Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety’

Coping with Triggers in Eating Disorder Recovery

A woman reading a book

To those in eating disorder recovery, it can often feel like triggers are all around. It seems they can’t be escaped and they can’t be ignored—they come, unasked and unannounced, in the sounds and sights of everyday life.

You overhear one in the mall dressing room: “You look great – have you lost weight?” You see another on your coworker’s plate, a conspicuously small serving of the company lunch. You find yet another on your favorite restaurant menu, calorie counts in bold black font on every page.

For many, triggers are even louder and more glaring during the holidays. They may come in the form of a family get-together, where a difficult relative sidles up alongside you, or a fear food is passed around the dinner table. They may come when Grandma prepares your favorite dish differently this year, or your schedule is thrown off by holiday travel. Triggers can turn the most “wonderful” time of the year into the most overwhelming.

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Meditation Techniques and Apps to Try

Rock stack

Meditation is the process of relaxing your body and training your mind to stay in the present moment. In short, mediation is the process of soothing your mind and body. While the most common association with meditation is someone sitting cross-legged on the floor and breathing with their eyes closed, meditation comes in a variety of forms.

Types of Meditation

Breath awareness

Breath awareness is the most common meditative practice. This practice encourages awareness of breath and mindfulness—the only guideline is to focus on your breath. To do this practice, start by getting comfortable. You may be sitting in a chair, sitting cross-legged, or lying down. The goal is to be in a position that you can stay in for at least five minutes with little discomfort. Once you are comfortable, close your eyes and began breathing in and out through your nose. Focus on your breath. You may notice your thoughts start to wander to to-do lists, stressors, or daily events. If this happens, simply redirect your attention back to your breath. If may be helpful to focus on your breath by repeating the words “in and out” as you breathe or to pay attention to how the air feels coming in and out of your body.

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The Power of Gratitude Lists

Gratitude Notebook

Gratitude is a state of thankfulness. The word stems from the Latin word gratus, meaning grateful and denoting a feeling of appreciation. While practicing gratitude has several benefits, it is often a forgotten practice in Western culture. With the fast-paced, stressful nature of modern life, we often push wellness practices to the side. Luckily, wellness practices like meditation, mindfulness, and gratitude are always available and relatively easy to start. One of The Emily Program’s favorite wellness activities is keeping a gratitude journal.

What is a gratitude journal?

A gratitude journal is simple—it is a place for appreciation. Typically, it is a notebook where you can write down and reflect on what you are grateful for. While there are many ways to structure your personal gratitude journal, we suggest starting somewhere that feels feasible for you.

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Let’s Face It, Family Can Be Stressful

Adults holding hands

We are in the middle of the holiday season, which means that you’ve most likely endured some degree of familial stress. From the commotion of cooking large meals for the extended family to body and food-centric dinner table talk, it’s easy to see why the holidays might just be the most stressful time of the year. For those in eating disorder recovery and those who are support people, it’s essential to know what stress is and how it functions. With an understanding of the nature of stress, we can move forward compassionately and mitigate anxiety-inducing moments by utilizing positive communication skills. 

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The Link between Eating Disorders and Other Mental Health Diagnoses

Girl by river

One thing that makes eating disorders so difficult to live with and to treat is that they often do not exist in isolation. A very large number of people suffering from eating disorders may also suffer from another illness. For instance, it is extremely common for someone with an eating disorder to have significant anxiety—and there is likely a biological relationship between eating disorders and anxiety symptoms. Depression is also extremely common in relation to eating disorders. This may be related to biological traits that are similar; however, it may also be related to the change in brain chemistry that occurs with starvation, binging, purging, and/or other eating disorder behaviors. Or it may exist as a completely separate diagnosis.

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