Spring Cleaning Pt. 3: Detox Your Mind

“Start small and become the kind of person who shows up every day. Build a new identity. Then increase the intensity.”

James Clear

Dr. Sumi Says: This week, our holistic Spring Cleanse continues by looking at another important aspect of our health - our minds. The thoughts in our mind actually have the capacity to produce bodily (gut) symptoms. Dean Ornish, M.D., author of Dr Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, provides scientific proof in his landmark research demonstrating for the first time that even severe heart disease often can be reversed by practicing meditation along with changing one’s diet and participating in group support.

By Dr. Sumithra Nadarajah, Functional Medicine/Holistic Healthcare Consultant

Let’s Get Started : 1 week of Spring Cleansing 

Last week, we looked at ways to start on a Spring Cleanse by focusing on the foods we eat. With a Spring Cleanse focused on eating whole foods which include a rainbow of vegetables, we have set a good foundation for our Gut Health.

This week, our holistic Spring Cleanse continues by looking at another important aspect of our health - our minds. The thoughts in our mind actually have the capacity to produce physical symptoms in our body. Dean Ornish, M.D., author of Dr Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, provides scientific proof in his landmark research demonstrating for the first time that even severe heart disease often can be reversed by practicing meditation along with changing one’s diet and participating in group support. (1)

Spring, along with its abundance of colors and light, is a perfect time for us to embark on a Spring Cleanse of the Mind. Now is the season to detox our mind, re-energize our routines and mindset, assess what is working in our life, and what isn’t.

Just like we try to flush out toxins by doing a detox diet, it is also helpful to flush out toxins from the mind. Mental and emotional toxins often go unnoticed, but it’s crucial to tidy up the mind, especially in this age of digital overload and busyness. Mind clutter can lead to symptoms like fatigue, lack of focus, a sense of unhappiness, as well as more severe physical ailments like depression, IBS (2) , immune disorder, diabetes and a whole host of other conditions. (3)

Today’s Spring Cleanse covers a variety of ways to start this process of Mind Detox. To make it successful, choose one (or two) that resonate with you, set a time each day to this practice and practice daily for 30 days. Even if you miss a day, pick it back up the next day. Try to avoid going 2 days without practicing.

1. Spend time outdoors, preferably in nature.

Most of us spend the vast majority of our time inside. According to one government estimate, the average American spends 90% of his or her life indoors, and as we get older we become even more inclined not to venture out.

Research is adding up : Spending time outdoors is showing multiple health benefits from increased Vit D levels to improved focus and quicker healing.(4)

Make this spring your best outdoor year!

The following are some examples to get started :

  • Take a 5 minute walk after lunch or dinner. If you have easy access to a park or somewhere quiet with plants and animals, spend some time there quietly. Shinrin-yoku, the Japanese art of “Forest Bathing” invites us to spend time in nature, simply walking and taking in the sounds and sights around us.
  • Lie on a hammock
  • Shoot some hoops with your kids after school.
  • If you have a dog, take your dog out on daily walks - it will benefit the both of you!
walking a dog while forest bathing for mindfulness

2. Journal

If you enjoy writing, the habit of journaling and writing down your thoughts can be a powerful tool to incorporate into your day to help your mind destress. (5) 

Journaling has been shown to reduce stress and improve symptoms of various ailments from asthma to rheumatoid arthritis. (6)

“I write because it makes me feel like someone’s listening. -or maybe I am finally listening to myself.” ~ Shubhangi Swarup

Set aside a dedicated time and space for you to sit down daily to write out all your thoughts into a journal. 

Some favorites include “The Morning Pages” or “Gratitude Journal” but there are no fixed rules on what you write. 

Simply getting your thoughts down on paper can free up space in your mind which helps us to feel more relaxed. 

A woman journaling for mindfulness in the morning pages

3. Earthing or Grounding

In juggling all the pieces of our lives such as holding up our responsibilities to family, friends, work, our health, our financial well-being, as well as trying to lead a full and satisfying life, it sometimes does not take much to unsettle the delicate balance of the forces that keep our worlds revolving. We often find ourselves wobbling and struggling to right the course. This can lead to worry, tension and stress build up. 

How do we find our way back?

With mounting evidence on the benefits of a mindfulness practice on health, longevity, happiness and various other markers, this free and simple method of Mind Detox needs no equipment and is not dependent on the weather. (9) 

To begin, pick a quiet, dedicated space that is beautiful, calm, and free of clutter and distractions. It could be as simple as a corner in the far end of the house away from home traffic, or as elaborate as an entire room dedicated to meditation. 

Use this space every time you sit to practice as this will help condition your mind to prepare for a quiet session every time you enter into this space.

Pick a meditation practice that you enjoy and resonate with.


  • If you like guided meditation, use one of the many free apps that are available now. 
  • If you prefer to focus on your breath, set a timer to do that for several minutes. 
  • If you prefer, you can simply sit in silence with your eyes closed, while you observe all thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations that appear.
  • If you are not into a sitting, quiet meditation, you can still practice being still by doing activities like journalling, coloring, chanting, reading uplifting and self reflection books, woodworking or knitting, or playing a musical instrument. 

As you sit down at your dedicated space to do these activities, focus your thoughts and attention only on the activity that is being done.

A woman grounding earthing for mental health detox in grass

4. Mindfullness and Meditation

Earthing, also known as grounding, allows us to directly connect our bodies with the Earth and use its natural electric charges to stabilize us.

Earthing research suggests reduced pain, stress, and inflammation and an improvement of overall mental well-being.(7) (8) This technique restores the connection between the body and the electrical currents of the earth. 

Earthing is super simple to do. Sitting, lying, standing or walking with direct skin contact with the ground is the easiest way to connect with the earth. 

You may want to do this after lunch when the sun is out and the day is warm. It could be the first thing you do in the morning, stepping outside on the dewy grass. Pick a time that works for you to help motivate you to stick to it. 

A man meditating in the grass for mind detox

5. Take a digital break

In order to get into a deeper state of self-reflection and mental clarity, it pays to detach from the nonstop electronic and social demands of daily life. 

There is growing evidence on the dangers of EMF exposure to our health which could be another reason for us to take breaks from our devices. (10)

Carve out time away from your smartphone, access to social media, and the steady stream of texts, calls, and emails. 

When you are at the mercy of notifications, it means you are living according to someone else’s agenda. When you detach from these things, you are in charge of your time. 

The best way to do this is to set up tech-free boundaries in advance. 

Here are some ways to do this daily: 

  • Go for a walk every day without your phone.
  • Silence your notifications and phone for a one- or two-hour window every day.
  • Disconnect from electronics 30 minutes before bedtime each night and don’t reconnect until a specified time each morning (i.e. after your workout, meditation, or conversation with spouse).
A man by a lake doing a digital detox cleanse


Dr. Sumithra Nadarajah, a dedicated Functional Medicine/Holistic Healthcare Consultant, combines her medical expertise with a passion for holistic health practices. As a certified health coach, nutrition expert, and wellness advocate, Dr. Nadarajah is committed to helping individuals achieve their health goals through a balanced approach to nutrition, physical activity, and stress management. Her hobbies include playing the piano, meditation, exploring nature, and experimenting with healthy recipes, reflecting her belief in the importance of nurturing both the mind and body for a fulfilling life.


  1. 1. Ornish D.,Scherwitz, L.W., Billings, J.H., Brown, S.E., Gould, K.L., Merrit, T.A., Sparler, S., Armstrong, W.T., Ports, T.A., Kirkeeide, R.L., Hogeboom, C. & Brand, R.J. (1998).  Intensive Lifestyle Changes for the Reversal of Chronic Diseases. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9863851/
  2. 2. Qin H.Y., Cheng C.W., Xu-Dong, T., and Bian, Z. (2014). Impact of psychological stress on IBS.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4202343/
  3. 3. Shaw W., Labbott-Smith S. (2018). Stress Effects on the Body. https://www.apa.org/topics/stress/body
  4. 4. Harvard Health Publishing (2010). A Prescription for Better Health : Go Alfresco. https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/a-prescription-for-better-health-go-alfresco
  5. 5. Hunsaker R. (2013). Journaling, Emotional Intelligence and Health Benefits.https://www.proquest.com/openview/6f79a312bf77ceea7ef0c7d4c59fb984/1?cbl=18750&pq-origsite=gscholar
  6. 6. Smyth J.M., Stone A.A. & Kaell, A. (1999). Effects of writing about stressful experiences on symptom reduction in patients with asthma or rheumatoid arthritis. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1999-13417-002
  7. 7. Sinatra S.T., Oschman J.L., Chevalier G. & Sinatra D. (2017).  Electric nutrition: the surprising health and healing benefits of biological grounding (Earthing) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28987038/
  8. 8. Chevalier G., Patel S., Weiss L., Chopra D. & Mills P.J. (2018). The effects of grounding (Earthing) on bodyworkers’ pain and overall quality of life: a randomized controlled trial . https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30448083/
  9. 9. Horowitz, S. The Benefits of Meditation : What Research Shows (2010).  https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/act.2010.16402?journalCode=act
  10. 10 .Akakin D., Tok O.E., Anil D., Akakin, A., Sirvanci, S., Sener, G. & Ercan, F. (2021). Electromagnetic Waves from Mobile Phones may affect Rat Brain during Development. https://www.turkishneurosurgery.org.tr/abstract.php?id=2485