There’s a strong emotional component to cleansing successfully. I find that patients are more likely to keep to a cleanse when they are emotionally invested and mentally set on making the commitment towards their health.
Remember that we also harbor emotional toxins and this can be a perfect time to release the load we are carrying!
Here are a few ways you can go about mentally preparing for a successful cleanse.
1. Set Your Intention. Take the time to write down what you hope to gain from this experience and the ways in which you believe your life will be different once your goal is achieved. Do you seek to increase your energy level or improve your mental clarity? Perhaps you’d like to drop some excess winter weight? Get really clear on your intention and commit to activities that will help you achieve your goal.
2. Inform Your Family & Friends. To help ensure your success, tell your inner circle that you’ll be cleansing. Get everyone on the same page, so that they’ll understand if you decide to avoid certain social settings, such as those that involve excessive processed foods or where alcohol is being consumed.
Our loved ones are often fantastic at helping to hold us accountable to our commitments and for providing some extra moral support. Get them involved!
3. Listen to Your Body and Learn About Yourself. If you feel like you may be close to breaking your cleanse before the desired amount of time, step back and look at the underlying behavior patterns that are influencing your food cravings. Did you have a stressful day at work? Are your relationships feeling particularly draining in that moment?
If you evaluate your eating habits from a holistic standpoint, you’ll see that there are emotional triggers that influence, when, why and how much we eat. Cleansing can be a great way to uncover your emotional connection to food. Take a moment to examine which situations send you to the refrigerator seeking comfort food.
Visualize having successfully completed your cleanse. Think about the ways in which your life has improved since achieving your goal. Will you be more productive at work? Will you have increased patience with your children? Will you spring out of bed in the morning and excitedly head to spin class?
Take time to really see the results that you desire in your mind.
5. Keep it in Perspective. Remember, the time you spend cleansing is extraordinarily short in comparison to the rest of your life, and the results are exceptional! This experience will help flex your self-discipline, willpower and self-control muscles. It will also heighten your awareness regarding your food choices and help you to create new, healthier habits going forward.
Another incentive to keep in mind: you’ll save money on dining out!
6. Internalize the Health Benefits: If you feel really stuck, recall your internal list about what this cleanse is going to help you achieve. Here’s the shortlist:
– Improved sleep
– Sustained energy and endurance
– Reduction in bloating
– Decreased headache and allergy symptoms
– Regulation of hormones and menstrual cycle,
– Increased sense of smell and taste
(post-cleanse, my patients have reported being able to taste chlorine in tap water and & sugar in bread!)
– Decrease in food cravings
– Restoration of balance
– Reduction in inflammation
“Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self-assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle.” Eric Zorn
Stay tuned for Part II of this blog post, which will address ways in which to optimize your cleansing experience!