The mental detox
Why is a mental detox important?
A mental detox is needed to help preserve your health and wellbeing. The processes of our brains are influenced by a range of toxins that can affect and impair the functioning of the entire nervous system. As a result, adopting healthy practices that aid mental detox can help prevent mental illness and improve mental function.
What is a mental detox?
Toxins are compounds that have adverse effects on a cell’s function or structure. Many can also damage the nervous system, making the need for a mental detox essential. The blood/brain barrier is a capillary network that protects the nervous system from harmful toxins. However, toxins can still pass through this and over time impair function and structure.
Toxins that can impact the nervous system and cause damage over time include:
- Heavy metals such as lead, mercury, calcium, arsenic, nickel and aluminium
- Chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene, benzene
- Drugs and alcohol
- Food additives
- Internally-produced chemicals such as endotoxins
Optimising your brain function with a mental detox can help protect against mental health disorders as well as age-related diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
To ensure a successful mental detox there a range of healthy lifestyle practices you can follow to help improve mental health.
Exercise, both physically and mentally is beneficial for a detox. Aerobic exercise or weight training helps calm the mind and improve oxygen levels in the body’s tissues. Mental exercises in the form of studying and puzzles such as crosswords assist with brain stimulation. It is also best to avoid stimulants such as drugs, caffeine and nicotine as well as liver toxins. Along with this, relaxation of any kind such as yoga and meditation also help produce beneficial results for a mental detox.
A mental detox diet containing foods that benefit the brain can assist in improving mental clarity, concentration, motivation and memory.
Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables are essential for the brain. The omega-3 fatty oils found in fish such as mackerel, salmon and tuna make them very beneficial for improved brain function. These also assist with normal brain development in unborn babies and infants. Essential fatty acids found in flaxseeds, macadamia nuts and avocado further enhance the nervous system and improve communication between the brain and cells. Wholegrains are also beneficial for a healthy nervous system.
Sleep for health
Sleep plays a vital role in detoxification. During sleep the detoxification process becomes more effective. Sleep allows for the break down of toxic wastes to begin and allow other nightly agenda items such as healing, repair, immune functions, growth, emotional processing, memory consolidation and learning, to also be attended to.
Getting plenty of refreshing sleep allows time to build up the body’s reserves and aids in the functioning of our physical and mental health.