How to Cleanse Your Mind and Body

A meditation class taking instruction from the teacher
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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.

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 up inside. This can result in a clog if they aren't given a break and cleaned out every now and then.

Regularly cleansing your body and mind offers the same benefits. It helps them recoup, recharge, and return to their normal functions stronger than ever. Here are five things you can do today to get started.

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.

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 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 you might want to try that can be soul cleansing 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.

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 an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.