One of the most important things in our lives to keep clean is our mind. In fact, I believe there is nothing more important to detox than our minds. A friend said she’d learned that the unconscious doesn’t have a sense of humor. She became very afraid because she’d spent 50 years enjoying sarcasm and realized what she’d been feeding her mind all along. That’s right – information, thoughts and feelings are food for minds.

Think about your energy level when you’re angry, anxious, or complaining. Then consider your energy level when happy or grateful. This may be really old news, but I’d like to invite you to feed yourself joy.

In 2015, I joined a self-nurturing webinar series called “A Year of Daily Joy with Jennifer Louden”, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you then. With traditional detoxifying, emphasis is placed on what to avoid rather than what to do. Instead of removing something, this “detox” program focuses on a daily dose of joy.

So often, I’ve said I wanted to be more joyful or positive, or less critical, but have only made baby steps over the years toward that goal. Through the webinar, I learned that humans are neurologically programmed to see all the things wrong in life, and it takes repeated long-term practice to rewire that thinking.

The program started out with a journaling exercise: “Why do I need more joy in my life?” Wow! When I’m happy about life, EVERYTHING becomes fun, easy, do-able. Wouldn’t that fix a lot? If that sounds too Pollyannaish, try to Google “chemicals released with particular types of thoughts”. Science has proven that happy or grateful emotions provide immune system support, while fear-based or negative thoughts and feelings trigger a stress response such as inflammatory changes.

So this year, I revisited that journaling exercise and found it’s still just as powerful. Why not try joy, right? I’m spending my days looking for what’s beautiful, terrific, or even perfect about the moment. I’ve resolved to start and end the day with those thoughts, and maybe even reflect on joy several times through the day. I won’t punish myself if I forget, but think instead how adorable I am for trying and being human.