By Jaime Lee, Founder of Zen Living Magazine
Sure we’ve all heard the term ‘detox’ but what does it really mean? It’s simple: it’s the action of taking the body from a state of being toxic to that of well-being. Sounds simple enough right? The masses seem to think so.
Adapting one variation or another of an elimination diet, the addition of supplements and crazy, yes crazy amounts of water, people take the brave stand against free-radicals and the factors that enable them. …So you’ve begun. Caffeine eliminated, check, alcohol and tobacco, check check! You’ve kissed fatty foods and sugar goodbye but despite your best efforts you might be overlooking one very key element that might not be so obvious – STRESS!
Stress isn’t ALL bad. If you’re caught face to face with a tiger, stress will sharpen your focus to get yourself out of danger, pump your arteries with energy-boosting chemicals and give you a super-hero strength and speed to get yourself to safety. But LONG-TERM stress is what can actually cause your body to be toxic and even damage your organs! So eliminate and flush all you’d like when it comes to food but if you have high amounts of stress hormones surging through your body, you and your carrot stick are screwed.
So what is the best way to start detoxing from stress? Sorry, it’s not a one-way ticket to your favorite island, it actually starts with being exactly where you are, as you are and connecting to that.
The most typical way we cause stress in our lives is by not accepting where we are or what is going on in our lives at this very moment. We spend hours, days, months and years fighting situations in our mind that are out of our control, haven’t happened yet or may never happen. Connect to your body and where you are in this space and time and breathe. Remember that all you have to worry about is what is immediately in front of you and that if it is not happening right now, you have permission to ‘shelf’ it.
Watch Your Thoughts
Now that you’ve stopped fighting the feared and out-of-your-control scenarios in your life, you’re freed up to check in with what’s really going on. Sure thoughts and feelings are connected but there’s somewhere along the line where things get ramped up to an unproportionate level. To take things down a notch, NAME your feelings. ‘I am angry’. ‘I am hurt’. By identifying these feelings – somehow the gap between rational and irrational is bridged and stress is reduced.
Let It Go
OK so now that you know what you’re feeling, allow yourself to feel it completely –and then…..LET IT GO. What angers, hurts, or causes you resentment in life, ultimately controls you. Our natural response to control in life is to resist it – putting us right back into that place of fight and stress. By asking yourself the questions ‘does this feeling ultimately serve me, does this make me a happier, healthier, more useful person’ you are then able to see the truth, and redirect your thoughts and emotions to healthier channels. I like to visualize literally dropping the stress and picking up something else that I associate with health, feeling good and peace.
When you shine a light on just what you are doing to YOURSELF and how you are creating your own toxicity, you are able to make changes that have a huge impact on your health, well-being and way of life.
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