There’s no secret pill that will help us on a mental detox. No activated charcoal pill to pull out the emotions from the night before. Detoxing for clarity and emotional balance takes consistency. There’s no quick fix, but there are steps you can take to create more emotional balance and clarity in your life. 

If you are feeling stuck, overwhelmed, or totally exhausted, this article is for you. We’re sharing 11 ways you can start a mental detox to declutter your mind. 

11 Ways To Begin a Mental Detox for Clarity & Emotional Balance 

Become aware 

Becoming aware of why you feel the need to detox for emotional balance and clarity seems like it would be straightforward, right? The truth is, most of us move subconsciously day to day and don’t realize why we feel so unbalanced. 

Becoming aware is the first step. Sit down with a journal and ask yourself these questions:

  • What emotions am I feeling?
  • What matters most to me in life? 
  • What do I value?
  • What deserves to take space in my mind? My life?
  • Where can I let go of things that don’t make me feel good? 
  • What can I change?
  • What can’t I change?
  • Am I where I want to be in my life? Where I thought I was going to be?
  • Am I giving my life away to unimportant things? 

When we get all our thoughts down on a piece of paper, we can review, organize, and assess. And now we’ve got ourselves a plan of action. 

Phone Detox 

Ah, the classic phone detox. This can look like multiple things. The first option is taking a break from your phone for a set amount of time—no texts, no calls, no social, no photos. This can start small (24 hours) and get bigger. Weekends will probably work best for this. 

The other option is a social detox. This kind of detox requires you to be hyper-aware of what you are consuming: news, television shows, podcasts, books, instagram, facebook, twitter. 

If watching the news every morning is seriously bumming you out, ditch it for a week. This doesn’t mean that you don’t care what is going on in the world—it means you know that you can’t be of service to the causes you love if you feel disempowered and hopeless. 

Unfollow anyone on social media that does not inspire you to be the best version of yourself. Your distant relative that won’t stop posting negativity? Block her. It’s time to set boundaries, which brings us to number 3. 

Set Boundaries 

Assess your relationships. Which relationships make you feel accepted, understood, and loved. Which relationships make you feel small? Any relationship that makes you feel unworthy needs to have boundaries. 

This doesn’t just mean, “no, I can’t go out to dinner with you”. It also means that you may have to set boundaries on the amount of times they call or text you if that is a problem. You’re the average of the 5 people you spend most of your time with. Would you trade lives with any of those people? 

If you realize that someone close to you relies on you for favors and tasks that you don’t want to do but do anyway—start saying no. At first, this will be hard for them (and you!), but remember, in the end, you can’t be the best version of yourself if you keep putting yourself on the back burner. 

Morning Pages or Junk Journaling 

Journaling is an effective form of self-care that can foster profound self-growth. Here are two options that are pretty similar. 

Morning pages is longhand, stream of consciousness writing done first thing in the morning. There is no wrong way to do it—whatever you write can be about anything and everything that crosses your mind. This is for your eyes only. Fill three pages today. And then do it again tomorrow. 

Junk journaling is similar, but you can do this whenever you feel overwhelmed during the day. No page requirement, but just make sure to write whatever you are thinking and feeling down. Releasing cluttered thoughts into the physical form will help make space in your mind. 

Clean up your inbox 

There is nothing more stressful or overwhelming than seeing hundreds of unopened emails—or even worse not seeing that one important email. 

Keep your inbox at 0. Set a time to unsubscribe from any unnecessary emails or promotional information. This will not only help keep your inbox clean, but also keep you from mindlessly scrolling or shopping through offers. And bonus: you’ll save money. 

Be conscious of your thoughts 

Research found that the average person has about 12,000-60,000 thoughts per day. Of those, about 95% are the same repetitive thoughts as the day before, and 80% are negative. Observe your daily thoughts without judgment. When you hear a negative thought come up, replace it with a positive one. For example, if you hear “I am not worthy” replace it with something you love about yourself. 

Questioning where these limiting beliefs come from can also help rewrite them for good. Notice when you are thinking negative thoughts. Is it when you are scrolling through social media? With a certain person? Etc. And detox that out.

Make a to-worry about list 

Author Brianna Weist says that making a to-worry list helps you work through your fears and make an action plan to address them. A lot of times we worry to make sure we don’t forget about something, especially if it poses a threat. 

Write down everything that bothers or worries you throughout the day. At the end of the day, review the list, and you’ll find that the fears were silly or valid, allowing time to make a plan to address them. 

Get outside 

Being in nature fosters profound health and wellness benefits. Disconnecting from the virtual world and being completely present in nature is a great way to relax and create clarity. Watching the sunset behind a mountain or water flow down a river can really put things into perspective. 

Stay Present in your body 

Whenever you feel yourself getting anxious, go to your five senses. What do you hear? What can you touch? What smells are around? What colors, textures, things do you see. Doing a body scan can also be incredibly helpful. Start at the top of your head and breath into every part of your body. 


Dance, pilates, running, swimming, jumping, and even shaking can help release emotions stuck in your body. Sometimes when we feel emotionally overwhelmed, our energy can be stagnant. We may even still be holding onto emotions and grudges from years ago! Just like how dogs shake it off after they get into a scruff, we can benefit from moving our bodies. 

Find a bodywork practice that allows you to get out of your head and into your body to release emotions for good. 

Stick to a Routine 

A mental detox isn’t quite like a physical detox. While most body detoxes can take less than a week, an effective mental detox requires chronic consistency. The magic lies in your routine. Getting up and journaling for 3 days won’t detox you. Journaling every single day for an extended period of time is how the real letting go will happen. 

Which practice resonates with you to make sure your mind is staying clear?

Now that you have a solid guide on how to mentally detox for clarity and emotional balance, what practice resonates most with you? Let me know in the comments below. 

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