by Nicole Iacovoni, LCSW
Cleanses aren’t just about drinking juice for a week. Ridding the body
of build-up is a worthwhile practice, but the body isn’t the only thing that needs detoxing.
Sometimes our life, as a whole, needs a real good, deep clean. I’m talking major overhaul,
rid out, get out, detoxification.
When our mind, body, and spirit is clogged with ickiness, nothing good can come into our
lives. It’s as if we are holding up a flashing sign that reads, “Stay away positive energy!
There’s no room for you here!”. If you’re feeling stuck, lethargic, overwhelmed, scattered,
distracted, stressed out, or annoyed, it’s time to detox your life.
To help aid in the process of creating open space for all good things to flow in, here are 4
ways to detox your life:
1. Declutter your home
If you haven’t yet heard of the infamous, Marie Kondo, and her book, “The Life-
Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, please Google her and soak in her words of wisdom.
Her method for decluttering and organizing your home is invaluable and makes perfect
sense. Kondo walks you through the process of decluttering and eliminating all items that
no longer bring you joy in a structured, methodical way. To truly cherish the things that
are important to us, we must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.
Something may have brought you great joy in the past, but if it no longer does, it has
served it’s purpose and needs to be let go.
As a therapist, I’ve worked with many people with anxiety and depression, and I
understand the direct link that these struggles have to a disorganized environment. I’ve
worked with clients to help them tackle the clutter so they can free their minds and release
the negative emotions that keep them from living the life they want.
I’ve found that when my environment is clean and organized, so is my mind.
However, as I grown older, I keep accumulating more and more stuff. Not so long ago, I
started looking carefully at all the objects I’ve collected over the years, taking note of how little of it I still use. I discovered all that stuff was sucking my energy, distracting me from
what’s really important to me, and takes up, not just physical space, but mental space as
well. I looked around my house and actually started to feel anxious and overwhelmed….I
was running out of room! I needed a bigger house! I needed more time to dust! I needed
high-tech organizational systems! Really what I needed, was to SIMPLIFY.
The truth is that visible mess helps distract us from the true sources of our
unhappy feelings. When your space is clean and uncluttered, you have no choice but to
examine your inner state, see issues you’ve been avoiding, and deal with them. From the
moment you start decluttering, you will be compelled to reset your life and your life will
start to change. Decluttering is just the start of the journey; the big picture goal is to
create the joyous life you want once your house has been put in order.
2. Create white space
Our minds are always actively working. There are very few moments when the
chitter-chatter ceases and the mind can enjoy quiet calm. Everything from “what’s for
dinner” to “that vacation last year was the best of all time” to “do I really want to go back
for that advanced degree?” runs through our brains. Add to that more ideas, worries,
plans, problems, memories, and dreams and the thoughts start to pile up. Before you
know it, you’re feeling out of control, overwhelmed, scattered, and distracted.
The best way to create white space in the brain is to put all your thoughts, feelings,
fears, and dreams down on paper. Doing so clears the mind, organizes thoughts, and
provides a new, fresher perspective. Through journaling, we can explore our inner selves,
gain wisdom about who we truly are, discover what is genuinely meaningful to us, find
our purpose and passion, and come to know which direction to move in; separating the
work that really needs done from that which we feel pressured to do.
3. Cleanse toxic relationships
Take a moment to reflect. Who is driving you crazy these days? Identify who the
most negative people are in your life. Who complains endlessly or creates needless drama?
These are the people who suck the life out of you. They deplete your energy, consume
your thoughts, and wreak havoc on your emotions. Toxic relationships rarely bring benefit
to our lives and always take away more than they give. Most of the time, we falsely believe
we have to tolerate toxic relationships; that we’re obligated to keep the peace. However,
allowing toxic relationships to exist in our lives burdens us and keeps us from reaching our
full potential. Dealing with the crap that toxic people bring into our lives is one problem, but managing the lack of self respect we suffer as a result of allowing others to treat us in
the awful ways they do may have an even bigger impact on our esteem and self concept.
If you suspect a toxic relationship has taken root in your life, you must ask yourself,
“what is the value in this relationship?”. What would have to change for the relationship
to be healthier? Is it possible for the relationship to change in ways that would allow you
to feel positive, optimistic, happy, and at peace? What can you do to help make that shift?
If the relationship has potential, get to work on it. Involve the other person and share
your vision for what the relationship can become. Get them invested in transforming the
relationship with you so it can bring you both great benefit and value. If you’re finding
little to no benefit from the relationship, give yourself permission to part ways. It’s
perfectly acceptable to recognize you’re on a different path and you don’t want a
particular traveler beside you on your life’s journey. Simply wish your foe good fortune
and happiness, end the relationship, and don’t look back. There is absolutely no reason to
hang on to rubbish- toxic people included.
4. Sweat it out
When was the last time your broke a good sweat? We often fall into the habit of
controlling conditions to make everything pleasant. After all, our brains are always
seeking pleasure and trying to avoid pain. We put dimmers on lights to suit our eyes, turn
on air conditioning to keep us cool, turn on heat to keep us warm, and very rarely
experience the natural elements; whatever they may be. All of this artificial living keeps us
comfortable, but does us a disservice when it comes to flushing our system, releasing
negative energy, and soaking up the earthy goodness nature has to offer.
It’s time to get outside, in the heat and humidity, and work your butt off. Spend the
day gardening, landscaping, chopping wood, washing the car, or sweeping the porch. A
hard day’s work is food for the body and soul. Crank up the music and dance like you’ve
got nothing to lose. Run as far and as fast as you can. Feel the sweat bead and stream
down your skin, picturing every last bit of negativity, dirt, grime, and gunk flowing out
with it. Walk or bike instead of driving. Take in the beautiful, natural sunlight and
connect to the life-giving energy of mother nature.
These steps may seem simple and trite, but the return upon investment is
impressive. Once you detox your life, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it a long time ago.
You’ll also be more aware of when your life is getting cluttered with unwanted toxins again, which makes you better equipped to keep balance, clean space, and peacefulness at
Nicole Iacovoni, Founder & Executive Clinician, received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from The University of Denver. Utilizing scientific based techniques, she is masterful at helping clients navigate and address family transitions, mood management, relationship issues, life trajectory, and general self care concerns. She also has expertise in cultivating emotional resilience and healthy identity development in young adults. Nicole has dedicated her career to building a wellness center where clients generate positive change, enhance esteem, overcome obstacles, and create a peaceful, well-balanced life course. Her vision has resulted in a multifaceted therapeutic setting that provides complete mental health services, yoga and meditation classes, massage therapy, nutritional counseling and health coaching, educational workshops, and community building groups and events.
You can get more information about our counseling services with Nicole here.