How to Cleanse Yourself

5 Ways to Cleanse Your Body and Mind

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Our bodies are constantly processing the things we eat and drink while our minds work continuously to process thoughts and emotions. Over time, the byproducts of these processes can start to build. This can cause both to slow, becoming less effective than they once were. That's why it's beneficial to learn how to cleanse yourself.

It's similar to how the pipes in your kitchen or bathroom are initially crystal clean and totally free of any debris. After regular use, gunk can start to build inside. This can result in a clog if they aren't given a break and cleaned out every now and then. Cleansing yourself helps release the 'clogs' in your body and mind.

Why Is It Important to Cleanse Yourself?

Cleansing yourself regularly serves many purposes. One is that it helps get rid of potentially harmful substances or thoughts from your body and mind. This can make you feel better mentally and physically by getting rid of things that may be slowing you down.

Cleansing yourself also leaves more space for positive things in your life. When you can get rid of your negative thoughts and emotions, for instance, it's like cleaning out your closets. There's now room for things that would be more beneficial in your life—things that are more positive and uplifting.

Regularly cleansing your body and mind helps them recoup, recharge, and return to their normal functions stronger than ever. It's a way to feel energized and purified physically, mentally, and spiritually.

What About a Dietary Cleanse?

While following a healthy diet filled with a range of nutritious foods is a good idea, dietary cleanses and detoxes are not recommended. There is no research showing that these practices improve health. They also don't remove toxins (your liver, kidney, and skin already do that). For people with certain medical conditions, these detox practices can actually be harmful or even dangerous.

How to Cleanse Yourself

Making it a priority to cleanse yourself mentally, physically, and spiritually regularly can help keep you feeling and functioning your best. Here are five things you can do today to cleanse your body and soul naturally.

Do a Digital Detox

There are a number of benefits to doing a digital detox or taking a break from technology. If you're always on your smartphone, a detox can help improve your mental well-being. Stepping away from electronic devices can also reduce stress, making it good for your body as well.

Start small by leaving all devices in the house while enjoying some time outside. Once you're ready, try switching off your television, computer, cellphone, and other electronics for an entire day. This can stop the urge to check the device or interact with it out of habit. Even a brief break can be refreshing.

A few additional tech-free activities that can also help purify and cleanse you physically, mentally, and spiritually include:

  • Attend a yoga class.
  • Do a few stretches on your living room floor.
  • Find a quiet place to sit and engage in mindfulness meditation.
  • Go for a walk in the park.
  • Practice deep breathing exercises.
  • Take a nice warm bath, maybe with some light music playing in the background.

Try Tongue Scraping

In Ayurveda—a form of alternative medicine practiced in India—the coating on the tongue is called "ama" and reflects metabolic debris. Using a tongue scraper to get rid of this coating or debris reduces bacteria in the mouth, which helps to improve oral health.

Oral health isn't just important for the body, but also for the mind. A healthy mouth improves your ability to speak and smile, even making it easier to show your feelings and emotions with various facial expressions.

Start your day by gently scraping your tongue (don't worry, it doesn't hurt!). Tongue scrapers can be purchased in a drug store or health food store for a few dollars.

Dry Brush Your Body

Dry brushing, also called garshana, is another technique used in Ayurvedic medicine that offers cleansing benefits. It works by stimulating the lymphatic system. This system is important for immunity, protecting us from infection and disease.

All you need is a body brush, which you use to brush your skin gently. Your skin should be dry; you don't need to bathe or shower beforehand. Start with your upper body and work your way down, being careful not to scrub too hard to avoid irritating your skin.

Once you are done, shower or bathe as normal, then apply lotion or body oil to moisturize your skin. Dry brushing is a fast and inexpensive way to feel refreshed and renewed.

Take a Contrast Shower

Another way to rejuvenate your body and mind is by taking a contrast shower. Contrast therapy is a technique that involves alternating between hot and cold water. Some alternative practitioners recommend this practice as a way to boost circulation and improve your energy.

To do this technique at home, turn on your shower and set the water temperature as warm as you can handle. The temperature should be hot, but not unbearable or scalding. Use caution (and common sense) in order to avoid burning yourself or causing damage to your skin.

After standing in the warm/hot water for two to three minutes, switch the temperature to as cold as you can handle. The cold water will be uncomfortable, but you may also find it invigorating. Stand in the cold water for one minute before switching back to hot water. Repeat this cycle two to three times.

Write Your Troubles Away

When cleansing your body and mind, it's also helpful to let go of the thoughts and emotions that you have unconsciously blocked from coming to the surface. Repressing emotions has both mental and physical consequences, such as increasing your risk of depression and raising the likelihood that you will develop a cardiac abnormality.

Start a personal ritual to begin to recognize these feelings and then let them go. One option is to write a letter to someone who has hurt you or let you down, using the letter to explain how their actions make you feel. You don't have to send it! The point is simply to gain a better understanding of emotions you may have unconsciously suppressed, letting them escape from your body so they can't continue to harm you.

Another option is to use a journal to give yourself a regular outlet for all your emotions, regrets, and worries. Seek to understand how you feel and, instead of trying to push these emotions away, harness them and use them to move forward in this world as a more emotionally intelligent person.

Press Play to Learn More About the Mind and Body Connection

Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast discusses the mind and body connection. Click below to listen now.

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A Word From Verywell

Trying different ways of cleansing your mind and body can be a great way to feel refreshed and reinvigorated. They are no substitute for regular self-care, however. Making sure that you are getting adequate sleep, engaging in regular physical exercise, and other important self-care practices are long-term strategies that can help you feel stronger, healthier, and more motivated.

8 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Kendra Cherry
Kendra Cherry, MS, is the author of the "Everything Psychology Book (2nd Edition)" and has written thousands of articles on diverse psychology topics. Kendra holds a Master of Science degree in education from Boise State University with a primary research interest in educational psychology and a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Idaho State University with additional coursework in substance use and case management.