Emotional Spring Clean – Are You Ready?

Written by Lara Just – April 2017…

We hope you have enjoyed the Easter break. This time of year regularly invokes a need to spring clean – this could be our homes, our working lives or our own emotional intelligence so we thought this month we would look at detoxification and cleansing – both emotionally and physically.

“Detox” was once one of those trendy words for diet fads, however, “detoxification” is a natural body process. Many organs are involved in this process and primarily our liver. It is basically a process of converting toxins to something less harmful to either re-utilise or to safely get them to the outside (via our excretory organs). Our bodies mainly do this when we are relaxed, particularly when we are asleep and our ‘parasympathetic’ nervous system is more active. This process does not work efficiently when we are stressed (‘sympathetic’ nervous system hyperactivation), have disrupted or too little sleep, or are too overloaded with a variety of toxins and other stress factors.

‘Toxins’ can be chemical, biological compounds (from food, air, water, drugs, medication) but they can also come from our emotions. What we believe, think and feel can lead to the body creating biological compounds too (like stress hormones, neurotransmitters).

This can have an effect on our immunity and resilience. Sometimes these ‘toxic’ emotions (like negative beliefs, worries, anxiety, concerns) create havoc and chaos. But more often than not it has to become painful enough for us to really want to do something about it.

So sometimes we actually create them internally on top of the physical ones we may consume on top of it to help us cope. However, often this leads more to a numbing of our felt sense of these emotions. When we build up too many “emotional” toxins in our system we eventually might recognise that we need to digest, detoxify and excrete those too. This is important to make room for new things, enabling growth and change. Again, if we are stressed, we won’t have the emotional capacity or space to do this and to really stay connected with ourselves to know what we need to enable this.

We need to connect more with ourselves and with others…

Connecting with ourselves is important to be able to listen to what our bodies and minds need, what we need to let go off in order to move forward. “Detoxing” is therefore not only essential to recharge us physically (sleep, fresh air, exercise, and a nutritious diet), but also needs to occur mentally and emotionally (love, compassion, appreciation, gratitude, and meditation). We can do this by choosing things that helps us “connect more” to ourselves and subsequently to others which may be different for each person.

We mostly find it difficult to connect with ourselves when we are too busy, stressed and predominantly focused in our “heads”. When focused in our “heads” we do a lot of thinking, rationalising, analysing, justifying, intellectualising, worrying, planning, and these would generally be about the past or future events. Yet, really being present in the here-and-now with ourselves and within our bodies is often difficult for most people in the busy lives we lead. Yet all body sensations are part of our moment-to-moment experience.

To be more connected to ourselves, our bodies and the present moment is something that is termed “mindfulness”. Being more mindful of the present and every moment.

So how can we connect more with ourselves? What helps us to stay more mindful, more connected? Is it doing something nurturing for ourselves? (For example: having a bath, going for a walk in nature, listening to music, making some nourishing foods, spending time with a pet or a friend). If we do listen more to ourselves, how can we let go off some old and unhelpful beliefs that no longer serve us? How can we replace them with more helpful beliefs? Where or from whom could we seek more help for this?

So this Easter weekend may be a good time to reflect on these things, to get to know ourselves better, to start some emotional and physical spring cleaning to get us ready to renew and make some changes that were perhaps long overdue.

We’d love to hear from you what you think about the topic, and please contact us with any questions.