I received a lot of positive feedback after last week’s article on ways to decrease the stress in your life. What’s interesting is that a lot of you admitted to not necessarily thinking about how to focus on your “insides” as much as your “outside” appearance, which is really not all that surprising. I will also admit that in the beginning of my quest for health, my focus was entirely on food and various weight loss supplements. However, over time, I began to realize that real health had to encompass all of my being, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I discovered that in order to be healthy from the inside out, I would have to think outside the box in order to really begin to feel better and live the life I knew I was destined for.
So if you’re not feeling your very best, don’t lose hope! Keep reading for 5 additional ways that I believe will help detox and heal your heart, mind, body and soul!
6. Keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day.
Now I know I may sound a bit like a broken record, but I’m pretty sure I can’t emphasize this point enough. Because we live in a culture that loves the idea of racing around until we get to the point of burn out, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to make sure you have enough food (“fuel”) throughout the day to keep going. Balancing your blood sugar can help keep stress hormones low so you can be at your best. Trust me, it’s not that difficult, and for many people, it was the missing ingredient to learning how to lose and keep weight off for good!
7. Work out smarter, not necessarily harder.
If you’re just beginning to realize that your life is chaotic and needs some major adjustments over time, consider changing up your workout routine so it gives your body a little breather. I’m not saying you should just scrap your routine all together, however I am saying your body may need some room to heal. One way to do this is to decrease the amount of aerobic exercise you do in favor of strength training and even relaxing strolls through the park. If stress hormones are high, aerobic exercise actually adds to it by—you guessed it—making them even higher. Some people can handle this when stress levels are low and their routines are well managed. However if you’re not quite there yet, you should consider changing things up so you can still get the benefits of moving your body without simultaneously adding more stress to it.
8. Go to bed at a reasonable time.
One thing I know for sure: most of us are tired. We’re pretty much exhausted by 8 o’clock at night, and yet for some reason, we don’t crawl into bed until 11 or 12 o’ clock. Did you know that your body does most of its healing and repair work between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am? Many of my clients often say they’d love to get more sleep, but they need several hours to wind down at night before they can actually head to bed.
While I do understand how that works, I also know that a good 8 hours of sleep does the body a whole lot of good. Instead of watching the news, surfing the “net” or staring at mindless television, try reading a good book, listening to music or taking a relaxing bath before you go to bed. With the amount of negative advertising and “dark” shows on TV, it’s no wonder many of us have a hard time shutting our minds off at night. By following step 1 and planning for tomorrow ahead of time, it can help relieve the pressures of the next day, allowing your mind some much deserved quiet time and the ability to slow down so you can get some rest.
9. Learn to forgive.
Here’s an interesting concept many of us don’t give enough thought to, but is certainly worth addressing: Did you know that cleansing (or detoxifying) your body of unforgiveness can physiologically change your hormones/chemical reactions? Harboring unforgiveness can actually put your health at risk and opens the door to all kinds of other negative feelings like bitterness, anger and fear. Even the folks at the Mayo Clinic have written about the benefits of forgiveness and how letting go of grudges can decrease stress (and a host of other things) in your life.
I think many of us have gotten into the habit of being busy with life and have forgotten to take time at the end of the day to see if we’ve either offended anyone or held onto an offense by someone else. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and before we know it, we’ve been irritated or mad at someone for years…the effects of which can negatively impact our health and theirs. So do yourself a favor and make sure you haven’t let unforgiveness and its ugly counterparts take up permanent residence where they don’t belong. Learning to let go of things allows for freedom and peace in your heart, mind, body, and soul—things you really can’t afford to live without!
10. Finally…and perhaps most importantly…think about what you’re thinking about!
Did you ever notice how easy it is to let your mind wander to places it doesn’t belong? According to Dr. Caroline Leaf, author of Who Switched Off My Brain?:
- “Toxic waste generated by toxic thoughts can cause the following illnesses: diabetes, cancer, asthma, skin problems and allergies, to name just a few.
- 87% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It’s an epidemic of toxic emotions.
- The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day. Through an uncontrolled thought life, we create the conditions for illness; we make ourselves sick! Research shows that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones.”
Now there’s some food for thought! It appears that science is finally catching up with what a lot of people have known for years—it’s not just about food anymore! While what you’re putting into your mouth is still extremely important and definitely matters, there’s so much more to it than just what you’re eating. If you’ve been working on your diet for a while and are still having trouble losing or keeping the weight off, consider the possibility that there may be other areas of your life that are lacking.
I’m just about finished with a life coaching certification class that will allow me to dive in a little deeper and help get to the root of what may be blocking you from achieving the results you’ve been hoping for. In all honesty, I think numbers 9 and 10 may be the most important factors on this list to helping your body get rid of “toxins” that may be weighing you down—literally. So take some time in the next few days to see if perhaps you may be internalizing negative feelings or thoughts on a routine basis. If so, consider putting forth the effort to cleansing yourself of what may be holding you back from the life you deserve. You never know…it just might change your life!