Let it out, let it go and be free of mental clutter.
Let it out, let it go and be free of mental clutter. Photo Thinkstock

Take an emotional detox to cleanse the mind

THERE seems to be lots of information available about detoxing. It's generally referring to a physical internal cleansing after a period of indulgence, excess, ill health or drug treatment, and can certainly promote a sense of general wellbeing both mentally and physically by allowing our mind and body to gently repair and restore. And I suggest that regular emotional detoxing is also worth considering.

Emotions arise as a result of something we are thinking. Our mind and body are intricately linked with a complex communication system thanks primarily to chemical messengers called neurotransmitters, so when a thought pops up and you have an emotional response, every cell in your body has the same response almost instantaneously.

That's all well and good if the thought is positive and we are emotionally happy or content, but when we have a thought that drives say anger, guilt, resentment, hurt or some other negative response then our whole body will carry it. If a negative mindset or dwelling on past hurt tends to be your default, the complex cascade of emotions that follows can create ongoing and long-lasting problems and illness, and there has been much research demonstrating that our physical health is directly related to our mental and emotional state.

So I believe that an emotional detox should be part of everyone's health routine. The question is how? The answer lies in finding a safe way to release the stored emotion, but we're not taught a way to do that. Often we have been burying our emotions for so long that we just don't know where to start. Or sometimes we are fearful of what may happen if we take the lid off, like an emotional Pandora's box.

As a certified practitioner for several years, I have found that EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) is by far the safest, quickest and most effective way to release the various layers of stored emotion. I use it myself regularly and take many of my clients through EFT sessions when they present with an emotional load or past trauma that is keeping them stuck. I also encourage them to use it as a regular self-care technique to maintain ongoing emotional wellbeing and continue to work on other buried "stuff''.

Our ability to demonstrate and recognise emotion is part of what makes us human but holding on to those emotions that don't serve us is setting us up for future ill health and indicating that there is something we need to pay attention to and let go of. Time for an emotional detox?

Rowena Hardy is a facilitator, performance coach and partner of Minds Aligned: http://www.mindsaligned.com.au.

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