12 Ways to Reduce Toxins in Your Life

12 Ways to Reduce Toxins in Your Life

Written by Steph @ Living Surrendered, Contributing Writer

Hey everyone! This is my first guest post at Day2DayJoys and I’m really excited for the opportunity to share my thoughts on Rachel’s blog!

My name is Steph and I write about my quest for a toxin-free, eco-friendly, healthy life at Living Surrendered.

Today, I wanted to share my tips for reducing the toxins in your life, including mental & emotional toxins.

Whenever I read “toxins” in any headline out there I immediately think of bleach. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because it’s one of the harshest smelling chemicals I can remember smelling growing up. Whenever my mom would go on a cleaning binge (which was often), we smelled bleach for days. I’m fairly certain that our skin smelled like it at school. Which was probably creepy and slightly disturbing to our teachers. Don’t worry, CPS was never involved and all is well.

Some days, I still have a slight twitch in my right eye… just kidding mom! Kind of.

In reality though, not all toxins can be seen or smelled. It wasn’t until recently that my therapist mentioned that it was an irony that I was a healthy-sick person. I am really passionate about healthy living, but I allowed some toxic relationships and negative body image to continue despite my best efforts to live as toxin-free as possible. It’s easy to acknowledge the chemical cabinet, the bleach, the abrasive cleaners and artificial ingredients lurking in your food. But, mental toxins are just as crippling as a physical illness. Let’s be real, we all have baggage, whether it be emotional, spiritual or physical. But, there’s a better way to carry that load. And to be honest, there are things you can set down and let go of, today. You just need to be willing to acknowledge that you have a load in the first place.

Here are my tips for reducing the toxins in your home, body and mind:

1. Chemicals

Address your medicine, craft and cleaning cabinets. If you don’t know what an MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) is, now is the time to get familiar. My husband and I met in a research and development lab, so we’ve had plenty of experience reading these sheets and know the importance of them. They provide information on the chemicals used, dangers and health risks (especially for children) associated with the product.

You can look up the chemicals in your home using this site. Try replacing your toxic cleaning supplies, pesticides and other items with greener options or make them at home for pennies on the dollar. And, don’t let your kids go to school smelling like bleach (still kidding mom!).

2. Air Quality

Check your air quality by frequently replacing air filters, installing a new unit (if it’s time) and regularly removing the dust from your home. Try adding some air purifying plants, opening windows (even for 5 minutes) regularly and don’t smoke in the home. If you aren’t a smoker, don’t allow smoking in your home. Even the e-cigarettes produce vapors that settle on surfaces that are especially harmful to kids. Also, ditch those commercial air fresheners, they aggravate asthma and contain hormone-disrupting chemicals (among others). Try using baking soda and essential oils instead!

3. Personal care

This category is often the hardest to make the switch. Everything from toothpaste to hairspray is usually toxic in some form. That doesn’t mean you have to ditch your deodorant and be a free bird now. I personally use SkinDeep to check out my product’s health rating and I have switched to cleaner, greener cosmetic brands. Anything you put on your skin will be absorbed, often in 26 seconds or less, so you want to make sure whatever is entering your blood stream isn’t going to cause health issues. Since you use personal care products daily this is a lot of exposure in your lifetime.

4. Food

Organic. Organic. Organic. I can’t stress enough how passionate I am about how much our food industry is corrupt (picture me holding a sign in protest). Know the Clean 15 and Dirty dozen and do as much research as you can about genetically modified food. The pesticides sprayed on our food are known cancer causing products and extremely harmful to our environment. Do your research and get familiar with the terms: free-range, organic, grass-fed, pesticide-free and Non-GMO verified. Seek them out and purchase those if you can.

5. Get tested

Get your home tested for lead, radon and other toxins (like soil, etc). We live in a city with a very large chemical plant and soil testing is routine. Know what you’re working with.

6. Toxic relationships

This seems obvious, but it wasn’t until my late 20’s that I really began to address toxic relationships. Don’t feel bad or guilty about cutting people from your life. A healthy relationship isn’t a playground for drama and constant exposure to negativity. Removing yourself is to love yourself. Seek relationships that are Godly, healthy and positive.

7. Therapy

Last year I started therapy for some baggage I carried around for years. I was too emotionally fragile to start any earlier, but I wish I had. Even if you have to dig deep for the strength, open your mind to the possibilities of therapy. It’s empowering to take ownership of your mental health and face your issues head on.

8. Boundaries

Sometimes, we are people-pleasers. It’s hard to say “no”, especially to our families. But learning to say no, can be incredibly healthy for you. Establish healthy boundaries for family, work, social life and know where your limits are. This prevents burn out and feeling the pressure of being obligated to always say yes. This was something I wish I would have learned sooner.

9. Physical

It’s not rocket science that physical fitness leads to a healthy body. But it’s deeper than just running on a treadmill. Treat your body like the temple that it is and don’t overindulge in unhealthy eating and binging. Not everyone is a runner, but everyone is capable of healthy habits. Whatever your favorite physical activity is, do it.

Peak313

I absolutely love Peak313 Fitness. If you are looking for physical + spiritual motivation, she provides amazing encouragement.

10. Be thankful

I used to be a negative Nancy. A pessimist. A “prepare for the worst” type of person. That was not only toxic to living a positive life, but I probably irritated many people around me. Now, I try hard to stop and be thankful for the simple things: food on the table, sun shining through my trees, a butterfly, my husband’s hugs, my family, the warm breeze. Anything that I enjoy, no matter how small, I try to take it in during that moment. It’s incredibly calming and resets my mood every time.

11. Media

Have you ever taken a social media break? I encourage you to try one. TV, social media, news headlines and celebrity gossip are all in our faces or our hands around the clock. It’s our culture to have any and all information to entertain us 24/7. And some information can be a portal for anxiety, stress or negativity. Take a mental health fast and remove yourself from the noise. Spend time talking, without phones or internet. Take a walk, meet a friend for coffee, read the bible, pray, do whatever gets in your Zen zone.

12. Faith

For me, it’s essential to focus on my faith when I’m having a rough patch. For those who battle chronic illnesses or dark seasons in their life, you understand how hard it is to pull yourself out of that. Worry, fear and self-doubt can become toxic emotions. Thankfully, I serve a fiercely-loving God who says that I can come to him with any and all things on my mind. I may not always get an answer, but I know He’s listening and that is the source of my strength. I encourage you to come to God with any struggle you have, no matter how small you think it is. I also encourage you to find a prayer partner and use them often. Having a faithful friend and accountability partner keeps you motivated to keep moving toward the light.

Toxins are all around us, so living a life completely toxin-free is nearly impossible. But, I live by the motto “Do what you can until you know better; when you know better, do better”. I’ve learned that small, simple changes done the right way can have a profound impact on our health in the long-run.

Thank you for allowing me to share today! I’d love for you to connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter!

Are you looking to get rid of some toxins in your life? Have some tips on reducing the toxins in your life? I would love to hear read them in the comments below!

Comments

  1. I just love this, I often forget that toxic things can be other than what we eat or put on our skin.

  2. I truly enjoyed reading this article! Sometimes just getting back to the basics of life is really key to our physical and mental health and happiness. Thanks for reminding me of these simple yet often overlooked techniques.
    Wonderfully written!!

  3. Thank you!! 🙂 It’s been a long journey of learning what is healthy and what is not… but I’m so glad I decided to change my lifestyle for the better.

  4. This is a very well written article, and I love that it also includes internal issues (such as relationships, faith, boundaries, etc) that can be toxic. These are just as important to focus on as things like food, body care products and household chemicals.
    The journey to health is a long and everlasting road which is ever changing 🙂

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