How to feel amazing

One day last year around this time, I got home from walking my dog, Sadie. The trees had just started to bud, so there were hints of green and purple throughout Riverside Park. The sun was out, and I'd only needed a light jacket. It was starting to look and feel so beautiful outside, and yet, I realized as I stood in my kitchen, wondering what to make for dinner – I felt awful.

Heavy, dragging, like I was carrying fifty extra pounds. Closed-in, cramped. I felt like winter, and I wanted to feel like spring. That's how I knew it was time for a detox.

I usually do a detox once or twice a year, and always in the springtime, for precisely that reason: I need to shed that heavy winter feeling. I want to blossom, open up, to spring into a place of lightness and freedom and movement.

Recently a friend asked me what detoxes did for you. "Are they really useful?" she said doubtfully.

Her question made me think. Here's what I told her:

  • Detoxes make you feel lighter. This is true physically if you're doing a food-themed detox, but it's also true figuratively and energetically. You're cleansing your life of all the clutter, freeing yourself from everything that isn't serving you. It feels like putting a giant weight down.
  • They help you break bad habits. When you commit to a new behavior – say, not eating sugar – then you can opt out of that inner tug-of-war of "Should I eat this? Maybe just a little. It won't hurt!" Now, it's simple: "Nope." There's no debate, because you've already made the choice. So you find other solutions.
  • Ditto negative thinking. If you're committed to not complaining, not gossiping, not berating yourself, then you've taken a big step toward breaking that negative thought pattern. You're more aware of your thoughts, so you catch those nasty negative ones and nip them in the bud.

"That sounds great," said my friend, when I was done proselytizing. "But doesn't it feel crappy to give up caffeine and sugar and all that? Especially if you're addicted? It can't be all sunshine and rainbows."

"It's not," I said. "There's definitely an adjustment period. But the hard part passes, and you're left feeling way better. Plus, that crappy feeling gives you a clear understanding of what the sugar and caffeine was doing to your body. You realize just how much it was affecting you."

Later, I sent her one last email when I remembered what might be the #1 benefit of detoxes: the domino effect.

When you make small changes in one area of your life, that positivity bleeds over into other areas. It makes you want to make changes for the better. In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg calls these "keystone habits" – behaviors that make you change other behaviors. Exercise is one. So is developing daily rituals, which is what we'll be doing in my spring detox (scroll down for more on that).

When you take care of your body, when you become more conscious about your thoughts, when you pay attention to what you're putting into your body and what energy you're putting out into the world – the impact is exponential. You gain so much more than you put in. Trust me: you'll see changes when you start to detoxify your life. It energizes all aspects of your life.

In a detox, the changes you make are like the tiny buds on the trees in April. They're a little burst of color, and a promise of what's to come. They are just the beginning.

I hope you'll join me this May in Daily Dose of Detox: 21 Days to Refresh your Mind-Body-Spirit, a detox I've co-created with my friend Marie Faller to help you do everything I just talked about. This is a powerful set of activities that are simple, yet super effective. You'll get an email every morning with something to do that day that will set off a ripple effect of change, empowerment, and excitement into your life.

And, it's free – so you've got no excuse not to sign up!

Click this link >>>  and register now so you don't miss out on this awesome mind-body-spirit detox.

Go out, shed those winter blues, and shine.

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