Detox your thought. It’s good for your health.

© Glow Images. Model used for illustrative purposes

© Glow Images. Model used for illustrative purposes

Over the centuries humans have tried to find the perfect way to keep the body in tip top order. Many people have taken to exercising the body regularly, and watching what kinds of foods they eat. Others have joined health clubs or visited spas, where they’re put through their paces, massaged, mud-packed and steamed. It seems that most of us, at one time or another, have explored all kinds of means and methods to be well and stay well – including cleansing the body internally.

The thinking that surrounds bodily cleansing, or detoxification, is based on the Ancient Egyptian and Greek humoral theory of health. Although supported in the 19th century, it quickly fell out of favour by the early 20th century. Despite this, the concept remains popular today – even though mainstream medicine believes it to be unscientific theory.

Recently, I’ve noticed a number of advertisements around my town centre. Targeted at women, they offer products to detox the body and achieve better health. These posters set me thinking about another area of personal wellbeing – one that can also require cleansing and revitalization from time-to-time. What I’m referring to, is our thinking – in particular, the type and quality of thoughts we engage in.

While sipping my cup of morning decaf the other day, I reflected on how unhealthy emotions can adversely impact our health. These negative feelings, when unchecked, can build up to alarming levels of distress in thought.  Without a good clean out, corrosive feelings such as resentment, can fester away, spoiling a person’s good nature, destroying someone’s peace of mind, and damaging their health.

An example of what destructive thinking can do to an individual, is highlighted in an ancient story. It recounts how a woman looked back in anger at an incident in her life. In so doing, she turned herself into a “pillar of salt” – she became embittered by what she perceived as the wrong done to her.

This tale of resentment and estrangement is a sad, but salutary lesson. It reminds me to avoid making the same mistake as this unhappy woman. In so doing, I’ve come up with a few practical steps to help my mind and body stay as healthy as possible.

● When showering, don’t just think about keeping externally clean. Look within.  Exfoliate dead-end thinking.  Cleanse away any build up of disappointment or resentment. Allow calming, comforting, reassuring, and peace-encouraging ideas to flow into thinking.

● While taking a bath, make a point to soak in happy, productive thinking. Reflect on good things that have taken place. Sitting in a bathtub of past insults or hurtful comments is not health-giving. If someone has personally said or done something mean, rather than rehearsing the unkindness, mentally pull the plug on it, and let the unpleasant memories flow down the drain – right out of thinking.

● If the desire to verbally or physically retaliate forces its way into thought, starve it of oxygen. Revenge requires feeding to flourish. Refuse to give it air, or breath.  Use a mental-loofah to scrub such undesirable thinking away. Watch what thoughts are running through your mind. Hatred is toxic. Mercy, on the other hand, can be health-bringing and health-sustaining.

To help cleanse the mind of animosity, holding a grudge, or long term unhappiness, many people have found meditation helpful. Others have utilized prayer or religious practices to focus on wellbeing, and to improve or even sustain a healthy mind and body. Such thought-tools are proving beneficial. Studies are showing that spirituality leads to “a reduction of health-risk behaviours in church-goers,” and “to more elusive phenomena such as the distant effects of prayer on health and physiology.”

With such practices on hand, imagine how much better a person would feel if harsh or acidic feelings and attitudes were flushed from their mental state. Imagine being freed from unhappy thoughts about the past. Liberating your thought may require taking plenty of mentally constructive action, but think of the benefits. They could potentially be huge. Detoxing your thought could lead to good mental health and bodily wellbeing.

This article also appeared on The Wellness Wire -  an Internet daily inspired to help forward lifestyles of health, happiness, and longevity, and a peaceful, just, sustainable world.

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I'm a Melbourne based health writer who provides a perspective on the connection between spirituality, thought and health. As a keen blogger, my aim is to provide the public with a diversity of health content including research into the mind-body connection and how thought affects health.

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Comments

  1. Sandy says

    A most helpful blog thanks Beverly.
    I will certainly be detoxing my thoughts as I shower each morning.
    A great idea!

    • says

      Thank you Sandy for your comment. I’m glad that you like the idea of detoxing – cleansing your thought, while showering. It’s a simple exercise that has excellent results. It makes you feel clean and refreshed both inside and out. A great way to start or end a day.

  2. Rose Palmer says

    Thank you Beverly………new week……..start detoxing……TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!

    • says

      Thank you Rose for your comment. Yes, get busy right away and detox unwanted, unhealthy thoughts. Enjoy the process. I can assure you, that you will feel revitalized. You’ll feel lighter and brighter as a consequence.

    • says

      Thank you Norm for your comment. It’s so true that it is necessary to ‘detox’ our thinking and get rid of resentment and other destructive emotions and thoughts. How much better one feels. It makes you sparkle.

  3. Kerri says

    Mental cleansing is the most purifying, harmonising decision we can make. Deciding NOT to dwell on past mistakes, resentments etc is a decision to fill our thought with good. What could be a better decision? Thanks Beverly for the mental lift.

    • says

      Thank you Kerri for your comment. Mental cleansing is a joyous decision to make as you say. It’s a positive step with many benefits for ourselves …and others too. Purifying thought leaves you feeling fresh and free from regret.

    • says

      Good on you Simon. Thanks for your comment. What a treat to shower away negative thinking and step out feeling rejuvenated. Detoxing thought is the way to go.

  4. wendylj says

    Beverly, once again thanks for giving us the opportunity to take part in enriching conversation.
    A few days ago I caught myself being very critical about a relative’s behaviour. I didn’t feel good about it but there it was. I sat quietly reaching out for some inspiration and I got it. In the book Science and Health, Mary Baker Eddy writes – ‘Love for God and man is the true incentive in both healing and teaching. Love inspires, illumines, designates and leads the way.’ It was important to me because I felt that the both of us were being beautifully cared for.

  5. says

    Thank you Wendy for taking part in the conversation and leaving your comment. I’m glad to know that you “detoxed” your thinking about your relative and gained inspiration and peace. Well done,

  6. Wren says

    I love how you turned this topic around to a most profitable approach.
    The thoughts I need to purge are chiefly about myself, – I am my worst enemy in my thoughts! I am looking forward to showering my thought in the harmony, goodness and truth that is my birthright: most naturally squeaky clean!

    Thank you very truly.

    • says

      Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I know that you will enjoy showering away those troubling thoughts about yourself. You will step out refreshed and invigorated AND with squeaky clean views of yourself. You will be radiant. All the best to you Wren.

  7. Luke says

    I always enjoy “discarding unwanted baggage”! I suppose the whole process of detoxing thought is somewhat like that of a foundry where the dross is removed to reveal the pure metal. Removal of unacceptable or inappropriate beliefs and attitudes sounds like a very commendable approach towards good health. I think I’ll start putting into practice your suggestion about detoxing thought – not only when I’m showering, but also when I’m washing up the dinner dishes or mowing the lawn. I’ve already had some initial success with “exfoliating dead-end thinking”. There’s been a wonderful resulting sense of freedom and relief. Thank you.

  8. says

    Thank you Luke for your comment. Interesting that you mention a metal foundry. My grandfather owned one and I saw first hand the refining and purging process. It’s definitely an example of how to purify thought. Getting rid of dross-like thinking is truly freeing. Well done on implementing this idea and getting good results. Keep up the good work.

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