Clean eating is all the rage, but our plate isn’t the only place that toxins lurk. We encounter many emotional and mental toxins daily. Whether it’s remedying poor work-life balance or an unhealthy relationship, there are steps we can take to detox our lives for better balance overall.
Excessive stress contributes to heart disease, digestion problems and more, and it has implications for our well-being that can be just as serious as the effects of physical toxins.
“Lack of sleep and the inability to cope with stress lead to an increase in the hormone cortisol,” warns Westin Childs, MD. “Cortisol is your stress hormone and … chronically elevated levels of cortisol contribute to other conditions, such as increased fatigue, sugar cravings and an imbalance in blood sugar levels.”
Decrease stress and detox from harmful hormone imbalances with these steps.
Analyze your stress triggers
Tackle the underlying stressful situation before trying to treat the symptom itself.
Pay attention to your breath
Slow your breath when you feel yourself beginning to feel stressed or anxious. Breathe in deep, hold for a second and then slowly exhale. Repeat 10 times to calm your nervous system.
Practice daily meditation or yoga
“It helps bring cortisol levels down, improves your energy [and] helps you cope with social stress,” says Childs.
Unhealthy relationships are an emotional toxin. Having poor social relationships has been linked with depression, while bad relationships have been shown to disrupt our immune system and may even contribute to premature death.
Boundaries are one of the most important parts of healthy relationships. “Boundaries keep your wants and needs in place when dealing with the wants and needs of another person,” says Paige Carambio, a clinical psychologist. “It’s the idea of putting the oxygen mask on yourself before helping a child to do the same on an airplane.”
According to Carambio, setting healthy boundaries includes
- saying “no” when we’re overstressed or unable to participate in an activity
- being upfront and honest about what we need
- recognizing that our life is separate from our friend’s or significant other’s life, and this is okay
Balance work and life
Many of us struggle with work-life balance. Try these three approaches to come to a healthier place of balance and peace.
1. First, write down everything that’s competing for your time. Then, prioritize what’s most important to you. Feel empowered to cut or limit nonpriority demands.
2. Next, schedule time just for you. Make space for activities that recharge your spirit. Consider blocking them off in your calendar to keep other items from encroaching on this important space.
3. Finally, create a buffer between your personal and work life when possible. Do a fun activity between coming home from work and jumping into home responsibilities.