January is upon us and with it, a general want and need to detox. Everyone’s talking about it – magazines, TV, the web. The world seems obsessed with driving toxins out of our bodies at any price.
While a detox may work wonders for your skin, body and overall health (it may also do some damage: consult your doctor before embarking on any health-related process), I think we’re losing sight of one important part of ourselves that also needs detoxing: our minds.
All through the year, we’re bombarded with negativity. Turning on the news or reading the paper is like some sort of a backwards antidepressant: most of the time I try to find out what’s going on in the world, I feel like crying before I’m halfway through. I’m not advocating keeping your eyes shut to what’s going on in the world – I’m only questioning how healthy it is to stay immersed in despair and gloom all day long.
Our relations are also widely affected by the negativity that’s absorbed into our system on a daily basis: we get irritated about little things, badmouth people we don’t really know and use the internet to constantly sweat the small stuff. And when we’re not critiquing others, we turn our inner Mean Girl on ourselves: I’m too fat/skinny, not good enough at my job, still single…sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.
I’m not saying I’m a saint: I’m usually the first to moan on Twitter whenever something truly devastating happens – like if my District line train is late. And I have been known to be anything but kind on certain bloggers and singers. And when it comes to myself, I’m even quicker to find faults: my thighs are big, my skin’s too pale, my writing’s not good enough, I live in an ugly flat, I can’t make a decision…the list is long and frankly rather off-putting.
This is why I’m quite entertained by the idea of a no-negativity detox. No juicing required.
Go on, I dare you – for one week out of your life, try to limit your negative thinking to a minimum. Challenge your thoughts. Choose to find your colleague’s outfit interesting rather than ugly. See the beauty in those unwashed dishes in the sink (you had so much fun at dinner last night that you forgot to do them) and the rainy weather (the perfect excuse to buy a pair of Hunters). Make an effort to talk to that “annoying” girl at the gym and find out more about her. Have the courage to believe that that job interview will go well. Have the audacity to wake up happy on a grey Tuesday morning.
You might find that you enjoy that one week so much you’ll turn it into a month. Positive thinking does us good – science agrees with me on this – and I don’t think anyone, Law of Attraction-believers or not, will argue with the fact that you’re more likely to be happy and successful with a positive attitude than with a gloom and doom outlook.
But negativity is everywhere, you say. Yes, undoubtedly. But so is joy. Take a look at Positively Positive or Huffington Post Good News to discover that amazing things happen every day. And while you do have every right to be mad about Starbucks giving you a regular, boring old latte instead of your Vanilla Mocha, I’d like to encourage you to put the same energy into smiling at the fact that it stopped raining at the exact moment you left the office. If we just put the same amount of time and effort into cultivating our positive impulses as we do the negative ones, the world would, IMHO, be a much happier place.
As for me, the next time the District line is late, I’m going to see it as an extra opportunity to hang out and read my book. You know that saying: you catch more flies with honey…or, if you’re vegan, with agave syrup.