Time and Energy – two of our most valuable but callously abused resources, and the consequences of this abuse are reflected in our failure to create a life of value.
There is something unsettling about our generation’s need to fill every waking moment with something, no matter how inane or useless. The unrelenting, ceaseless use of devices, occupation with shallow online interactions, and the bingeing of one show after another, all so we can fill-up every waking moment.
Focus has become almost impossible for most people. We don’t know how to sit for long stretches of time and create meaningful work.
In this post, I am sharing the 3 types of detox you can run in your life TODAY to see an improvement in focus, energy levels, and well-being within a matter of a few weeks.
Detox is usually associated with juicing and diets, but these three detox are about cleansing the mind and the spirit.
On this blog, most of the learning I share comes from the time I spent trying to overcome my mental health issues. I never used any medication instead, I did a complete overhaul of my lifestyle and my mental setup.
The 3 detox I am sharing in this post were part of the change that I brought to my life in the hopes of getting stronger and better, and I am happy to report that it worked wonderfully for me as you’ll find out if you embrace the advice I am about to share.
In a 24 hour span, we process 60-80,000 thoughts in a day, and it’s all done with little to no control.
Most of these thoughts are wasteful and negative which means that we invest both of our precious commodities (time and energy) into something that returns no value.
Running a mental detox would require limiting thoughts that engender negative emotions or mental exhaustion.
Successfully detoxifying your mind will make you more productive, better focused and overtime, it will enhance your well-being. Even exercising a little care and consideration where your mental food is concerned will lead to big returns.
Let’s go over a few things you can do to cleanse your mind –
1. De-clutter all areas of life
Don’t just clean-up your room, clean out any and all things that cause you needless stress.
If you worry about the food you’re eating, get rid of the junk and unhealthy items from the kitchen. If the person you’re following on social media is constantly sharing garbage that triggers negativity, unfollow them. You’re worried about a pending confrontation, do it today and get it over with.
Remove clutter that’s needlessly taking space in your mental and physical world.
I want you to just take a second and think about all the things you’re worried about at this point in time. Now, how many of these issues can be resolved with a few decisions and simple little actions. If you’ve any such tasks on your list, get them done today.
We tend to horde the difficult tasks in life. Endless procrastination can only give us deceptive, transient relief that always caused problems later. If something needs to be done that’s eating up your energy, do it now!
As you get into the habit of tackling priority/difficult tasks as soon as they come up, regardless of their nature, they won’t seem so hard or painful anymore. Facing the consequences will almost be a relief for you.
Have you heard of decision fatigue?
It refers to the decline in the quality of decisions we make after a long session of decision making.
What are it’s implications?
- Too many decisions tax your willpower and zap your motivation.
- Decision fatigue hits your productivity and compromises your ability to make wiser.
- It lowers your resistance to temptation increasing procrastination, unhealthy eating, binge behavior.
As soon as we wake-up, we start expending our energy into making decisions, not all of them necessary or useful.
What am I gonna wear today?
What should I have for breakfast?
Should I take care of the emails now or later?
Now, if you were to build a daily life system, your decision making will instantly go down by a large percentage. There will be time allocated to each task leading to a sharp rise in productivity, and your mental and physical energy will be directed to work that actually merits it.
3. Find healthy thoughts to replace the unhealthy ones
I never get into a cab without my music and/or a book. It’s the perfect time to relax as well as catch-up on reading (the fun kind). In the morning, after I am done with my usual routine, I make it a point to read something that helps me learn and grow but whenever I commute, I read something light and fun. It beats staring into space or obsessing over things that don’t matter.
The same goes for every other moment of your life. Your mind is your prime real estate. Occupy all that space with growth-oriented, healthy and happy thoughts and there won’t be space for anything else. To help with this-
- You can use gratitude exercises.
- Put together a playlist.
- Meditate whenever you find yourself free.
- Practice creative visualization.
All of these exercises will give you something better to fixate on, and building a healthy system can help you integrate all of these into your daily life with little to no effort.
4. Practice thought dumping
Sometimes we really can’t help worrying about issues that are negative or even wasteful.
The morning news with all its gory violence. Some mean comment tossed at us by a stranger. The malice and spite of a relative. All the diseases we can get if we don’t eat healthy. Worrying over any of these issues is extremely unproductive but sometimes, it just can’t be helped.
In those moments, I suggest you grab a journal and dump all your thoughts on its pages. 15 -20 minutes spent furiously writing about all that’s occupying your mind (but leading nowhere) will help you feel lighter.
This simple exercise will considerably improve your ability to focus on the tasks at hand.
I think anyone who has the ability to ration the time spent on digital devices has an edge on the entire freakin’ humanity.
Research studies have revealed that thanks to the time spent on social media, more and more people are suffering from mental health challenges. Attention span has become ridiculously short. Narcissism, insomnia, and hate crimes are on the rise.
Social media has wrought a cataclysmic change on people’s ability to nurture relationships. Due to the availability of superficial connections found effortlessly on social media, our generation has no idea how to cultivate a relationship that goes beyond the basic; a relationship where you share more than a good time.
There can be a whole article dedicated to just discussing the evils of social media and digital devices. So, I suggest you give yourself a digital detox.
There are two ways you can do this –
Method 1: Go off the grid
Go away on a holiday without your digital devices.
If you feel a compulsion to stay online and connected to your Facebook and Instagram accounts, physical space may be necessary for you.
If you remove the devices from within easy reach, you’ll be compelled to find alternative sources of engagement. Reading instead of Googling. Conversations instead of texts. Board games with friends instead of video games with strangers.
More importantly, you’ll be free to enjoy your life instead of compulsively recording each moment for your social feeds. You can give yourself a digital break every few weeks by going away without your devices.
Method 2 : Gradual, enduring change
Instead of an extreme and sudden renouncing of all digital devices, try for gradual change that can be sustained over a longer time period.
Go for a 7 day digital detox wherein you reduce your usage gradually over a 7 day period. You could extend it to a 10 day period. Download the 7 day digital detox plan or make one of your own and once you’ve successfully completed it, try to maintain the change.
I find it impossible to discuss personal growth or anxiety management without bringing up the importance of limiting access to toxic people.
Related : 7 Signs Of A Toxic Person
For me, denying access to certain people in my life was a game changer.
I used to have a massive temper problem. Now, I can’t remember the last time I was angry or even felt a smidgen of aggression. A large part of that change was ending relations with A LOT of family members and friends. Trust me, If your life is full of people who constantly make you feel small or trigger unhealthy responses, you need to shut down their access to your self, right freakin’ NOW.
You make this change and I guarantee that within a few weeks, you’ll be a different (better) person. Talk to me if you find this change difficult, I’ll walk you through the process. I am more than happy to be your buddy, even crusader in this change. That’s how important I consider it!
But if you simply want to do a clean-up of your social circle, I recommend the following exercises –
1. Build a ‘HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP’ checklist. Don’t copy it from any article or internet. Make one of your own. Invest a little time in this exercise and carefully, pen down your own unique requirements when it comes to a relationship, any relationship at all. Once you’ve this list ready, see if the relationships you value come up to scratch. Those that don’t, need to be terminated or there is a conversation to be had. It’s not always necessary to end a relationship, but you must communicate your own needs and expectation. Try to fix whatever is broken in that bond.
2. Plan alone time. How much time do you spend alone? And by alone, I mean without even virtual friends. Most of us are afraid of being alone or just don’t know what to do with ourselves when we’re alone, and so we seek out company even if it’s company of people who do you more harm than good. Once you learn to find joy in yourself, you will only spend time with those who bring value to your life.
3. Take up activities that can help you become more self-aware. Consider journaling, meditation, blogging, and creative activities like drawing, writing, pottery etc.
4. Increase and improve your interactions with people you can learn from. One way of decreasing the time spent with toxic people is by increasing the time spent with those you respect and admire. This is time spent enriching your mind as well as your soul. Win-win!
Nurture your mind, body, and soul with healthy content. Run a mental, digital, and social detox to free yourself from poison that eats into your creativity, intellect, and even your humanity.
Do a mental detox to free your mental space for grow-oriented, healthy and happy thoughts. Establish better control over your mind so that it doesn’t turn your personal narrative into one of defeat and hopelessness.
A digital detox will save you from turning into a mindless slave to technology. Use any one of the two methods (a complete renouncement of digital devices for several days OR gradual reduction of time spent with on devices and social media)
A social detox will give you space away from those who bring your down. This will give you the time and space to cultivate better self-awareness, instead of constantly viewing yourself through the distorted and often prejudiced view of others.
Your soul, intellect, and your capacity to love and create are your treasures. Don’t let the chaos around you blunt your better instincts. Dedicate your time and energy into creating a life that’s truly worthy of you.
Yes, there are a lot of distractions but you’re stronger, and every change mentioned in this post will be done without struggle as soon as you recognize your capacity for greatness.