The Liver, Diet & Attention

angry personOn the right side of our body just below the ribcage is this large and amazing organ, our liver. Its job is to filter and purify all that we take into our bodies. That it must filter our food and drink is no surprise, but not many people realize that along with certain foods, how much we think impacts our liver. Stress also. This is because of the connection between our liver and our “attention”. When the liver is overworked or “hot” we may notice that:

  • Our attention is scattered. Ever noticed how difficult it is to focus when feeling stressed or angry? That’s because the mind and liver are overactive, and not in a positive or effective way.
  • We feel agitated, irritable, hot headed, short tempered, dissatisfied, grumpy and unable to relax.
  • We just can’t stop thinking about everything we need to do, doing things over and over again in our heads. Worrying, being nervous, over planning, all these states interfere with our general sense of well being, as well as the quality of our meditations.

Being kind to our liver helps us maintain a sense of balance and calm, and also helps the liver to do its job of cleansing our system and supplying the glucose our brain needs for fuel. It helps to drink lots of water and be aware of what foods negatively impact the liver – too much coffee, alcohol and red meat will all take their toll. Looking after our livers helps us to feel more joyful and able to manage life’s challenges, thus mitigating future disasters from making decisions under stress.

So diet, the ice treatment , meditation and connecting with nature all help to cool our “attention”. Just taking some time to notice the beauty of the moment, to watch the sky or the trees, will help an overactive mind to cool.

Click below (or here) for a list of foods that are heating (bad) or cooling (good) for the liver.


This guided meditation is very soothing, and demonstrates how to cool and support the liver during meditation, thus lessening the thoughts.

Here Katya Rubia from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, gives a short talk on the research that has been done to date covering the health benefits of Sahaja Yoga Meditation.