What do you love? Who do you love? Who or what might you love if you opened your eyes and your heart? Are you ready to embrace and let your soul reap new joy this Thanksgiving?
Mindfulness Unifying Exercise for Eating Disorder Recovery
*pix Natural, at ease and whole
To mend the split eating disorders create between your mind, heart, spirit and body, try this mindfulness practice.
First, for a moment, step away from appreciating your body only in terms of aesthetics relating to weight, size and shape. Give yourself an opportunity to consider your body from a new and different perspective. This exercise can open valuable communication between all aspects of yourself. The value to you is in what might be a surprising lead to your recovery.
Anxiety: How Does Self-Care Help?
This disruptive state is enough to trigger binge eating and anxiety attacks.
In the face of such powerful disrupters, what can we for ourselves and others?
*pix Marilyn Monroe
Sex, Understanding, Confusion, False Messages and Eating Disorders
If you have an eating disorder, you most likely know that human sexuality is flagrantly advertised and photographed, exploited and both demonized and idealized in our culture. Yet your actual experience is rarely reflected back to you in ways that help you feel understood or understand yourself. Worse, the bomardment of sexual behavior and sexual etiquette definitions may overwhelm you before you can develop your own appreciation for what's important to you.
Here's an example of the pressure on you to fit into a predetermined and callous sexually desireable straightjacket.
The Days after Thanksgiving – Time for Your Real Thankfulness
In my years of being a psychotherapist I’ve been honored to work with many people who reveal and discover their true feeling during holidays. As we share and explore together we find the core gratitude within that enhances daily life and enriches their holiday experience. Perhaps some of what we’ve found will deepen and enrich your experience too.
The Thanksgiving holiday is over. You may reflect on:
Every holiday seems to have a large food component in our culture. Fourth of July is no exception. *pix
If you have an eating disorder the holiday may pose some challenges for you that other people don't consider.
If you recognize these challenges and confront them directly in terms of your needs and vulnerabilities,
you can participate in a fun celebration while maintaining your eating disorder recovery.
Fourth of July food challenges take many forms.
Trusting Dreams as Personal Living Truth Tellers
If you are anxious, depressed, stressed, or trapped in a bad relationship, you may not know who to listen to, who to trust, what to believe, or what even to hope for. Yet you carry within you the source of your most effective guidance that comes from your authentic truth – your dreams.
You can pay attention to your dreams despite the disguises dreams use through the symbols your unconscious presents. The disguise is there to help you get closer to what is meaningful to you without your needing to push that meaning away too fast. Following what is truly meaningful to you is the path to your recovery and to a much more fulfilled and satisfying life.
Dreams play a crucial role in eating disorder recovery, offering valuable insights and opportunities for healing. Understanding the connection between them and eating disorders can aid individuals on their journey to wellness.
Five ways dreams relate to eating disorder recovery
1. Emotional Processing:Dreams serve as a platform for processing complex emotions associated with eating disorders, such as anxiety, guilt, and shame. Exploring this content helps individuals work through these emotions in a safe and symbolic way, facilitating emotional healing.
2. Body Image and Self-Perception:Distorted body image and negative self-perception are common in eating disorders. Emotional blocks and unconscious fears can prevent a person from leading a fulfilling life. Dreams often reflect these struggles, presenting scenarios that highlight these issues. By exploring these themes, individuals can gain insight into underlying psychological factors and challenge negative self-perceptions.
3. Symbolic Representations:Dreams employ symbolism that can be interpreted for deeper meaning. Symbols related to food, body image, control, and self-worth may appear, providing insight into the psychological drivers of disordered eating. Analyzing and exploring these symbols aid self-reflection and understanding.
4. Unconscious Processing:Dreams tap into the unconscious mind, facilitating the processing of thoughts, memories, and experiences. In eating disorder recovery, the moving symbols and images aid the integration of new beliefs and healthier behaviors. Positive changes made during recovery may manifest in dreams as individuals solidify healthier ways of thinking and relating to food, their bodies and their relationships in the world.
5. Motivation and Hope:
Dreams can inspire motivation and hope throughout the recovery process. Positive and empowering dreams serve as reminders of progress made and the potential for a healthier future. Nightmares show where the person feels resistance against change or old fears that need to be addressed.
Images from your unconscious encourage individuals to stay committed to their journey of healing. To make the most of them in eating disorder recovery, it is beneficial to work with a specialized therapist or counselor. Their expertise will guide individuals in interpreting and integrating dream experiences within the context of their recovery. By embracing the insights dreams offer, individuals can enhance their healing process and work towards a healthier relationship with food and their bodies and their life experiences.
Joanna is a psychotherapist in private practice serving California, Arizona, Florida, Utah and Oregon.
Author of Healing Your Hungry Heart: recovering from your eating disorder.
To schedule a free telephone consultation write:
Other dream articles on this site
Nightmare Wave in Eating Disorder Recovery
Dreams: your doorway to emotional healing
Nightmares Can Help Your Eating Disorder Recovery
Dreams Penetrate Eating Disorder Defenses and Speed Recovery