101 Painless Ways to Detoxify Your Mind, Body, and Home

By Caitlin Smith

Crash diets and certain fads that promise to give your body the detox treatment are not only harmful to your health, but they can leave you feeling cranky, irritable, exhausted and starving. There are some beneficial long term effects of detoxification, however, including a more focused mind, more energy, clearer skin and decreased chances of developing cancer and other chronic diseases. If you’re interested in detoxifying your entire mind, body and living spaces, but aren’t ready to starve yourself or cause yourself more stress on a crazy diet, use this list to incorporate 101 painless ways to get the results you want.

Bad Habits to Break

Hardcore smokers may not consider giving up their vice "painless," but there are alternative treatments that help you break these and other bad habits, freeing your body of harmful chemicals, slower metabolisms and inefficient digestive systems.

  1. Smoking: Every time you smoke a cigarette, your body has to fight off harmful amounts of tar, smoke, nicotine, ammonia and carbon monoxide, as well as other toxins.
  2. Alcohol: While some doctors and scientists argue that a low to moderate consumption of alcohol is beneficial to your health, alcoholic beverages put a lot of stress on your body, and are full of sugar and calories. If you drink even a little too much, you may notice differences in your digestion, headaches, nausea, sluggishness, and other toxic side effects.
  3. Not getting enough sleep: Even though you’re not putting anything harmful in your body, not getting enough sleep can be harmful to you. Follow these tips to fall asleep faster and understand why sleep is so important.
  4. Eating fast food and frozen food: Even if you think you’re getting a good meal from a frozen dinner, the important minerals and vitamins have probably been cooked out of the foods already. Fast food tends to have a lot of extra salt, fat and artificial flavoring, all of which add unnecessary toxins to your body and make you feel weighted down.
  5. Short temper: If you’re constantly getting angry at people or suspecting them of cheating you out of something, your mind is never at peace. Learn to relax by learning to fix a short temper.
  6. Over dieting: Though a good diet that’s free of fast food, junk food and too much alcohol is an important step in detoxifying your body and mind, over dieting can be harmful as well. If you’re depriving your body of nutrients or causing your body stress by binging and purging, you need to change your dieting habits.
  7. Clutter: A cluttered home causes emotional stress. Increase productivity and give yourself a sense of calm by taking out the trash, cleaning the dishes and reducing clutter.
  8. Being negative: Get rid of negative thoughts and feelings, and you’ll find that a life filled with feelings of gratitude, optimism and perspective will make you more successful and happy.
  9. Caffeine addiction: Being addicted to caffeine can be a serious problem for some people: too much coffee affects sleep patterns, energy levels, social skills, concentration and focus, and job performance. Get tips for breaking the caffeine habit here.
  10. Isolation: Taking time out for yourself is a good way to get centered, but spending too much time alone isn’t good for your spirit. Visit a neighbor or family member for a little social interaction, which will keep you from feeling depressed and lonely.

Detox Diets

Though detox diets can be controversial, less extreme diets full of fresh fruits and vegetables will give you more energy, a brighter complexion and a stronger immune system.

  1. The Detox Diet: Find a list of good foods and harmful foods, as well as a sample menu here.
  2. Free Detox Diet Plan: Some readers may find this diet to be too limiting, but it offers a good example of the types of foods you should be eating if you want to detox your system.
  3. The Master Cleanse: The Diet Channel explains the benefits and plan for the Master Cleanse detox diet here.
  4. Macrobiotic Diet: Today’s version of the popular macrobiotic diet features low-fat, high fiber foods which decrease your chances of getting cancer. Dieters on this plan will eat lots of whole grains, vegetables, soy products, local fruit, beans, and sometimes fish or seafood.
  5. Organic Raw Food Diet: Raw foods often contain a lot of pesticides, but the organic raw food diet gives your body healthy, low-fat food, plenty of vitamins and nutrients, and a minimum amount of toxins.
  6. Cabbage Soup Diet: Some say this diet is unbalanced, but it does allow other foods like skim milk, certain meats and tomatoes to be consumed, making it a less painful detox diet.
  7. 3-Day Detox Diet Recipes: Get creative with your recipes when you’re on the 3-day detox diet by making breakfast patties, spinach pie, raw chocolate pudding and more.
  8. Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox: This extremely popular diet challenges dieters to not chew for 21 days. Instead, you’ll detoxify by drinking vegetable and fruit drinks.
  9. 1 Week Detox Diet Plan: This diet allows you to eat potatoes, rice, fruits and even macaroni while detoxifying your body.
  10. Top 7 Detox Herbs That Cleanse Your Body of Excessive Toxins: Introduce juniper berries, Psyllium seeds and basil into your diet to help your bladder, kidneys, skin and overall health.

Feng Shui Tips

You don’t have to redesign your entire home to implement some of the most effective elements of feng shui, which reduces stress, promotes harmony and eliminates toxic energy.

  1. Remove furniture from a room’s entry: Keep furniture and clutter away from the doorway of any room to promote calm and the free flow of energy. You’ll be able to appreciate the room better if you aren’t running into any obstacles as soon as you step in the room.
  2. Introduce natural light: Introduce natural light into your home or office to improve your energy level.
  3. Move your bed so that your head is away from the door: Sleep better at night by positioning your bed so that your head isn’t resting towards the door.
  4. Eat organic: Organic foods actually promote good feng shui and good energy, so make sure your kitchen is stocked with organic vegetables and grains.
  5. Get rid of clutter: This guide has tips for clearing out the clutter according to feng shui.
  6. Take into account the five feng shui elements: By understanding that water, fire, wood, metal and earth elements have a significant effect on your energy and serenity, you will be able to successfully design your space in a way that makes you more productive and peaceful.
  7. Paint your kitchen: A pastel colored kitchen is supposed to promote positive energy for you and your family.
  8. Construct arches: You can construct arches, which promote harmony, by painting them on your walls or modifying doorways.
  9. Leave 3 feet between furniture: Arrange your furniture so that at least 3 feet of open space remains between each piece. This technique encourages the flow of energy and will ease your mind.
  10. Decorate with earth tones: To promote a sense of calm and comfort, decorate organically by using earth tones and earth materials like wood and clay.

How-to Guides

Follow these how-to guides to detoxify everything from your liver to your desk.

  1. 10 Ways to Detoxify Your Body: Gaim’s tips for detoxifying your body include fasting, which rests your organs and improves blood circulation.
  2. How To Detox: This blog features videos, diets, products and more to help anyone find a detox program that works for them.
  3. Detox for Health: This website has lots of information and support for detoxing, including getting in the right state of mind.
  4. How to Detox Your Body: Watch these videos about colon cleansing, using water to detox, fasting and exercising to introduce yourself to different methods of detoxification.
  5. Detoxify Your Life: The Beautiful Women blog challenges readers to detoxify everything from their refrigerators to their address books to their calendars.
  6. Organize Your Desk in 8 Steps: Help your mind relax by organizing your desk with this guide.
  7. How to Detox: This simple guide encourages you to exercise and drink certain liquids to detox your body.
  8. Declutter 101: Cut Clutter at Home: If you’re feeling overwhelmed because of your messy home, use this guide to help you cut clutter each step of the way.
  9. Meditation: Relax your mind and de-stress with these meditation tips.
  10. 5 Simple and Effective Steps to Relax Your Body and Calm Your Nerves: Learn how to breathe correctly and tune out external distractions and toxins with this guide.

Everyday Tips

These very simple tips can be practiced everyday and will result in a less toxic, more even-balanced body and spirit.

  1. Volunteer: Doing something good for others will help you focus on the positive, gain a little perspective and eliminate negative thoughts, at least for a little while.
  2. Smile: Smiling forces you to indulge in your sense of humor and reach out to others; plus, it’s a proactive step towards ridding yourself of negativity and cynicism.
  3. Take deep breaths: Give your body fresh air, exercise your internal organs and detoxify your entire system by taking deep breaths.
  4. Make your own juice: Dr. David Williams encourages readers to make their own juice to get the right kinds of vitamins in an eco-friendly way. Adding beet juice sweetens your juice naturally and is good for your liver and gall bladder.
  5. Go to the bathroom: It’s important to have regular bowel movements, and holding it in too long can cause an infection. Go when you need to go!
  6. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables: If you don’t buy organic fruits and vegetables, wash them before preparing them for a meal to rinse off at least some of the pesticides and toxins.
  7. Indulge in physical contact: Hug, kiss, or just hold hands to reduce stress.
  8. Walk or ride your bike: Reduce the pollutants in your city or neighborhood by walking or riding your bike to the store, instead of fueling up your vehicle just for a short trip.
  9. Use your senses: Center yourself organically by using your senses. Carole Fogarty explains that "bringing awareness into your five senses smell, taste, touch, sight and sound directs energy away from your mind and back into your body where it should be."
  10. Add garlic to your diet: Garlic "activates liver enzymes" which clean out your system and help you detox.

Eliminating Chemicals and Toxins

Harmful chemicals and toxins can be found everywhere, and there’s a treatment for each one. Read this list to find out which herbal supplements help your body fight off toxins and which chemicals you can easily banish from your home.

  1. Take Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is "essential for detoxification," according to Shelley R. Kramer of Health-Communications.com.
  2. The 10 Best Detox Oils: Cypress, geranium, fennel and mandarin are some of the oils and scents that help your body eliminate toxins.
  3. Make your own cleaning supplies: One of the latest green trends is to make your own cleaning supplies that are free of toxins and harmful chemicals.
  4. Non Toxic Gardening: Avoid using harmful pesticides and chemicals by making your own compost and buying recycled gardening products.
  5. Use a non-motorized mower: Gas-powered lawn mowers can emit very high levels of carbon monoxide and harmful air pollution.
  6. Reduce indoor air pollution: Learn about the sources of indoor air pollution in your home like poor ventilation systems, dirty filters and more.
  7. Wear green fashion: Many organic fashions are non-toxic and eco-friendly, so you’ll be helping your body and your conscience.
  8. Shop for green cleaning supplies: If you don’t have time to make your own cleaning supplies, use this guide to know what ingredients and warnings to watch out for when shopping.
  9. Practice natural pet care: A lot of pet products and foods contain toxins that are dangerous for your pet and your family. Use natural pet products to eliminate pesticides and chemicals.
  10. Use nontoxic makeup and personal care items: Detoxify your skin by applying green makeup products and researching nontoxic personal care items.

Easy and Natural Detoxification

For an easy and natural detox plan, follow these tips.

  1. Turn off the TV: Free your mind of all of the chatter, gossip and useless information on TV. You’ll benefit from the time alone with your thoughts and the silence.
  2. Spend time outside: Taking a walk outside or reading a book in your yard will quickly make you feel more connected to your community and nature.
  3. Visit friends and family: Your friends and family know you best, so visit with your loved ones for comfortable, relaxed social interaction.
  4. Take natural supplements: Taking your vitamins is probably the easiest and fastest way to get your essential nutrients each day. Natural supplements are free of synthetics.
  5. Drink water: Flush out your system by drinking lots of water.
  6. Stop using air fresheners: The Out There Blog discusses the pollutants in air fresheners and offers alternative ways to make your home smell nice without toxins.
  7. Clean out your inbox: Organizing your inbox by deleting old messages and moving important e-mails to separate folders will help you focus and de-clutter your mind.
  8. Unsubscribe to magazines and feeds: Evaluate how many blogs and magazines you read each day and start eliminating the excess material. You’ll empty your mind of catty gossip and frivolous information while keeping your home and office more organized.
  9. Be flexible: Dr. Rob on Discovery Health explains that avoiding stubborn feelings and going with the flow keeps stress levels down.
  10. Eat chocolate: Besides being a happy little treat to indulge in, chocolate has magnesium, which is a natural mood stabilizer.

Promoting Energy, Productivity and Calm

Part of the detoxification process includes focusing on positive energy and promoting a calm, productive mind. These tips will help you stay focused, alert and in control.

  1. Visit a therapist: Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with depression or another type of emotional or mental hardship, visiting a therapist can help you deal with your feelings in a healthy way and make you feel more capable of running your life the way you want.
  2. Open the windows: Let in some of the natural elements by opening a window…even if it’s raining outside. Breathing in fresh air will calm you down naturally.
  3. Wake up the right way: In the article "9 Ways to Detox a Crowded Mind," Carole Fogarty proposes waking up "gently with only invited thoughts."
  4. Make lists: Promote productivity by making lists.
  5. Avoid meetings: Zen Habits encourages busy professionals to avoid meetings if you can in order to be more productive and keep your focus.
  6. Take a quick nap: The Dumb Little Man is a big fan of the power nap, which can give you "a shot of physical and mental energy in the middle of your day."
  7. Eat strategically: This list of foods, including red bell pepper and salmon, published on Runner’s World are supposed to be good for boosting energy and sharpening your mind.
  8. Give yourself a reality check: Stress often goes up when we lose perspective and think irrationally. Give yourself a reality check to quickly de-stress and detox your mind.
  9. Let yourself react: This news article explains that letting yourself panic or react in a natural way is good for your overall mental health. Storing up bad emotions is toxic for your mind and your body.
  10. Find time for yourself: Slow down and make time for yourself in order to regroup and reprioritize according to the things and people that are most important for you. This strategy will help you feel more in control, more relaxed and more confident that what you do each day is important.

Exercise Tips

Exercising is one of the best ways to detox your body. Read this list for general exercise tips, as well as plans and routines that supplement detox diets.

  1. Stretch: Even if you don’t have enough time for a full workout, stretch a little throughout the day to keep your blood flowing and your body flexible.
  2. Schedule it in: Don’t wait until you have a free block of time to exercise. Scheduling it in ahead of time will help you stick to your plan.
  3. Pick something you enjoy: If you hate yoga, don’t do sign up for a class just because you think it’s the right thing to do. You can detoxify with any kind of exercise, including organized sports or running.
  4. Tune everything else out: Use your exercise time as an excuse to tune out your responsibilities and focus only on yourself, your goals and your relaxation.
  5. Tips for Exercise Success: Read this article from the American Heart Association to help you get back in the game and enjoy exercise.
  6. Tai Chi: This post from Stepcase Lifehack shares 15 different tips for "restart[ing] the exercise habit," including commit for thirty days, make it fun, and reward yourself.
  7. Go on a cleansing retreat: Retreats like this one are designed to help you detox by benefiting from yoga, community spirit and the outdoors.
  8. Pilates: Pilates is another workout that helps your mind and body detox.
  9. Exercise at work: Desktop yoga and other simple exercises can be done at work, helping workaholics detox anytime.

Cleansing and General Detox

From going to a sauna to drinking lots of cranberry juice to giving yourself a dry skin brushing treatment, these cleansing and general detox tips round out our list.

  1. Consume high-fiber foods: These foods will clean out your digestive tract.
  2. Green tea: Green tea has a host of health benefits, including as a gentle detoxifying agent.
  3. Cranberry juice: 100% cranberry juice — not cranberry juice concentrate — flushes out your system, helping your kidneys and bladder.
  4. Colon cleansing: This article from Heather Johnstone, Ph.D., R.N., and A.P.N. gives an overview of colon cleansing here.
  5. Go to a sauna: Going to a sauna will make you sweat enough to clean out your pores and your system.
  6. Apple cider vinegar: Adding apple cider vinegar to your meals or drinks helps your metabolism, digestion, and complexion, as well as the functionality of your liver, bladder and kidneys.
  7. Dry skin brushing: Dry skin brushing, according to Detox.org, stimulates the lymph system and gives your body a detoxifying boost. Skin brushing involves using a brush made of vegetable bristles to brush each part of your body in the direction of your heart.
  8. Ion Cleanse Electronic Detoxification System: This method uses a certain magnetic machine to neutralize and then pull out toxins from your pores.
  9. Herbal cleansing: Herbal cleansing is a more economical and less involved cleansing method.
  10. Head to a detox spa: Read reviews of detox spas here to get an idea of the different detox plans and diets used at each one.
  11. Eat broccoli sprouts: Broccoli sprouts have more "cancer-fighting, enzyme-stimulating" nutrients than regular broccoli.

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