10 ways to detox your mind

In today’s hectic universe it would be difficult to imagine that anyone would be exempt from the stresses and turmoils that are allowed to “poison” our personal, academic and professional lives.  I say “allowed” because the negativities that afflict and distract us from time to time are oftentimes of our own making, or at least of our own perception.  Anais Nin once said that “we see the world the way we see ourselves.”  Could it be, then, that we can gain better control of the way we see ourselves and the world by directly addressing the pains we allow into our worlds?

This list of ways to detox your mind can help students living in other-culture environments

There are many points of advice regarding this topic, and most are worthy of some attention.  However, Brianna Wiest (https://thoughtcatalog.com/brianna-wiest/2015/07/18-ways-to-detox-your-mind-without-having-to-go-completely-off-the-grid/) offers a coherent list of 18 Ways to Detox Your Mind (Without Having to Go Completely Off the Grid) that could be of help, especially to students and others living in other-culture environments.  Stated directly, Ms. Wiest notes that:                          

Though we have miles to go in terms of growing up learning what it means to take care of our bodies, we’re even farther behind on how to take care of our minds. Our brains construct our experiences, and there are so many factors that alter and shift our perspectives that are completely in our control, but totally out of our awareness.  Here are a few things you can do to detox your mind, de-program and wipe the slate clean, now and again.

10 tips for students to help reduce the end-of-semester challanges

Ms. Wiest’s complete listing of 18 tips can be found at the website noted above.  However, and tailored in particular to the academic environment for students who are away from their home cultures for the first time, here are 10 of them that can be done to help reduce the end-of-semester mental challenges we all face from time to time:

Travel to assimilate to your new culture

We can sometimes come to believe that the environment around us is somehow not “normal”, and that the different cultural aspects surrounding us are making us…unhappy.  Traveling and making an effort to learn your new culture will oftentimes lead to a better-informed perspective as to what is “normal.”  Learning that “different” is not necessarily a negative thing can help you re-adjust your mental templates.

Create physical solutions for emotional problems

Go to the gym, fitness center, yoga, marathon…anything to get your body working and distracted from the mental toxins around you.   You will be surprised just how much better able you are to deal with emotional challenges if you have worked off steam on the treadmill.

Know that emotional toxicity is born of mental resistance

Actually learning to accept that some things are just the way they are can be a real help.  Stressing over how things you cannot change should be rather than how they actually are is both a waste of emotional energy and an introduction of sludge into your mind.  Try to just accept things that you cannot change, and then deal with the challenges they present.

Rearrange your furniture

Believe it or not, your brain can signal the construction of your perspectives through the visual cues it receives.  In short, if you have negative feelings that may be sparked by what you see, then change what you see.  Something as simple as moving things around from time to time can be of help in changing how you feel.

Do a mental purge

Angry or otherwise upset?  Just write down the weirdnesses in your head and take a look at them. Getting them down on paper can help you understand whether your concerns are really that serious.  Even if so, just letting them out can give you some relief.  If your distress is caused by other people, write down precisely what it is that bothers you about them. If you cannot put into words, maybe it doesn’t really exist?

Restructure your digital life

Really…do you have to be constantly into your social media space?  Though it is not realistic in this day and age to eschew digital inputs, it IS possible to refrain from trying to keep up with what others are doing on their Facebook pages, and perhaps souring over the fact that maybe someone un-friended you.  Should you, really, care?  Giving serious thought to limiting your exposure to the fickle and unpredictable whims of others just might be of some value to you.

Shift your physical position every time you start falling back into toxic thought cycles

When you sense that you are stumbling back into negativity, simply move your physical position to another location.  Or, if this is not practical, move yourself around at your desk or in your bed.  This basically creates a new experience for your body and refocuses you in the moment.

Stretch your brain

Do something intellectually stimulating. Stop watching the same TV shows, listening to the same music, seeing the same people, talking about the same things, etc.  Go to the cinema, read a new book, meet new friends, travel, pick up a new hobby… The world is out there for you to explore and to enjoy.  Get out of your rut and start living a bit!

Learn to let good enough be good enough

If you are a perfectionist in everything, then your life is probably a challenging one.  Making the leap from good-enough to perfection can be the same as ignoring the point of diminishing returns in economics!  Is it really worth the additional expenditure of hours and resources, emotional turmoil, lost sleep and general grumpiness that is necessary to gain that additional milligram of success?  Yes, sometimes perfection is desired, or even required, but these instances are comparatively rare.  Learn to just let it go from time to time, and let “good enough” be good enough.

Simplicity is Golden

Do you really need it?  Is it a thing you want?  Recognition? An academic grade?  A relationship?  Think about it… Is the pursuit in which you are engaged really worth it? Just like the drain in your kitchen sink your brain can become clogged and dysfunctional due to an excess of unneeded stuff.  You can simplify your life by prioritizing those things that are important vis-à-vis those things that are just nice to have.  Remember, there are only 24 hours in a day, and you must sleep, eat, exercise and otherwise take care of yourself sometime during this brief period of time.  The setting and pursuit of unrealistic goals and expectations is a principal reason for unhappiness.

Certainly, there is no magic solution to purging the mental toxins that plague our lives.  However, Brianna Wiest’s simple and easy-to-implement suggestions can be of solid help in leading us to see a more positive world, because we’ve learned to see ourselves in a more kindly and generous manner.

Follow us

Go to top