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7 Simple Ways to Call in More Joy—and Feel Less Stressed

It can be easy to get caught up in the non-stop “go” of life and lose sight of what brings you the most happiness. If you can relate, this emotional detox is for you.

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Joy. It’s our most natural state. When we are in it, we feel light, effortless, smooth, confident, and free. What makes joy so powerful is its purity. It is an unfiltered state of unconditional love. Joy is abundantly and effortlessly alive, yet we let so many things—frustrations, mishaps, fears, anxieties, unhealthy relationships, and past experiences—taint it. These emotions are not toxic, but the way in which we have conditioned ourselves to respond to them is—that’s what I call reactivity.

Here is the thing: we are born with emotions; reactivity is what we learn. Raw emotions are like nutrients, reactivity like toxins. No one comes into this world with denial, expectations, the urge to gossip, guilt, doubt, and insecurity—these are reactions reinforced by how we interpret and respond to our feelings. Our spirits want to stay in sync with joy and avoid disconnection, but joy can be stripped from life at times when we most want to connect with it—like now, during the holidays.

See also A Meditation Practice To Let In Joy + Happiness

Like a food detox, an emotional detox leaves you feeling energized, clear, and fulfilled; it cleanses the pathway for new habits and behaviors, and lays the groundwork for connection, happiness, and love.

How to Do an Emotional Detox: 7 Simple Steps

These tips will help you let go of stress and tap into your own joy. The best part? You can do them all today.

1. Up your turmeric intake

Turmeric is a warm spice that’s high anti-inflammatory properties. Besides finding it in the spice aisle, you can also find it in the form of a supplement. It is used as a natural medicine for conditions such as headaches, arthritis, fibromyalgia, itchy skin, and more. Turmeric, to me, is an essential yet affordable way to support your detox. Try adding it to soothing herbal tea (non-caffeinated teas such as elderberry and peppermint ease digestion, while ginger and saffron can help ease tension and promote emotional balance), spicing up salads, or simply take it in the form of a supplement.

See also 10 Ways to Love Yourself (More) in the Modern World

2. Use your heating pad

By placing warmth on your abdomen or heart, you can help calm down and soften resistance of your emotions. Heat increases blood-oxygen and circulation, detoxifying the area being treated. I love to use aromatherapy heating pads for a bit of extra therapy. Try using one to detoxify your neck, feet, and hands, and even face and forehead.

3. Incorporate crystals into your practice

Crystals can be a conduit for healing because their properties can increase the flow of energy in your body as well as within your environment. Crystals can ward off negativity while promoting relaxation. If I know I am entering a heavy or possible toxic situation, I tend to put some crystals around my neck or in my pockets. A few essentials are selenite (for clearing negativity), rose quartz (the crystal of unconditional love), and kyanite (for decreasing our resistance). Meanwhile, crystal elixirs (made by infusing water with the healing energies of crystals) can help move you through stuck emotions and patterns. Stones work deeply and permanently in our subconscious level of being and have the capacity to move energy on many levels, even upgrade our DNA.

See also 6 Steps to Use Crystals in Your Daily Routine

4. Try sound therapy

Sound therapy is a form of vibrational medicine. It is often created with instruments such as tuning forks, singing bowls, and gongs and found in wellness and healing centers. Personally,

I prefer the healing sounds of crystals bowls. My husband and I have attended a few crystal bowl circles together. We both found it powerful to lie on our yoga mats next to each other, holding hands, as the vibrations penetrated our bodies.

5. Practice alternate nostril breathing

This technique helps you deepen your breath, reaching the depth of your lungs. Begin by sitting up tall, either crossed-legged on the floor or in a chair. Gently press your shoulders back and down. Place your chin parallel to the earth. Soften your eyes. Take the thumb of your right hand and close off your right nostril so that you’re exclusively breathing out of your left nostril. Breathing from your lower abdomen, begin to inhale slowly (inflating the sides of your waist) to the count of three. Pause at the top of the inhalation for one count, then exhale out of the same nostril, pulling in your navel to the count of of four. (Make sure your exhalation is one count longer than your inhalation.) Pause. Then using your right hand again, close off your left nostril with your ring finger. Repeat the same count on this side. Repeat this exercise three to four times, and notice how relaxed and open you become.

See also Looking for an Emotional Detox? Try This Sequence from C.L.E.A.N.S.E. Yoga

6. Change your pillow

Replacing your pillow can give you a surprisingly fresh start. When you sleep, you release the stress from the day. Your pillow and mattress are two places you discharge a ton of negative energy. I once had a client who tossed her entire mattress after getting a divorce to dispel old, trapped negative energy.

7. Exercise your olfactory system

Using essential oils in a diffuser or on your skin can help you relax and feel more balanced. So long as the oils are non-synthetic (organic), using scents is one of the quickest ways to activate the calming centers of your brain. Certain scents have been proven to calm organs such as your heart, liver, and intestinal tract. Lavender is known for its soothing properties, while the scent of sandalwood can help you get grounded.

See also 5 Essential Oils Combos That Smell Better Than Your Favorite Candles


Excerpted from Emotional Detox: 7 Steps to Release Toxicity and Energize Joy by Sherianna Boyle. Copyright © 2018 Adams Media, a division of Simon and Schuster. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.