The emotional detox for happiness, health and well-being

By John Brant | 31st July 2015
A photograph of a woman smiling in a field and she looks into the distance.

At La Crisalida we offer a juicing option for those who want to flood their bodies full of nutrients and give their digestive systems a rest. Many people discover whilst doing a juice detox that there is a wider impact. For example we find that a physical detox is accompanied by changes at the emotional levels too. Many people report feeling agitated and sometimes even angry whilst doing a juice detox. The body seems to know that not only does it have an opportunity to release physical toxins stored in the body, it can the opportunity to release emotional “toxins” too.

Just like a juice detox, for an emotional detox it is recommended that you get away from your normal environment and create a space around yourself to heal. It is important to give yourself space to be with your emotions rather than just reacting to them and it can take some time to get the full benefits.

What are emotional toxins?

The first thing to understand is that emotions are stored in layers and are stored in the cells in the body. This why sometimes when we take attention into our bodies (for example with a yoga class) we can get emotional. Emotional “toxins” is just another name for negative emotions that have been suppressed.

An emotional detox will happen when we allow ourselves to become quiet and relaxed. This is why so many of us distract ourselves or get busy so that our difficult emotions can be avoided. Our conscious minds want to protect us from difficult emotions like pain and hurt and so we have avoidance strategies so we don’t have to feel them. We often hide it (or suppress it) outside of our normal awareness rather than face the pain and allow ourselves to heal. Inappropriate repetition of negative emotional states is a sign that we are hiding negative emotions in our unconscious. When they are released we feel a whole lot better. Consciously feeling our emotions is good for us.

When we have negative emotions we are conditioned to disown part of them. For example, if we feel angry we know we are angry but we normally try and suppress it because we have been told that we are bad if we are angry. The more we can understand or feel the quality of our own emotions (rather than judge them) the easier it is to release them. So to help us to heal some of our anger (or release the emotional “toxin”) we need to look at it and become one with it.

The emotional detox is most effective if you start with anger. This is because anger can stop other blocked negative emotions from being released. Most of us have many layers of suppressed emotions.

How to emotionally detox

For a deep emotional detox, find yourself in a quiet place where you can be alone. Relax, make yourself comfortable and take your attention to your breathing. We will start first with anger, but you can repeat this exercise for all emotions.

Take a few deep breaths and take a moment to go into the cells in your body and connect with your anger – maybe there will be memories of moments of intense anger that will come to you. Feel the anger and become the anger – don´t hold back, just let it flow through you. Maybe you will feel like yelling or becoming destructive, but don´t – just sit there, be patient and be with the emotion. Try to spend 10 minutes with your anger, experiencing it, and it may come and go. Your job is to give the anger space to express itself without reacting to it or judging yourself. At the end of your practice take your attention once again to your breath. Just watch your breath and relax into it for one minute.

Once you can do this for 10 minutes you can increase the time you spend on it, building up to up to an hour. Other emotions you may want to explore are sadness, fear, hurt and guilt. We recommend you deal with each emotion in that order, after anger.

How does it feel after an emotional detox?

The emotional “toxins” are normally what is stopping us from connecting with ourselves. Many of us tend not to like ourselves and can use alcohol or other things to cover over our emotional problems. Once some of the toxins are released we can feel a deep sense of calm. We can feel very grateful and connected.

It can be hard work and exhausting to work with our emotions in this way but the rewards are immense. As they say, put in the hard work and you will get your reward.

Enjoy!

Headshot of John Brant - Retreat Founder at La Crisalida Retreats
John Brant

John is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. He leads our life makeover programme as well as overseeing the retreats.

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