A serene woman in white clothing is sitting cross-legged on a pink mat by the water's edge, engaged in meditation or prayer. The image conveys a sense of peace and contemplation with the text "PRAYER AND MEDITATION DETOX YOUR MIND & SPIRIT," emphasizing the practice's benefits for mental and spiritual well-being.
Naturally Healthy Living

Prayer and Meditation to Detox Your Mind and Spirit

Disclaimer: The following information has not been approved by the FDA. This information should not be interpreted as medical advice and is not a substitute for a visit with a medical care professional. Always speak to your doctor about any health concerns. 

Meditation has been around for millennia. And yes, while it’s inception began in Eastern philosophies, this view of meditation as a New Age practice for West Coast liberals is wildly inaccurate.

Contrary to popular belief (especially in the Midwestern and Southern states of the US) you don’t need to be a granola-eating hippie that lives in a yurt and collects energy crystals to practice meditation.

So, before you start writing this blog post off as a piece of Eastern religious propaganda consider that meditation has more concrete evidence backing it than all the popular brain training apps put together. A lot more. A myriad of tightly regulated scientific studies have documented some seriously impressive ‘side effects’ of regular meditation practice.

Meditation is so well-researched with so many positive documented results, that major corporations are building meditation rooms within their corporate offices.

Even the US military has taken note — and is currently exploring the effect of meditation on their troops. And you really can’t get much further away from a dream-catching, aura-awakening aromatherapist than the US military.

Prayer has come under attack as an irrational religious practice with no supporting scientific evidence. Interesting, because over half of Americans report participating in daily prayer, and believe it is an important part of life. There is a growing body of research supporting prayer as good for individuals and for society. This article in Psychology Today gives five scientifically supported benefits of prayer:

  1. Improves self-control
  2. Makes you a nicer person
  3. Makes you more forgiving
  4. Increases trust in relationships
  5. Offsets the negative effects of stress

So, let us look to the scientific evidence that supports prayer and meditation, and explore how these practices can help us in our quest for a Lifestyle Detox.

Stress Reduction

This is arguably the most well-known benefit of meditation. Many meditation participants begin meditation practice specifically with this goal in mind. One 8 week study showed small, yet significant, measures of reduced stress in participants, and an increased ability to complete complex tasks.

Meditation can reduce stress for those who are experiencing psychological issues, but can also be helpful for those who are dealing with physical signs of stress. Healthy people benefit as well by reducing stress in their lives, allowing their adrenal glands to rest more and cortisol levels in their bodies to decrease. This overall diminishing of stress in our minds and bodies actually contributes to a longer, healthier life.

The scientists launching this tightly controlled clinical study lasting 8 weeks with participants practicing meditation 30 minutes per day, stated their objective as this:

“To determine the efficacy of meditation programs in improving stress-related outcomes (anxiety, depression, stress/distress, positive mood, mental health–related quality of life, attention, substance use, eating habits, sleep, pain, and weight) in diverse adult clinical populations.”

Their conclusion? That the evidence points to a significant reduction in the negative areas of psychological stress. And the benefits of this 8 week program seemed to last 6 months following the program before the benefits faded away. Comparatively, the benefits of regular exercise usually fade quickly over the course of a mere few weeks.

Stress has an enormous impact on our lives. Being able to ‘detox’ our minds and spirits from this toxic influence goes a long way in the overall health of our beings — and our bodies.

Reduced Anxiety

Anxiety is similar to stress in its effect on the mind and body. And sometimes stress and anxiety can be a good thing — when it is controlled and channelled in a healthy way.

But mostly, anxiety is a nerve-wracking drain on your physical, emotional, and mental energy. Prolonged anxiety or bursts of extreme anxiety can lead to isolation, withdrawal from society, insomnia, and lethargy — not to mention hormonal disruption.

In a large review of 36 controlled studies, researchers found that there was:

“…consistent and robust evidence that meditative therapies may be an effective treatment for patients with anxiety symptoms.”

Anxiety, like it’s cousin, stress, has a profound effect on the quality of our lives. Living in fear and worry is not living at all — it corrupts and destroys our peace of mind and can cast a shadow over even the happiest moments in life. Meditation and focused prayer may be able to help us remove this toxin from our lives, redirecting that energy into gratitude, peace, or praise.

Reduce Depression

An interesting study made by the same scientists mentioned above noted a comparison of meditation against antidepressant drugs. Their research showed that:

“the effects of meditation were comparable with what would be expected from the use of an antidepressant drug, but without the associated toxicities.”

Most interesting, is that this statement comes from a highly critical review with tightly controlled evidence, making this statement all the more powerful.

This is huge. As the country with the highest use of antidepressants in the world, this research should have been splashed all over the news. We can all conjecture why it wasn’t, but the point is this — meditation could play an enormous role in helping hundreds of thousands of individuals who struggle with depression find a healthy, toxin-free way of managing their condition.

Meditation, or mindfulness practice, also helps reduce the chances for depression relapse among patients. Researchers have noted the effectiveness of meditation to prevent depression relapse, even for those with major depression disorders.

Improves Self Control

A valuable asset for anyone who’s in the midst of, well, life in general. But especially helpful for those who are in the midst of a Lifestyle Detox! Meditation and mindfulness, or prayer, can help you to develop healthy life habits through the focusing of the mind and hardening of resolve.

While that sounds like a lot of mental gymnastics and the repetition of phrases like, “You will not eat sugar today, you will not eat sugar today,” this resilience actually comes from the natural mental exercise of meditation itself. In the same way that your muscles are strengthened through exercise, your self-control and focus is strengthened as you practice keeping your mind in check during your practice.

Meditation can also help rid you of bad habits by strengthening your ability to resist temptation, as well as inspiring motivation and inspiration to bolster your efforts. Backed by clinical studies as well as brain imaging technology, researchers have stated that there is an increase in self control after as little as five days of meditation practices.

Not a bad way to jump start our fall goals, huh?

Improves Focus and Attention

Goodness knows, we all need it — a detox for our minds, clearing away the excess clutter and distractions that inevitably pop up in everyday life. In fact, just today, I monitored how many social media notifications I got over a 24 hour period. I lost count around hour 13, but at that point, I already had well over 25 interruptions to my day, thanks to my constant connection to the internet.

Meditation and mindfulness practices, such as prayer, help to improve the ability to focus on specific tasks. You’ll be less prone to sudden distractions in your thoughts, and find that you’re able to complete tasks more quickly and efficiently, thanks to your single minded focus.

But this isn’t a magic trick or anything — in the same way that your self-control is a mental muscle that is exercised during meditation practices, your ability to focus is also strengthened. As these brain ‘muscles’ are activated and tested, your mental acuity is sharpened, even as you find that the practice of meditation becomes easier, and easier.

Another interesting thing to note is that researchers who compared meditation practices against ‘relaxation’ practices, found that meditation helps to improve the ability to focus on tasks regardless of the individual’s mood. For many years, people associated their attitude with their ability to focus — “I’m just not in the mood to work on this project” — but it turns out, it’s nothing to do with mood, and everything to do with practice.


Detox Your Mental Clutter and Toxins

The documented benefits of prayer and meditation don’t stop here. There are concrete links to other positive effects as well, such as:

      • Improved long-term planning
      • Improves long-term and short-term memory
      • Reduces pain caused by chronic illnesses
      • Increases self motivation
      • Improves organization
      • Release of inhibitions and fears
      • Reduces cognitive rigidity, opening doors to new and innovative ideas
      • Boosts creativity
      • Boosts your immune system
      • Lowers blood pressure

The list goes on. In fact, following meditation postures can even help to improve organ function, allowing your body a better ability to physically detox too!

A greater control over our minds helps us focus our attention on those things that truly matter. When thoughts pop into our heads, we can have the clarity of mind to examine the thought or distraction, and then choose to allow it or remove it. Meditation and prayer empowers you to be a better gatekeeper to your mind.

What toxic thoughts can you start shutting out? What gratitude and joy can you start bringing in? What nourishment and empowerment for your mind could prayer and meditation bring for you?

We want to help

Our Wellness Consultants field questions on these topics every day! They are trained to walk you through supplement choices to find products that will help you deal with these problems. We are unique in the way we react or deal with stress, anxiety, and depression. The supplements used to support your health in these areas are unique as well. Stop in, or call one of our stores, and our Wellness Consultants will be happy to provide information on the different supplements available.

We want to help you “find your healthy place”!

Here are few YouTube guides to help educate you on what meditation is, and how to practice it. Check them out!

Disclaimer: We always recommend that you speak with a licensed medical practitioner before modifying, stopping, or starting use of any medications.

*Disclaimer: All information and recommendations given on this site, in email correspondence, newsletters or other materials provided by The Healthy Place is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice nor be viewed as a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with a healthcare provider. Consult a licensed healthcare practitioner before modifying, stopping, or starting the use of any medications, health programs, diets, and/or supplements, as well as regarding any health concerns you may have. Our statements and information have not been evaluated or approved by the Food and Drug Administration. As with any health-related program, product, or service, your risks and results may vary. We expressly disclaim responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the information provided to you here.”

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Rynn Jacobson is Content Marketing Director. She's passionate about educating people on natural and alternative health and wellness options. Her favorite ways to stay healthy are drinking herbal tea and hiking in the mountains.

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