitude is contagious. And while it might seem harsh and drastic, the best thing you can do (for both of you) is to move on from that relationship.
We all deserve to have friends and loved ones who make us feel fabulous. The ones that we just love hanging around and that push us to chase our dreams. These types of people will add value to our life.
The other type of people (the complainers, whiners, bitches and sooks) won’t. Simple.
So to complete your life detox, you’re going to need to ditch the drainers. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy and it definitely won’t be comfortable, but once you get rid of the people bringing you down you will be free to rise up!
Now if you’re the sort of person that doesn’t back down from a confrontation, you can address this friend cleanse directly and speak to the individuals concerned.
Otherwise if you’re a quite meek (like me), you can slowly but surely distance yourself from them until they’re no longer one of your top five most influential peoples.
Growing apart is something that happens naturally to all of us, so I wouldn’t worry about this too much.
Instead, focus on your happiness and give yourself a huge dose of self-love.
You’re worth it, darling!