“I see doing a detox is like falling in love with yourself again. Our body feels great, and we are filled with energy, well-being, and a feeling of ‘come on world!’ But returning to our everyday lives and maintaining this state requires taking little steps and being careful not to awaken the amygdala.”
Every spring and fall, we do a joint cleansing in Nordic Ayurveda – a physical and mental detox to let go of the old and get the new season off to a good start. Different types of detox and fasting have been popular for years because the effects are often very visible, both mentally and physically. But what happens afterwards? What happens once we have stepped up, have re-introduced the foods we have omitted, and it all becomes everyday routine again? How do we make sure we keep the good habits so we can continue with the high energy level and our healthy journey?
We spoke to Kasper Cetti, body therapist, breathing coach and Ayurvedic health and lifestyle consultant about exactly what we can do to not “fall behind.” His experience has shown that we need to be careful about believing that we can maintain a detoxed life with many limitations, and make sure we get started again with little steps.
“When you have that wonderful, clean feeling after a detox, it’s hard to believe that you can fall back into your old lifestyle. However, we have many patterns and old habits and are typically part of a community in the form of family or colleagues that means that we don’t want to end up on the outside or get comments on our new lifestyle.”
According to Kasper, it’s about not “awakening the amygdala”; The little part of our “emotional” brain that can hijack our attention and focus, and greatly diminish our ability to think and act sensibly.
“If we change too much at once, the amygdala will react and go into “fight or flight” mode because it all becomes too black and white. So, it’s important that you allow yourself to do some of “forbidden” things, like having a glass of wine on the weekend and not knocking yourself if you didn’t get up at six in the morning to get your routines done. It’s better to think about what made you stay in bed – there is most likely a legitimate reason: Perhaps you just needed more sleep after a few hard days, or you needed a day off.
For Kasper, it’s also important to look at the individual, and become more aware of what works for you as a person.
“We often take on many things during a detox, and then we try to stick to all the new habits afterwards. But maybe you didn’t like everything about the detox? Maybe drinking water with lemon first thing in the morning was something you liked, or going to bed earlier? You don’t have to stick to everything, so it becomes an “either-or” situation that means we drop everything and fall back into old patterns.”
When we detox, we often find that omitting a lot of stimulants (processed food, alcohol, exercise, sex, TV, and media) provides peace and well-being and this has a double effect, as we get to feel ourselves, and all while we tread new paths in our brain. So, we need to use that opportunity, during the detox, to feel for what is right for us. But it’s not always easy, as Kasper Cetti admits:
“We are creatures of habit and don’t like to be outside the herd and alone, as suddenly we are the only ones within our circle of friends or family who is making lifestyle changes, so it can be easier to step back into the old habits. The crucial step is to find safety in the choices we make, and that these feel right for us, so the surrounding environment doesn’t affect us to the same extent. We can this with meditation and breathing exercises, and with little steps that keep our amygdala in hibernation, as we find our personal path to inner balance.”
Kasper is a qualified Body SDS therapist and has for worked with treatments at his own clinic in Amager for years. He has treated people at various retreats all around the world. He is also a trained breathing coach and Ayurvedic health and lifestyle consultant from Nordic Ayurveda. Kasper and his family featured in the TV2 program “Min sindssygt sunde familie.”