While most detoxes focus exclusively on our bodies, the mind also can be bogged down by toxins and require detoxing. One of the main mental toxins is limiting thoughts, such as: “If someone else needs help, I can’t say no,” “Nobody cares what I think,” or “I’m not good at learning new things.” These— as much as heavy metals, pesticides, and xenoestrogens— are toxic barriers that weigh us down, sapping energy that might be used for better things.
I remember hearing years ago that we have from sixty thousand to eighty thousand thoughts each day— and a majority of them are negative! Imagine how those limiting thoughts are choking your internal flame and how much more brightly you would burn with better fuel. After all, we don’t have infinite energy. Limiting thoughts weigh heavily upon us, wasting our precious energy.
During my Whole Detox program, I teach several ways to combat negative thoughts. As always, the first step is awareness: identify a thought that has been holding you back and give yourself a little time to reflect upon it. You may try journaling about that thought: how it has limited you, when you first began to think that way, what your life might be like without that toxic barrier. As you let go of limiting thoughts, you’ll be able to replace them with expansive, positive, empowering thoughts and affirmations— thoughts that better fit your current reality and serve you for a more fulfilling future.
Many of my clients try replacing a limiting thought with an affirmation. An affirmation is a simple statement affirming a positive attribute of your life: “I am rooted fully in my physical body,” “My moods are balanced and my thinking is clear and precise,” “I am fulfilled with the abundance of life.” When you fully engage with an affirmation, you find that it begins to become true for you, subtly transforming negative self-talk into positive and empowering truths.” I’ve used affirmations for years with patients and workshop participants, and I’ve always been surprised at how effective and transformative they can be. Science has begun to validate those perceptions with a growing body of research on the positive effects of affirmations.
Many of my clients have asked me how they can repeat a statement that does not seem true to them. “What if I don’t feel fully rooted in my body?” one of my patients asked me. “It’s not true, so how can I say it is?” My answer is that we are mining another possibility, another version of the truth. If you lived in the least toxic, most positive version of your life, the affirmation would be true. By asserting that it is true (“fake it until you make it”), you create the opportunity for it to become true.
If you find yourself feeling unsure or skeptical, why not experiment and find out just how well affirmations might work for you? Say the words out loud, see how they affect your body and your emotions, and live in the vision they inspire. Just be sure that you use only positive language: “I am free” rather than “I am not restricted.” Use your voice to speak your truth, and see how healing it can be to connect to this alternate vision of yourself. Give yourself a chance to reprogram toxic beliefs into healing truths, and discover what possibilities begin to open up.
Dr. Deanna Minich is an internationally recognized, cutting-edge wellness and lifestyle medicine expert who has mastered the art of integrating ancient healing traditions with modern science. Her unique “whole self” approach to nutrition looks at physiology, psychology, eating, and living within what she calls the “7 Systems of Health.” A five-time book author, and founder of Food & Spirit (www.foodandspirit.com), she continues to do detox programs with individuals to help them achieve better health. Her new book is Whole Detox, published by HarperCollins in March 2016. For more information, go to drdeannaminich.com