Emotional Detox Book Summary - Emotional Detox Book explained in key points
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Emotional Detox summary

Sherianna Boyle

7 Steps to Release Toxicity and Energize Joy

4.1 (38 ratings)
19 mins
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    Emotional Detox
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    Emotions are harmless – but your reaction to them can cause suffering.

    If you hear the word detox, you likely think of a diet for improving physical fitness. But when it comes to overall health, emotional wellness is just as important. When uncomfortable emotions like anger, grief, or worry start to take a toll on your mood and energy, it’s worth considering an emotional detox.

    But here’s the rub: emotions aren't toxic. Emotions are natural – and neutral – sensations in the body. It’s actually your reaction to certain emotions that causes both physical and mental harm.

    Take Susan, one of the author’s coaching clients. Every time she met with her mother-in-law, she left the encounter feeling emotionally drained. Susan didn’t want to let her mother-in-law’s critical comments get to her but, no matter how patient she tried to be, she’d end up feeling miserable and stressed for days afterward.

    The author asked Susan to become aware of her subtle reactions the next time she was with her mother-in-law. For example, did Susan squint her eyes or tense her lips while listening to the criticism? Was she projecting any thoughts while her mother-in-law spoke, like, “Ugh, I wish she’d shut up?”

    These behaviors are known as emotional reactivity. In Susan’s case, her reactions serve to suppress the emotional discomfort she senses in the moment. But sadly, the more she resists these natural emotions, the more discomfort and distress she experiences. If she’d simply let the emotion pass without judgment, she’d actually suffer less.

    That’s why the aim of the C.L.E.A.N.S.E. method isn’t to detox emotions, but rather, emotional reactivity. So think of emotions as necessary and nutritious, and reactivity as the toxic additives you want to flush out.

    Begin noticing your patterns of reactivity by observing your physical impulses. Think about a negative memory, for instance, and sense if there’s a change in your breathing or sudden tension somewhere in your body. You can also observe your mindset to get an idea. Whenever you have a judgmental or hopeless thought, you’re not digesting the raw emotion – you’re in reactivity.

    Learning to interpret reactivity is just like any other skill, in that it takes practice. Once you’ve acknowledged some of your patterns, you can begin to Clear them.

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    What is Emotional Detox about?

    Emotional Detox (2018) is a guide to processing difficult emotions using the seven-step C.L.E.A.N.S.E. method (Clear, Look inward, Emit, Activate, Nourish, Surrender, and Ease). Using practical exercises, it shows how to tackle negative emotions such as anxiety, anger, and fear in order to live a healthier and happier life.

    Who should read Emotional Detox?

    • Anyone struggling emotionally
    • Individuals seeking life-coach tips
    • People interested in alternative psychology

    About the Author

    Sherianna Boyle is an adjunct psychology professor and the owner of Emotional Detox Coaching and the C.L.E.A.N.S.E. Method. In addition to her Emotional Detox series, she’s the author of Mantras Made Easy and has had articles published in various magazines including Yoga Journal, Psychology Today, and First for Women.

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