12 Essential Detox Tips

Life can be a dirty place, and whether you're 20 or 65 you've probably accumulated some excess toxins in your body and some emotional baggage in your mind. These poisons can come from concrete things like pesticides in your food, pollution in the air you breathe and even chemicals that you consume in the form of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

But they can also be more abstract, in the form of things like too much stress, negative media, advertising, relationship problems and inner conflicts. So when you think about detoxing, it's important to not only detoxify your body but also your mind and spirit.

12 Essential Detox Tips

While spring is often considered the ideal time to detox, fall, which is just around the corner, is also an important season for cleansing. The shorter days and cooler temperatures lead to decreases in your metabolism and mood, and may trigger a desire to eat more than you normally do. Detoxing in the fall can help to lift your spirits, increase your energy and help you feel your best as winter arrives.

However, some forms of detoxing can become a part of your everyday life. The tips that follow include such tips, and we recommend using them on a regular basis to keep your life mentally, physically and emotionally healthy.

1. Exercise. It will help you relieve stress and improves your circulation and overall health.

2. Be careful of what drugs you take. Sometimes medication is necessary, but you may want to think twice before constantly popping pills for every ache and pain. Many can cause side effects and may contain chemicals that can damage your kidneys.

3. Quit smoking. Cigarettes contain over 4,000 different chemicals.

4. Use natural cleaning products in your home. Using typical cleaning sprays and air fresheners at least once a week can increase your risk of asthma by 30-50 percent.

5. Meditate. It's a simple (and free) way to detoxify your mind and spirit.

6. Make sure you're sleeping enough, and well. Like refueling a car or taking a drink of water, it's thought that sleep refreshes your body and helps to restore the energy that you've used up during the day. Says Dr. Neil B. Kavey, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, sleep is the time when your body is able to do repair work.

7. Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol is a poison, and in excess amounts it will cause harm to your body.

8. Learn how to forgive. Most of us will harbor (or are harboring right now) feelings of pain, anger, resentment and hurt against someone we feel did us wrong. If they are not released, by way of forgiveness, these negative notions will slowly drain your energy while fanning the fires of chronic stress.

9. Turn off the TV. Your mind needs a break from the advertisements, the negative news and the celebrity gossip.

10. Volunteer. People who donate their time to a cause report feeling a heightened sense of well-being, relief from insomnia, and various other physical, mental and emotional benefits.

11. Challenge your mind. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that challenging your brain with mentally stimulating leisure activities (including playing board games or cards, doing crossword puzzles, reading, writing, and playing musical instruments) is great for your mind.

12. Tune out things that bring you down. This could be your gossiping coworkers, a meddling relative, or annoying instant messages. Whatever the poison, learn to ignore it for your own sanity's sake.