We usually refer to the physical body when we talk about cleansing and detoxification, but emotional cleansing yields results for the mind and emotions that are just as impressive as any good physical detox. An emotional cleanse isn’t necessarily easy, but it gives you the ability to take a leap forward in your emotional health. There is nothing else like it and I have never met anyone who wished they hadn’t done it.
In addition to the immediate personal benefits, emotional cleansing may prevent chronic disease
Science has validated the link between chronic stress (which is ongoing emotional angst) and the major lifestyle diseases of today. A Harvard study of 1,305 men with an average age of 62 revealed that the angriest men were three times more likely to develop heart disease than the most placid ones.
According to researchers at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, stress acts as a sort of fertilizer that significantly accelerates the spread and progression of breast cancer in animals. Immune cells, which normally protect the body against disease, are being biologically reprogrammed through stress into cells that actually help cancers grow and metastasize.
In a review of the scientific literature on the relationship between stress and disease, Carnegie Mellon University psychologist Sheldon Cohen has found that stress is a contributing factor in human disease, and in particular depression, cardiovascular disease and HIV/AIDS.
Chronic emotional stress contributes to fatal disease. You can bet on it!
The emotional cleanse invites the emotional body to heal, letting go of the cumbersome toxic load and reducing stress significantly. Unless you consciously and deliberately engage in the emotional cleansing process, you are leaving your future health to chance. Don’t leave your health to chance. Follow the recipe. Besides, it is the right thing to do.
Recipe for an emotional cleanse
The recipe will call to mind specific people and events and ask you to take certain actions, always erring on the mature expression of your emotions, rather than an immature expression.
Notice the specific words you use to criticize yourself. Take a paper and pencil and write the words self-criticism at the top. Then, write down all the phrases the come to mind that you use to beat yourself up. Don’t censor yourself. Review each phrase, curious about its origins. Next, completely clear your mind by listening passively but intently to some mundane sound in your immediate environment (the sound of a refrigerator motor, a fan, the hum of your computer of the distant traffic). Once you are settled and clear, throw the paper away.
Identify the people at whom you are angry. Once identified, the recipe calls for you to write down the mature expression of your issue (not the immature one). Once you are clear on your adult position on the issue, the road forward will be obvious.
3. Negative memories
Write a list of negative memories that still bother you. Once you have your list, review each memory completely and from a distance. Imagine you are viewing the memory as a neutral observer from a safe and comfortable distance. Ask yourself what there is to learn from each memory. Record your thoughts.
Identify people you have wronged and of whom you need to ask forgiveness. Identify specifically what you did or how you acted poorly toward each person and what, if any, restitution you feel is appropriate. Make plans to act on your insights.
5. Find your resources
Finally, immerse yourself in a positive memory, seeing what you saw at the time, hearing what you heard and feeling what you felt. Imagine many, many more of these positive memories being scattered into your future. By ending on a positive note and casting positivity into your future, you set the stage for good things to come. Positive expectations and optimism are linked to health and longevity.
The moral of the story: Own your emotional health. Consciously work on your emotions. Don’t allow stress to run your mind. When this happens, your mind and body become a habitat in which disease is more likely to flourish. This is a proven fact.
Mike Bundrant is a retired psychotherapist, Master NLP trainer, and practicing life coach. He and his wife, Hope, founded iNLP Center in 2011. For information on coaching with Mike, please visit his coaching website AHA System.