Signs You Need an Emotional Detox and How to Do It

By Charlie Fletcher

Source: Pexels

The body, mind, and soul can become overloaded. Detoxing the body with a special diet is a known solution for when the body is feeling congested, and meditation works wonders to soothe the mind. But few people are aware of the importance of an emotional detox and how beneficial it can be for your overall well-being when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the stresses and pressures of life. 

What Is an Emotional Detox?

Similar to how you clear undigested foods and toxins from your body during a detox diet, an emotional detox clears unresolved and negative feelings. If you have ever gotten so tired of someone that you mentally say to yourself “I am over this person” or “I am done”, your mind may be telling you it’s time for an emotional detox. 

During the purification process, you’ll face and address uncomfortable feelings you’ve stuffed away to avoid dealing with them. An emotional detox pulls up all the repressed feelings of fear, anger, hurt, sadness, and frustration to clear them away, effectively hitting the reset switch on your emotions.

How Do I Know if I Need an Emotional Detox?

The easiest way to tell if you need an emotional detox is by checking in with yourself. Do you feel different? Does everything seem heavier, harder, or more intense? When you’re weighed down by unresolved emotions, you may feel negative, depressed, and more irritated than normal. Some signs you need an emotional detox include the following:

  • Sleeplessness and nightmares
  • Feeling tired after seven to eight hours of sleep
  • Feeling unmotivated
  • Dwelling on the past
  • Feeling more moody than normal
  • Little to no interest in things you used to enjoy
  • Feeling overwhelmed by having to make decisions
  • Unexplainable irritability that can lead to road rage or lashing out at loved ones
  • Reacting to small things in an unmeasured way such as crying if someone teases you
  • Wanting to withdraw from loved ones

4 Ways to Emotionally Detox

If some of these symptoms of emotional overload resonate with you, it may be time to attend to your emotional well-being. Consider these four ideas to get started:

1. Set Aside Some Time for Self-Care 

Consider getting away, even if for just one night, to spend time alone and away from all the pressures that contribute to your overwhelm. A spa trip or weekend in nature is ideal. Use the time to analyze what’s troubling you. Face your worries so you can recognize and release them. You don’t necessarily have to do anything about the feelings and thoughts that come up. Simply accepting and recognizing your distress can help you release them. 

2. Change Your Home Environment

Once you're home and feeling refreshed, find ways to create a home environment that supports your mental health and gives you a sense of safety and well-being when you’re home. The physical and mental activity required to make changes to your home can be empowering. Creating a relaxing space that’s pleasing and soothing can help you through emotional overload the next time it comes up so you don’t have to go away to deal with it.

When creating a soothing home sanctuary, address the five senses: 

  • Sight: Improve your home’s lighting by using lightbulbs in the temperature of natural daylight to reflect your circadian rhythm. Decorate your home with calming colors around the house.
  • Sound: Reduce outdoor noise by using a white noise machine, playing your favorite music, or by adding a water feature for the relaxing sound of water.
  • Touch: Use loungewear and pajamas, house slippers, rugs, pillows, throws, and blankets that are soft and inviting to touch and lounge in. 
  • Smell: Invest in a quality essential oil diffuser and some of your favorite essential oils and diffuse the scent when you’re home. Citrus scents are refreshing and invigorating, while Lavender and Ylang Ylang can help with emotional healing and relaxation. You can also put a natural deodorant to feel fresh & energetic.
  • Taste: Feed your body with wholesome, nutritious foods you love, and don’t forget to treat yourself with your favorite chocolate or a bowl of fresh fruit sometimes.

3. Pick Up Healthy Hobbies or Pastimes

Having hobbies or healthy pastimes is an essential outlet when you’re feeling emotionally out of sorts. Pick up pastimes in which you can involve your kids and your partner. This can improve the well-being of your family as a unit and provide valuable bonding time. Some wellness activities that you can do as a family include yoga, nature walks, arts and crafts, and caring for a pet.

4. Work With a Healthcare Practitioner to Manage Anxiety

An emotional detox can help with milder symptoms from the daily stresses of life, but, in some cases, your issue may be due to anxiety and not stress. If your efforts to relax aren’t working, you may be experiencing chronic anxiety and should consult with a doctor. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may have more effective treatments. Taking medication such as Ativan, visiting with a chiropractor, or receiving acupuncture can help you manage your anxieties more effectively.

Check-In With Your Emotions

Our hectic lifestyles make it difficult to live in a sheltered bubble of relaxation. You can manage the pressures of your daily life by regularly taking time for yourself. Once you’re aware of how you feel when you’re emotionally balanced, you’ll be able to spot when you need an emotional detox and effectively respond to the situation fast before it gets worse.