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2 Step Mental Detox

Just like a car needs oil and flowers need sunshine, you need mental downtime to be your best, healthy self.

If your mind is overwhelmed you are susceptible to poor decisions and potential sensory overload – two factors that can create migraine headaches.

Think about it like this, if you have a slightly clogged sink, water will still be able to pass through but at a slower pace. As time passes and nothing is done to fix it, the buildup will turn into a full-blown clog and will be unable to use. At that time you will have to rush out and get some cleaners – hopefully, nothing is severe and have to call a plumber.

You can view that analogy like this: your brain is the sink, stimuli are the particles that clog it, and healthy brain activity is the water. When you are bombarded with mental stimuli, positive and healthy brain activity flows at a slower pace. If this continues for a long period of time, new health conditions and symptoms may arise – forcing you to go to the doctor.

The American Marketing Association published an article referencing a study conducted by a San Francisco media-buying firm that determined that social media “likes”, posts, shares, and even invitations give us a sense of belonging.

This cause and effect is dopamine gold mine to marketers, but at what expense does this tax the brain of a migraine sufferer?

The more your mind is processing, the more mental energy that is being diverted away from helping you become healthy.

With that being said, I like to view the MIND like this:

M – Messages
I – Interpreted
N – Neurotransmitters
D – Depleted

By definition, a detox is abstaining from or ridding the body of toxic or unhealthy substances. In this case, you are detoxing from negative emotions, stress, and mental clutter that is keeping you stuck.

Every social media post, tv show, and marketing advertisement will stimulate your neurotransmitters and create a sense of pleasure or pain. It is a vicious trap if not managed.

Science and research are contributing stress, anxiety, depression and other health conditions to over stimuli caused by social media.

If you desire to become free from migraines and headaches, there are two essential steps

1.     Unplug from technology

I am not saying that you have to completely remove yourself from all technology, but what I am suggesting is that you develop some new boundaries. Start to create some new habits and set specific times where you will be technology free.

The more time you spend in front of a screen and on social media you are opening the floodgates to be mentally stimulated.

As a rule of thumb, it is best suited to turn off all TV and devices two hours prior to bedtime. This will give your brain and mind enough time to slow down and potentially reset.

2.     Embrace silence

There is a reason why we say “silence is golden.” Glorious moments take place in silence. You can observe, you can process, you can become in tune with your emotions, you can just sit there and do absolutely nothing.

When you become comfortable in these boring moments you allow yourself the opportunity to be present in the moment. You can choose to think nothing or do nothing, but you also give yourself the space to think new thoughts, dream new dreams, and spend precious moments in solitude.

Be aware of what you post

Connection is a wonderful thing, but be aware of what you are posting. If you are having a bad day or a migraine, why do you share the update? In some circumstances, this false sense of sympathy or belonging may be one of the reasons why you are remaining trapped. Be aware of what you are posting, why you are posting it, and what it is doing to you. Social media anxiety and depression is real. For migraine sufferers, this is a topic that we must address.

Former chronic daily migraine, PTBI, and concussion sufferer of 16 years. His became free from migraine, concussion, and headache-related symptoms on May 13, 2011.

Comments: 1

  • reply
    May 11, 2019

    This is such a wonderful post that truly serves me well at this point in time. Over the last few months I’ve been focusing on tailoring social media to my needs, but I’m recognizing that this is going to be a constant process as my needs are ever changing. I’m working on developing boundaries and this weekend am avoiding most social media networks and regular communication with people to allow myself to unplug and only focus on the spaces that currently serve me and don’t negatively impact my mental health. I’ve discovered that having my notifications totally turned off makes it easy to believe that there are no pressing matters, because nothing on my phone truly is a pressing matter. I intended to keep my notifications off just for the weekend, but I believe having them off much more often – especially at night so I don’t wake up to “demands” – will help me focus on self reflection and tune out of the demands of social media and constant availability.

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