Detoxify Yourself: 101 Tips to Remove the Poison from Your Body and Your Life


July 17th, 2008

By Megan Jones

With air pollution, harmful pesticides and an unhealthy diet, your body is probably full of chemicals and poisons that you don’t even think about. If you want to detox your entire body, mind, spirit and life, turn to this list, which has over 100 ideas from medical professionals for removing the poison.

10 Goals for Every Day

Keep these 10 tips in mind each day for a regular detox session.

  1. Watch less TV: Watch less TV, if any. Your mind will be freer to concentrate on more important things than annoying commercials, celebrity gossip and superficial materialism.
  2. Limit your online activity: It’s pretty much impossible not to log on to your e-mail accounts everyday, but limit the rest of your online activity, including going to fluff sites and playing online games. You’ll be more productive and will probably end up using the time you would have wasted on something more important and fulfilling.
  3. Stop gossiping: Always thinking and spreading nasty thoughts about others brings your own mood and self-confidence down.
  4. Use non-toxic cleaners: Using non-toxic home cleaners helps rid your home of unnatural substances that can be harmful to your health.
  5. Quit smoking: Cigarettes contain over 4,000 different chemicals, including nicotine, tar, hydrogen cyanide and even arsenic, all of which are poison to your body.
  6. Exercise: Exercising helps purify your mind and your body by releasing aggressive emotions and endorphins. Exercise also helps your body take in more oxygen and pump your blood faster.
  7. Sleep better and longer: Learn valuable techniques for getting a more relaxing, effective sleep each night in order to let your body fully recuperate from the previous day.
  8. Introduce organic produce into your diet: Fresh, organic fruits and veggies are free of toxins that harm your body and interfere with great taste.
  9. Limit the number of pills you pop each day: If you have a chronic health condition, we’re not asking you to stop taking pills. But if you pop several pills every time you have a teensy headache, you’re putting way too many kidney-damaging chemicals into your system.
  10. Breathe deeply: Breathing deeply increases the flow of oxygen into your body and relax your mind.

Physical Poisons

From alcohol and drugs to chemicals in your beauty products, make a concerted effort to rid your body of these poisons.

  1. Limit alcohol consumption: While researchers have found that moderate consumption of red wine does have health benefits, drinking too much damages your liver, weakens your heart, and can make you feel tired and worn out, since it interferes with your sleep.
  2. Drugs: Drugs are incredibly toxic to your body and your life, weakening the immune system, causing rifts with family and friends, ruining your career and taking a major toll on your body.
  3. Go easy on makeup and beauty products: Consider using natural makeup and beauty products that are free of chemicals that can be harmful to your skin. Or, take a look at these tips to limiting the amount of makeup you put on each day without compromising your looks.
  4. Give your hair a break: Hair dyes contain a lot of unhealthy chemicals that are bad for your hair and scalp but can also be damaging when you breathe them in every couple of weeks.
  5. Try skin brushing: This detox strategy involves stimulating your skin in order to increase “its rate of elimination of toxic waste products, which decreases the demands placed on the kidneys.”
  6. Consider a colon cleansing: Colon cleansings are believed to remove the body of parasites and other toxins that can interfere with digestion and general health.
  7. Have sex: Having sex can give you energy, help you sleep better, reduces cholesterol, reduces stress, increases the flow of oxygen to your brain, and can even be a natural pain reliever.
  8. Do a juice fast: Juice fasting is controversial, but it’s also a popular way to detox. Juice fasts are done with the goal of reducing animal products and cooked food products from your system in order to cleanse your body.
  9. Hydrotherapy: This alternative health practice can be done at a spa, sauna or even in your shower. By alternating the temperature of the water, you can reduce inflammation, stimulate your body’s circulation and remove waste from body tissue.
  10. Take herbs: There are a number of natural herbs that can be used for internal and external detox, like yucca root and licorice root, which are laxatives; milk thistle seed and dandelion which support the liver; pumpkin seed which expels parasites; and cranberry and witch hazel, which are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant herbs.

Social Poisons

Give your social behavior and expectations a real makeover by considering these detox tips.

  1. Close or increase privacy settings on your online dating profile: Online dating companies can be extremely beneficial to some individuals, but posting photos and information about yourself online can attract unsavory characters who badger you with inappropriate messages.
  2. Volunteer: Increase your social circle by volunteering. Doing something for the good of others is also a selfless act that is good for your conscience.
  3. Reconcile with family and friends: Don’t let a grudge or a fight with friends affect your conscience or your mood. Reconcile with estranged family members and friends to give your social life a detox.
  4. Stay in: If you’re always going out with friends, take a night to yourself and stay in. You can give your mind and body a rest from all of the external stimulations and social pressures by relaxing at home.
  5. Go out: On the other hand, if you’re always at home, try to go out every once in a while and be social with the community around you. Even if you aren’t out for an organized event with friends, opening yourself up to spending time with other human beings can help you feel more relaxed.
  6. De-stress at work: For some people, going to work means feeling stressed out as soon as they sit down as their desks. Learn to de-stress at work by staying organized and tuning out annoying or over demanding co-workers.
  7. Learn to tune out: Tuning out gossipy friends, media messages and moody strangers will keep your mood elevated and your mind free from worry about everything going around you that you can’t control anyway.
  8. Separate yourself from the pack: Don’t go along with everything everyone else is doing just because they say so. Separate yourself from the pack by doing what makes you feel right and the things that honors your life choices and long term goals.
  9. Be responsible: Take responsibility for yourself and your actions, and you’ll find that you end up taking much better care of yourself, physically, emotionally and socially.
  10. Smile: Smiling can help you focus on the positive and forget about negative thoughts and feelings that plague you.

Productivity Drainers

Mass e-mails, violent video games and even telemarketing calls are a real drain to your productivity and fill up your mind with useless garbage. Rid yourself of these poisons by taking a look at our list below.

  1. Improve your focus: By keeping track of your time and setting goals throughout the day, you’ll be able to stay focused on the things that matter.
  2. Unsubscribe to blog feeds: Clean out your inbox by unsubscribing to all the RSS feeds and newsletters that keep you away from your work and focused on unimportant things.
  3. Eliminate distractions: Distractions can be poisonous to your schedule and your mindset, so turn off the TV, block certain websites and unplug the phone until you complete your to-do list.
  4. Stay nourished: Hunger drains productivity and can negatively affect your metabolism if it’s been too long since your last meal.
  5. Ignore “nasty people”: The Random Hitz blog maintains that “nasty people drain productivity in the workplace,” so try to tune out competitive co-workers, backstabbers and the office gossip to stay focused and keep your energy high.
  6. Turn off the instant messenger: Unless you do business over instant message, sign off your account or create a new one just for work. Chatting with friends will keep you from your work, making you feel anxious and unprepared at the end of the day.
  7. Violent computer games and video games: Playing violent computer or video games is not just a productivity drain: it also fuels your mind with overly aggressive images that can affect your perspective on real life.
  8. Exercise your brain: Keep your brain sharp by doing simple mind exercises that can keep Alzheimer’s and dementia at bay.
  9. Get a spam filter: Get a spam filter for your e-mail account so you don’t have to look at crass junk mail messages all day long.
  10. Get an unlisted phone number: Keep your phone number out of the phone book and off of telemarketing lists so that you don’t have to stress yourself out over prank calls, sales calls and other annoying phone calls.

Meditation Tips

Meditation is an effective technique for ridding your mind and body of poisonous thoughts and energy drainers.

  1. Follow a specific program: Play one of these meditation guides to help you focus and relax.
  2. Meditate alone: Being along is an important strategy for effective meditation.
  3. Eliminate external discomforts: Make sure the room is a comfortable temperature and the lighting is just right for your meditation.
  4. Be patient: This tip will prevent you from getting too overwhelmed if you feel like meditation isn’t working at first.

Emotional and Mental Health

De-stress by opening up and acknowledging your feelings. These tips are also meant to boost your self-esteem and remove toxic thoughts that sabotage your emotional health.

  1. Counseling: Talk to a counselor or psychologist regularly so that you can hear yourself work through your problems. Setting aside an hour each week also ensures that you make you time to address your feelings, instead of burying them until they manifest in an unhealthy way.
  2. Be social: Getting out with friends or even going to a coffee shop will make you feel more connected to the community around you and can distract you from your own problems for a while.
  3. Open up: Share your thoughts, goals and feelings with a friend or family member to purge yourself of anxiety, self-doubt, or any other negative emotions.
  4. Self confidence: Give your self-confidence a boost and get rid of negative thoughts that harm your spirit and prevent you from doing the things that make you happy.
  5. Set realistic goals: By setting realistic goals, you’re more likely to feel a sense of achievement and triumph as you complete each one.
  6. Understand your body: To prevent poisonous thoughts and mental disorders like depression or anorexia/bulimia, get to know your body and your mind. Appreciate yourself for who you are and understand what triggers can set you off so that you can avoid feeling down.

Organization Tips

Staying organized will elevate your mood and keep your surroundings clean and bacteria-free.

  1. De-clutter: Clutter around your house and in your schedule can cause you to feel stressed, anxious and even unhealthy, if your clutter is really dirty.
  2. Take out the trash frequently: This tip may seem like a given, but taking out the trash instantly removes poisons and waste from your surroundings.
  3. Budget: Organize your budget to avoid overspending, debt, unpaid bills, unpaid taxes and other stress factors that could land you in serious trouble.
  4. Schedule: Prevent scheduling conflicts, missed appointments, over bookings and running yourself ragged by maintaining a calendar or date book.
  5. Get tech help: Use an online program like Tada Lists or Remember the Milk so that you don’t have to keep up with to-do lists floating around your car, office and home.

Simplify Your Life

By simplifying your life, you can have more time to concentrate on your health. From re-prioritizing your to-do lists to automating regular tasks like bill paying, consider downsizing in the following ways.

  1. Just say no: Don’t agree to run every event, attend every meeting or go to every party. Saying no can free up valuable time for yourself and prevent you from over stimulating your mind.
  2. Keep things perspective: Instead of overreacting to every setback, keep things in perspective. Ask yourself if the problem at hand will matter in six days’ or six months’ time. Most of the time it won’t, and you can save yourself a lot of toxic worry.
  3. Automate regular tasks: Set up an automatic bill pay or savings action so that you don’t have to waste time writing checks each month, and so you won’t fall behind on payments.
  4. Take time out: Slow down every once in a while to give your mind and body a rest by taking a long weekend, going on a relaxing vacation or just making room in your schedule for an extra nap.
  5. Cut back on communication: Don’t isolate yourself, but minimize the different communication platforms like Twitter, e-mail, Facebook and VoIP that you check each day to eliminate extra junk mail, distractions on welcome pages and useless messages.

Food and Diet

If you aren’t ready to start a full-on detox diet, introduce fresh, organic produce, fiber and plenty of water into your diet as a gentle and healthy way to rid your body of chemicals.

  1. Fiber: Fiber cleanses your body and your digestive tract, so opt for foods like whole wheat bread, brown rice, broccoli, bran cereal, corn and other raw vegetables and fruits.
  2. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a great detox agent for cleansing the liver, as it produces glutathione.
  3. Water: Water is one of the easiest and most effective ways to flush out your system. It’s also a good substitute for soda, alcoholic beverages and sugary juices when you’re thirsty.
  4. Garlic: Garlic is a great ingredient for promoting good health, especially detox, as it is rich in antioxidants.
  5. Organic foods: Incorporate organic foods, especially fruits and vegetables into your diet, since they are free of harmful pesticides and chemicals.
  6. Locally grown food: For a more socially conscious move, buy locally grown food to support your community in a green way.
  7. Ethical food: Ease your conscience by making sure your food was produced in an ethical way, from conditions of slaughterhouses to Fair Trade coffee growers and harvesters.
  8. Blueberries: Blueberries are extremely high in antioxidants and keep your brain sharp.
  9. Say no to junk food: Processed junk food full of unnatural sweeteners and chemicals pumps poison into your body, can cause you to become overweight, and negatively affects your heart health. Even diet junk-food is processed and unhealthy.
  10. Raw food: Whether you live a completely raw food and product lifestyle, or you’d like to try a raw food detox diet, raw food can be an effective way to cleanse your body of animal products and processed ingredients.

Exercise and Sleep

Getting enough of the right kind of exercise and sleep purifies both your mind and your body.

  1. Cardio: Besides being a major calorie-busting workout, a cardio routine is also good for anger management.
  2. Yoga: Yoga is one of the most popular exercises for a de-stress, detox lifestyle because it eases the mind, decreases blood pressure, increases your respiratory efficiency, helps digestion, improves focus and posture, and helps you sleep better.
  3. Pilates: Like yoga, pilates can boost energy and your immune system without requiring a sweat-inducing cardio workout.
  4. Reduce your body fat: Besides looking more in shape, reducing your body fat, which is where a lot of toxins in your body are stored.
  5. Swimming: The website The Natural Path describes swimming as a good exercise for detox, as it works out your muscles and heart but also “increases your breathing and your body temperature, thus aiding in your internal cleansing.” Try to swim in a pool with as less chlorine as possible, or in a natural body of water.
  6. Sweat: Pick an exercise that makes you sweat, which cleanses some toxins from the surface of your body.
  7. Exercise the right way: Make sure you’re following the routine or fitness plan exactly; otherwise, you might injure yourself.
  8. Keep a regular sleeping schedule: This schedule should include a routine for preparing for bed and making yourself sleepy, as well as waking up at around the same time each morning.
  9. Exercise for sleep: Maintaining an active lifestyle can wear your body out just enough to ensure a restful sleep.
  10. Protect your sleep environment: Polluting your bedroom with TV, artificial light from your computer and work materials can interfere with your sleep.

Good Lifestyle Choices and Links

Make good lifestyle choices, by avoiding promiscuity, maintaining proper hygiene and considering a holistic or even macrobiotic lifestyle.

  1. Go organic: An organic lifestyle rids your body and environment of pesticides and may also mean that you support local growers and more ethically produced foods and products.
  2. Promiscuity: This bad habit increases your chances of catching an STD and feeling emotionally dragged down.
  3. Holistic lifestyle: A holistic lifestyle gives equal attention to your mind, body and spirit, so that you monitor the health and toxicity of every part of yourself.
  4. Macrobiotic lifestyle: A macrobiotic lifestyle “is a way of life based upon living in harmony with nature through a balanced whole foods diet, an active lifestyle, and respect for the natural environment,” according to Get tips for living this way by following the link.
  5. Go vegan: There are a host of benefits associated with a vegan lifestyle, like good nutrition, disease prevention, avoiding harmful processed ingredients, helping the environment and more.
  6. Oral hygiene: Your oral hygiene affects your overall health, so make sure your floss and brush a few times daily.
  7. Bathing: Wash off the dirt, chemicals and other toxins on your skin by bathing regularly.
  8. Wash hands frequently: Avoid getting sick by washing your hands frequently, which kills germs and washes off other harmful bacteria.
  9. Feng shui: The purpose of practicing feng shui is to balance out your elements and promote the free flow of energy, greatly reducing the toxicity and stress of any environment. Get easy-to-follow tips here.
  10. Pranayama: This yoga breathing exercise maximizes the amount of oxygen that goes to your brain, controlling “Prana, or the vital life energy.”
  11. Strategic massage: Get a massage that stimulates your digestive system and increases your body’s ability to eliminate waste.

Purifying Your Environment

This list features different ways that you can purify your environment and ensure that your home, office and commute are free of all kinds of pollutants.

  1. Drive an eco-friendly car: An electric car is good for the environment and your health, since you won’t have to breathe in toxic fumes at the gas station.
  2. Walk or bike to work: Another way to prevent inhalation of gas fumes is to walk or bike to work, if you can find a route that doesn’t involve riding behind other gas guzzling vehicles.
  3. Grow a garden: Grow your own vegetables to cut back on pesticides and environmentally harmful packaging and delivery methods.
  4. Make your own household cleaning products: There are a lot of recipes online for concocting your own supply of household cleaning products, free of dangerous chemicals and chlorine.
  5. Composting: Recycle your waste and feed your garden by composting.
  6. Keep plants indoors: Having plants indoors increases oxygen production and zaps up extra carbon dioxide, purifying your air.
  7. Aromatherapy: Natural aromatherapy can be a great help to simple ailments and colds, and it’s also a good stress reliever.
  8. Throw away pet waste: Clean out the cat’s litter box and pick up after your dog, even in the backyard, to prevent the spread of bacteria that can make you and your family sick.
  9. Air quality: Make sure the air quality in your home or office is healthy by ventilating the rooms, changing out your air filters and using natural home furnishings and carpet.
  10. Sustainability: Sustainable living is an ethical and practical way to live, as it saves you money on energy costs and is good for the environment. Get tips for living a sustainable, poison-free lifestyle here.