Detox for the soul
Many people make New Year's resolutions about doing better this year, in whatever way. There are always a lot of resolutions about healthier living, less sweets, more exercise and body detoxification. It's a good thing for sure to try and live healthier, it's just that most of us focus on a physically healthier life style only.
We forget (or have never learned) that a psychologically healthier lifestyle might be as important. We now hear more and more voices - of scientists and doctors - saying that the whole detox industry is a mere money making machine, that the body is perfectly capable of detoxing itself and is doing so all the time. Problems usually occur through overload and imbalance in our nutrition, not because the body isn't equipped to get rid of "toxins".
It's similar with the psyche: we are resilient beings and our psyche is normally very well equipped to get through rough times and to heal itself. Stuckness and mental problems usually occur through overload or emotional starvation which both equal imbalance. If there is too much trauma, parts of us freeze and the mind becomes unable to process the trauma and to heal. If we learn from childhood to eat healthily and to exercise, our bodies will be perfectly capable of detoxing themselves. Maybe we need more soul-detox than body-detox: less stress and noise, a slower life, more soul food.
Whatever we bottle up will probably start to poison us from inside, so: more talking about what bothers us, more connecting with each other which will improve relationships. More openness, less "silent hero", less sulking, more honesty. More listening, to ourselves, our needs and feelings, and to others, whatever they want to share. A simpler lifestyle, less unnecessary financial commitments, a smaller car, less status symbols, more time to ourselves and our families. Less unnecessary shopping, more playing, talking, picnicking, music-making, laughing, walking. More creativity in its many forms, less emotional junk food. More time to do nothing at all.
We are more and more obsessed with looking young and being physically healthy yet our general health gets worse; obesity, allergies, dementia etc. are on the increase. Maybe all our obsessing about physical health is - at least partly - an avoidance technique. We avoid to check our values; we become more and more materialistic. We ignore the soul and its needs, in fact we don't even know that we're doing it. All our thinking is focused on money and things, and on a beautiful, never ageing body of course. But it's not working! We're not happier or healthier, be that physically or mentally. Maybe it is time for a soul-detox. Maybe we do need an overhaul of what we value most in life. Why not start now?
Counselling could help you to examine your life style and your priorities, to find out what's missing and how to find more meaning and fulfillment.
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About Judith Schuepfer-Griffin
My name is Judith, and I'm writing in the way I do because I would like to make psychological thinking more accessible for everyone. I have noticed that it often helps to create a context within which new ideas make more sense. With my articles I'm trying to create that context and hopefully also an enjoyable reading experience.