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5 Life-Changing Detoxes That Don't Involve Food

Many of us strive to embrace a healthy lifestyle, but sometimes we feel like we just need to start over with a clean slate. That’s when we often embark on a cleanse or detox. But food-related cleanses and detoxes can be hard to keep up with, and what if you’re not interested in swapping your dinner for wheatgrass? There are other ways to detox that don’t involve what you put into your mouth, and these bite-size challenges are something anyone can follow through on. Scroll on for five ways to detox your life that have nothing to do with food!

1. The Digital Detox

Technology is remarkable and has certainly opened the doors to possibilities and opportunities we’ve never had before. But it can also take over, with computers, phones, tablets and TV screens becoming an almost constant presence in our lives. Given that excessive screen time has been linked to an array of health problems, ranging from cancer, obesity and depression to physical damage to critical areas of the brain, a digital detox may be a smart idea.

For this detox, it’s great if you can go away from your normal environment for a weekend or longer. Ideally, get outside in nature and connect with the elements and your loved ones to truly detach yourself from the omnipresence of technology. Turn off all screens, set an autoresponder on your email and, if no one will need to contact you urgently, leave your phone behind. Notice how you interact with your environment and those around you differently and how the lack of technology helps you be more attuned to the present moment.

2. The Social Media Detox

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You may not realize how much time social media takes up in your life, but this detox will make it crystal clear. For this cleanse, abstain from all social media for a period of time that you designate. You may want to do it for one day, one weekend, one week or even longer. During this time, delete the social media apps from your phone and resist the urge to “just check in for a minute” (you can reinstall the apps back when you’re finished).

You may feel some twinges of withdrawal; social media scrolling can be a strong habit. In fact, studies have shown that social media use can cause addiction-like symptoms in the brain, including compulsion, increased anxiety, and inner conflict. Notice how this detox changes the amount of free time you have available each day. What positive activities can you do with this extra time instead? You may choose to make some permanent changes to your social media use after this experience as you feel a weight lifted from your strung-out brain.

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3. The Complaining Detox

Many of us complain more often than we realize. For some of us, complaining is a nervous habit or a way to strike up conversation. But it rarely feels good. For this detox, challenge yourself to stop complaining for one week. Catch yourself each time you have the urge to complain and instead shift your focus from problems to solutions. Notice how this practice shifts your perspective throughout the week.

In addition to shifting your perspective, it will likely lower your stress. Studies show that complaining releases cortisol in the brain, the stress hormone that’s associated with a number of health risks ranging from high cholesterol to strokes. Notice if your lack of complaining has an effect on those around you. You may find that you want to keep up this practice beyond the initial weeklong challenge.

4. The Clutter Detox

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It’s easy to let clutter take over your home and life, especially if you have kids. The toys, art projects and clothes that no longer fit seem to pile up as soon as you turn your back. For this detox, tackle one room at a time over the course of a weekend or even a week. Ask yourself if the items that are filling your space are bringing you joy, are necessary or are making life better for you and your loved ones. Start a pile for all the items that don’t make the cut and donate them to your local charity, thrift store or shelter. Notice how much lighter you feel when you’ve purged the possessions you no longer need. You’ll likely experience mental and physical benefits as well. Clearing out clutter can relieve allergy symptoms and reduce the stress hormone cortisol.

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5. The Negativity Detox

For this detox, you’ll be paying close attention to your emotions. For the next week, notice everything you come across throughout the day that brings you joy, and also notice what brings you down. You may want to take notes to help you keep track. Notice everything from your work and relationships to the media you consume and the thoughts you think. Then consider how you can turn down the volume on the aspects of your life that feel more negative than positive and amplify whatever makes you happy. How can you change the subject and choose a more positive thought, topic of conversation or activity?

As you ditch the negative and make positivity your priority, you may find the impact of this detox lasts much longer than one week. In fact, it could even extend your life. Having an optimistic attitude is associated with a higher quality of life as well as a reduced risk of dying from several major diseases.

What Do YOU Think?

How often do you detox? Do you feel better after detoxing? Which detox do you find most challenging? Tell us in the comments!

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