Tuesday 10 December 2019

Detox your life - our guide to decluttering everything

Leave the computer and phone out of the bedroom
Leave the computer and phone out of the bedroom
Practise meditation to clean out your mind
Organic carrots
Clear out the clutter from your wardrobe
Eat seasonally and locally
Naomi Clark
Jane Kersal
James Deignan
Andy Puddicombe
Daniel Sieberg

Clear up everything, from your mind to your wardrobe, with tips from five experts.

Andy Puddicombe - five ways to make your life better right now

1 Take 10 mindful minutes

There's so much going on today, so much stimulation, that it's easy for people never to stop and be mindful. I wouldn't say busyness was a toxin, but not taking time to be aware of yourself, your feelings and surroundings can make things difficult. Just 10 minutes of meditation a day has a huge impact - it could be the time you normally zone out in front of the television.

2 Know the benefits

Meditation impacts all areas of life. It can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, improve sleep, enhance productivity, improve physical performance in sports and even help soften the edges in relationships as we become more patient, better listeners and perhaps a little kinder too. The range of benefits is vast and varies from person to person, but I don't know anyone who wouldn't like a little more calm and clarity in their life.

3 Commit without judgment

Meditation helps teach you how to clear the head - but it takes practise, just like any other skill. If your expectations are too rigid, you might find yourself disappointed. The best thing to do is to commit to daily practise. Make this commitment and to keep coming back if you don't always achieve it. Our experience and evidence show that, over time, you will start to experience real benefits.

4 Appreciate the present moment

The present is very underrated - it sounds so ordinary, yet we spend so little time actually in it. One Harvard study said that, on average, our minds are lost in thought 47pc of the time and that constant mind-wandering is a source of unhappiness. Just think about how you feel right now sometimes.

5 Check in regularly

I sometimes suggest putting up a coloured Post-it somewhere you'll see it during the day - near the kettle or mirror, perhaps. That can be enough to jog you out of the thoughts you're lost in and to feel less at the mercy of your thinking. It helps create a moment of mindfulness. You come to recognise all your thinking is temporary, not the 'be all and end all' of who you are.

Andy Puddicombe is a former Buddhist monk and the co-founder of the meditation app Headspace.

James Deignan - five ways  to change your body

1 Let go of shame and guilt

Your brain controls what you put in your mouth. If you have toxic thoughts around food you trigger behaviour that means you are more likely to reach for foods that don't work for you. Embrace the idea that you deserve a happy, healthy life and that what you eat is part of that. Once you recognise and accept this it becomes so much easier to make the right food choices.

2 Use the 80:20 rule

No more than 20pc of the food you eat should come from a tin, packet or bottle. If you stick with this rule alone you'll dramatically detox your diet. As for everything else, if you eat food in as close a state to what it was when it was running around a field or growing in the ground or on a tree, then frankly, you can't go wrong.

3 Eat seasonally and locally as much as you can - it ensures that the food is more nutritious

And if you can, buy organic. I know that people always say there's no proof that this is nutritionally better for you, but as far as I'm concerned that's not the main point. If one item is sprayed with pesticides and chemicals and one isn't, how can that first one in any way be better for your body?

4 Make it easy

A Vitamix (a high-performance blender) and a Thermomix (in which you can do everything from weighing to chopping, blending and cooking) are the best things I have ever bought. They make it simple to eat well. Now I've got mine, everything goes in them. For example, throw some spinach, broccoli, asparagus, garlic and ginger into the Thermomix, let it do its thing and, in 20 minutes, you have an amazing alkalising soup. I call it "medicine soup" as it's so good for you. vitamix.co.uk; ukthermomix.com

5 Listen to your body

It tells you what food works for you and what doesn't - we just rarely listen to what it is trying to say. If you are tired, grumpy, bloated and gassy, if your skin is breaking out, the chances are there is something wrong in your diet. Look for signs and patterns and eat accordingly.

James Duigan is the founder of the Bodyism gym and a personal trainer to models Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Lara Stone. He's been sculpting bodies and changing lives around the world for the last 10 years.

Naomi Clark five ways to detox your wardrobe

1 Be critical

This time of year is my busiest and September really is the perfect month to cast a critical eye over your wardrobe. We all need to rearrange our clothes, throw out unsuitable items and rediscover old pieces every season.

2 Give yourself time to properly tackle your closet

Set aside a full afternoon - ideally at least three to four hours. Now take every item, including accessories, bags, scarves, shoes and headwear out of your wardrobe and place it on the bed or on the floor if you've the space. Decide on your categories - throw out, charity shop, mend, keep, and store away. Open up each bag. You'd be amazed what long-forgotten items are in there! Lipsticks, jewellery, hairbrushes, even cash all regularly emerge.

3 Be realistic

I've come across women who still have their maternity clothes loitering around despite the fact their youngest child has started school and they've no intentions of creating another addition to the family. If something hasn't fitted you in two years, it's also time to let it go.

You should be open to discarding as much as possible but certainly I'm never blindly ruthless - and you shouldn't be either. It's OK to keep an item that is old-fashioned or ill-fitting if it holds a lot of sentimental value. Or if you've spent quite a bit of money on a nice designer piece that isn't fashionable anymore, feel free to pack it away. Just take a picture of it first - it's much easier to go through photographs than rummaging under a bed or in an attic.

4 Rule of three

I had a client who had dozens of tops but very few skirts or trousers. So I always abide by the rule of three - be it a blazer, dress or jeans - unless you can wear it with three other items in your wardrobe, don't buy it. Individual pieces mean nothing - try to think of your wardrobe as a single, complementary entity.

5 Keep on top of things

Carrying out a wardrobe detox is hugely satisfying. It makes getting dressed in the morning so much easier. Then keep on top of things - habits like hanging up your clothes at the end of the night really make a big difference.

Naomi Clark (30) runs the popular thestylefairy.ie - which offers personal shopping, style consultation as well as wardrobe detox services. Originally from Cavan, she now lives in Dun Laoghaire.

Jane Kersel - five ways to  improve your quality of life

1 When you wake up, ask yourself:  "How do I want to feel? How do I  want my day to look?"

Imagine you are someone else living your life - would they go a different way to work, eat a different breakfast? We often do and think the same things, moving unconsciously through life, rarely pausing to choose change. Each day choose one simple thing to change.

2 Slow down

When detoxing we often think quick-fix - live to excess, then purge. This confuses the body, its rhythm and energy. Quick-fix detox diets can release toxins - unless you do something to draw them out, they will be reabsorbed. Cutting out red meat, chicken, wheat, dairy, alcohol, coffee, sugar and chocolate for a week is a huge shift for most people. Anything more severe, do it under the wings of a nutritionist or naturopath. Also, get into nature. It grounds us. Walk barefoot in grass, visit a park or the woods.

3 Check for hidden stressors

No amount of healthy eating will work if you're exposed to stressors such as geopathic or electromagnetic stress, which, I believe, interfere with the body's energy field and immune system. Geopathic stress is caused by things such as underground water streams, electromagnetic stress by things such as mobile-phone masts.

4 Breathe better

Practise Ujjayi breathing. It helps alkalise and detox. Sit on the floor cross-legged. Inhale through the nose then exhale slowly through a wide-open mouth. Direct the outgoing breath across the back of the throat with a drawn-out 'ha' sound. Repeat several times. Close your mouth. Inhale and exhale through the nose as before, but as you exhale direct the breath slowly across the back of the throat. You should hear a soft hissing sound. Start with three minutes a day, increasing to 10.

5 What you put in mirrors is what comes out

You should empty your bowels at least once a day - if not, your system is not functioning efficiently. Drinking more water can help; if it doesn't, try flax tea. Cover 1 tbsp linseeds with a little water, let them form a jelly then add 1 dsp of this to a cup and pour on boiling water. Also, if your urine smells foul it's a sign your body's not happy. Sugar, salt, processed foods and poor hydration can all lead to foul-smelling urine.

Jane Kersel is a yoga instructor, a consciousness and wellbeing expert, and a naturopath.

Daniel Sieberg - five ways to be tech-savvy

1 Don't charge your smartphone  in the bedroom

Charge it anywhere else in the house. Not only do we know that light from the screen can interfere with the circadian rhythm and sleep, not having the phone near the bed gives you at least two natural breaks a day from checking it. Think of it this way: if you're in bed and reaching for your phone before you reach for your partner there's something wrong!

2 Calculate your Virtual Weight Index (VWI)

Just as a high body mass index weighs on your body, a high VWI weighs on your mind. Knowing how heavy yours is helps you spot where you can 'lose weight'. To calculate yours, allocate points for every digital interaction. The number of points per item is in brackets - tot up how many you have. Over 36 is a high VWI. Smartphones (3 for each), social networks (4 each), laptops/desktops/e-readers/digital camera (1 each), device used for texting (5 each), tablets (2 each), email accounts (2 each), online games (7 each), blogs you write or on which you regularly comment (2 each).

3 Define your e-day

Work towards a finite beginning and end to your connectedness. Decide when and under which circumstances you'll check gadgets - eg, never on holiday. And don't break them. A new idea is 'email bankruptcy' where workers add messages to their 'out-of-office' responses that say not only will emails not be dealt with while they are away, anything sent while someone is away will be deleted on their return. They suggest that people resend urgent messages when they get back. It's extreme but…

4 Never put your phone between you and a friend

A phone interrupts conversation and interactions in ways you simply don't realise. I call it a 'tech turd'. Leave it in a bag or pocket unless it's critical to have it out. If you must have it out for a specific reason, acknowledge its presence and inform your companions that you'll only check it in an emergency.

5 Employ an electronic helper

If you can't do it alone, ironically, there's a growing amount of technology to help you control your use of technology by not allowing you to access certain sites at certain times. I like SelfControl (selfcontrolapp.com) and RescueTime (rescuetime.com).

Daniel Sieberg is the author of The Digital Diet: The 4-Step Plan To Break Your Tech Addiction and Regain Balance in Your Life.

Irish Independent

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