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Are you feeling overwhelmed, scattered and forgetful? How about tired, run-down and apathetic? It might be time for a deep detox. No, I’m not talking about a warm salt soak and consuming larger amounts of lemon water—-although that wouldn’t hurt either. I’m talking about a detoxification of your mind, a clearing out of sorts.

The Calm Clinic, a professional centre dedicated to alleviating anxiety, explains that negative thoughts—the one’s that create doubt, confusion, fear and sadness—are harmful to us in more ways than one. Negative thinking works on a cycle where one negative thought spurs another and sooner than later you’re left feeling really undone. No one wants this, but many of us don’t know what to do about it.

Why Stress is a Major Issue

This stressful, negative thinking cycle can lead to further health problems, too. Aside from the immediate, uncomfortable symptoms of anxiety like an influx of unsettling emotions, increased heart rate, sweatiness and more, here are the key risks associated with continued anxious living:

Higher risk of heart disease
For those with heart disease, higher risk of coronary attack
Suppressed immune system
Short term memory lapses

Even though there seems to be a million and one things to accomplish and never quite enough time or energy to do it all, we need to remember to “simply stop.” After all, our health and quality of life is at stake.

What is “Simply Stopping”?

Simply stopping is the very first technique to use in quelling worrying, anxious thinking, obsessing and more. It allows us the energy to refocus on the present situation and quiet the past and future concerns clouding our thinking process.

Once you have simply stopped, you can choose one or some of the following ways to begin slowly detoxing your mind from all this anxious clutter:

1. Breathe Wisely

Take a deep breathe and repeat your favorite inspirational mantra several times until your heart rate begins to decrease. These positive ideas and images going through your mind replace the negative ones. If you need an even deeper start to your detox, try lying on the floor and connecting your hands together and your feet together.

2. Sweat It Out

Exercising can be difficult to get into, but it quickly becomes an enjoyable activity after the routine settles in. Too anxious to go to the gym? You don’t have to leave the house to get your heart pumping! Get back to cardio basics with jumping jacks, jumping rope, and running-on-the-spot. Check out some simple yoga poses to improve your flexibility , too.

3. Stretch It Out

All that tension takes a serious toll on our muscles. Work out those knots naturally by stretching for even a few minutes each time you begin to feel overwhelmed or scattered. Remember, while you breathe, think about the muscles and knots you’re targeting; this relaxes your body and mind.

4. Spend Time Doing What Calms YOU

Everyone has something they enjoy doing–do this! Feeling anxious and stressed, even intermittently, is no fun. Remembering the activities that bring you happiness and actually participating in them will help distract and calm your mind.

Some sample activities:

-Watching a favorite movie
-Taking a long essential-oil infused bath
-Eating dinner at a restaurant
-Reading a great book
-Chatting with your best friend, mom, brother, etc.
-Hanging out with pets

5. Block Off Time to Think

While the previous points will help to calm your mind, eventually the root of your problem(s) should be acknowledged or addressed in order to make lasting changes. That is, learning to cope through stress and anxiety is invaluable, but it’s also necessary to learn how to reduce the need in the first place, too.

So take some time each week or day to think about your current state of affairs. Do you feel supported, safe and secure? Do you feel proud of yourself and the people in your network? Are there relationships or goals that need tending to? Oftentimes, we have so many aspirations, duties and people in our life that it becomes tangled together as one insolvable mountain of priorities.

Ask yourself (or discuss with a trained professional): What’s really going on with me?

Use this time to untangle everything into individual issues or things to work on. Breaking issues down into more manageable sizes helps us to see where the real problems are coming from.

Detoxing your mind is just as important as detoxing your body. What are some other ways you detox your mind?

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