16 Oct Why You Need To Give Your Mind Some Time Out
You know everything about the latest tricks to detox your body. The occasional digital detox doesn’t phase you anymore. Your whole house? Konmari’d that one, too. Ever thought about detoxing your mind? Most likely not.
How would that even work? Are you clearing out our thoughts completely, like swiping your busy mind clean? Let us fill you in why you should consider detoxing your mind. It’s not only rejuvenating but beneficial for your overall health. It’ll leave you feeling fresh and calm.
Nowadays, we’re all aware that our mental well-being connects to our physical well-being, and how mentally cleaning house can be incredibly rejuvenating and beneficial for overall health. Sometimes our minds are way too busy, and quite honestly we deal with a lot of things day in day out. From stress, grief, self-doubt, thought patterns and our daily lives, we’re always switched on. There is no off button, unfortunately, but a mental detox can shift a lot of things and clear space.
Here are five simple steps to do your mind detox:
1. Pause & Practice Awareness
Do you listen to your heart or your mind? Most likely, your mind is winning this one. By shifting your awareness and listening to your body instead of your mind, you can detect what our mind needs. Is it frazzled, stressed out to the max or calm?
Your body is giving you direct information on your mental state all the time. So when you pause and bring awareness to how the body feels, you learn what your mind needs. Take a moment to pause and notice tension in the shoulders, tightness in the face, a racing heartbeat, a queasy stomach, or any other body sensation. These can empower you with the awareness of your emotional and mental need to calm, ground, refresh, and lighten.
Try this with a full-body scan:
Sit in a chair with your palms resting on your lap and your eyes closed. Then “scan” your body with your attention, stopping for a few breaths on each body part and notice how it feels. Just become aware, no judgement.
2. Cultivate Acceptance & Compassion
Having feelings is entirely normal. Even the challenging ones. It’s who we are as human beings. Part of the brain’s natural human response is to get anxious and stressed. We’re always in flight-and-fight mode these days. This is your brain’s adaptive way of telling you there’s something you need to pay attention to. When you accept that your feelings are simply part of the human experience, you create more space with which you can accept and move through them. Burying and trying to avoid your emotions won’t serve you in the long run, as they’ll inevitably pop up later in a more intense way. They always do – trust us. If you’re feeling a bit low at the moment, try Duncan’s Loving-Kindness Meditation, it’ll bring back the sparkle and joy in your life.
One of the most effective ways to create some compassion for yourself is to treat your feelings like you’d treat a friend’s feelings, which is usually with support, understanding, and love. We all have a range of emotions and mental states, and you can free yourself of the extra burden of guilt or shame when you meet them with acceptance and compassion. Remember, the way we sometimes talk to or treat ourself, we wouldn’t do that to a dear friend – ever.
3. Create Real Emotional Connections
Connecting with others cultivates acceptance and compassion for your feelings. Saying feelings out loud helps the brain process them in a new way. Talking about your feelings is a difficult one for most of us, but give it a try, and you’ll see how it can work magic. When you open up honestly to others about your feelings, you are vulnerable. While vulnerability may be uncomfortable, and quite challenging, let’s be honest, it’s the hardest thing to do, it connects us. Consider scheduling coffee a catch-up, or yoga and brunch date with a friend, where you have time to tune in to each other and yourself. Leave your phone in your bag or switch it off completely, so you are connecting with your friend in the present moment.
4. Clear The Physical Space
Clearing your mind doesn’t always have to be an inside job. You can clear your mind by changing your environment. Another simple trick to clear headspace is to keep your phone on silent for a few hours. Or re-organise your work desk or even your wardrobe. Clearing and re-organising has a real satisfying effect on us. Mari Kondo is onto something, that’s for sure. But remember, it’s the small things, that matter on a big scale already. But sometimes you need to make a significant shift, so book that weekend away even if it’s the next suburb over – a change of scenery will do your mental state wonders. Same goes for spending some time in nature, take the detour walk to your bus stop via the beach or enjoy a stroll or hike into the bush. Submerge yourself in nature or make your weekend morning swim a daily ritual. Jumping into the sea is never a bad idea. It’s a fact, that actual physical and external changes have an impact on your internal state of being, so be mindful of who and what surrounds you.
5. Move & Groove
Your body holds and knows your emotional difficulties and tension. Sure, you’re most likely taught that mental shifts happen, through the mind. But given the inherent interconnectedness of the mind and body, the body can be just as effective an access point for creating a balanced, refreshed state. The best example of this is your yoga practice. That relaxed and calm state you have stepping off your mat. That!
But it’s not only yoga. Do you love to dance? Like really dance like no one is watching? Dancing leaves you filled with happiness. It’s when you dance that your brain sends you messages of joy and safety. It’s not only moving your body that will bring you a mental state of well-being, but the simple tasks of drinking water throughout the day will also optimise your body and brain function. They’ll not only function better to together but respectively, allowing an increased sense of calm and health. So consider taking care of your mind as you take care of your body. You’ll access your mental wellness through your physical wellness.
It won’t be easy to detox your mind; we’re not going to lie. As we all know, there is no pause or off switch. It’ll take a lot of compassion, patience and effort along the way, but its benefits will be so worthy. Start by bringing awareness to not only the subtle signs your body sends you about your mental state but also to the people and the environment you’re surrounding yourself day in and out. Even the most subtle changes and adaptations can lead to success. Even hitting pause and taking time out for yourself can do your mind wonders. So, create space in your busy schedule, grab your yogi friend and head to a yoga studio and flow the stress away. Re-charge and energise on your mat and why not take the scenic way home, put your feet in the grass or even go for a quick dip. Nothing beats a post-yoga swim especially now that the days are heating up.
Nevertheless, you don’t need a yoga studio to practice yoga. Your mat is all you need. Need some inspiration for your home practice? Just head over to Yogaholics, Power Living‘s online yoga studio with all your favourite teachers. We’ve already chosen a flow for you. So all you need to do is roll out your mat and get inspired by Duncan Parviainen’s 30min Creative Flow. It’ll not only keep you on your toes but will leave you inspired, sweaty and with that unbeatable yoga glow. Plus your mind will thank you for it.
Let’s declutter our minds, yogis!
Written by BodyMindGreen