Many eating disordered behaviors revolve around stress. When individuals can’t handle or manage their stress, unhealthy binge eating or restrictive or otherwise disordered eating habits may develop or worsen. Fortunately, Magnolia Creek offers a comprehensive range of therapies and treatments that work together to provide a healthy environment for healing. Just one of those methods is called mindfulness therapy.
Being mindful means being present or being fully in the moment. For those with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, or eating disorders, staying mindful can be challenging. However, through various therapeutic methods, clients can learn to be mindful and better manage stressful situations.
There’s not only one way to incorporate mindfulness into therapy. One way is with group sessions during which clients can start journals to write down their feelings. Another way is with meditation and yoga. Meditation can be done alone, in a group, outside, on the floor, or in bed. Regardless of where a person practices, it’s about clearing the mind, assessing the situation, and taking rational stock of their life and what’s going on in the moment.
Mindfulness Therapy Components
Rewiring Negative Responses
It’s common for clients who struggle with eating disorders to have an automatic negative response to certain emotions, events, actions, or situations. For example, a woman may hear about a trip to the beach and immediately feel anxious about wearing a bathing suit. Or a woman may bump into someone in a public place and feel ashamed and upset.
Although some automatic responses are normal, mindfulness can help reframe those negative thoughts into positive ones. Because the responses are automatic, mindfulness slows down the process. Once people start to think about their responses, they may see that they aren’t necessary. Slowing down and analyzing responses can lead to a healthier, more positive outlook.
Avoiding Relapse Through Mindfulness
An evidence-based residential treatment schedule can lay the groundwork for complete recovery. Nonetheless, relapse may still be an ongoing concern for many clients. Fortunately, one of the best ways to counter the risks of relapse is through mindfulness.
The beauty of mindfulness exercises is that they don’t end when the program does. When clients head back home to their independent lives, they can continue to practice mindfulness daily. This can reinforce positive habits and keep women on track toward the healthy and fulfilling lives they deserve.
One thing we see time and time again among those with mental health and eating disorders is a lack of self-compassion. Not compassion for others, which may be in abundance, but a lack of compassion for oneself. Mindfulness therapy can help clients practice self-compassion.
Spending just five minutes each day practicing mindfulness allows clients to be more patient with themselves. They can then see themselves as humans and understand that no one is perfect.
Slowing Down and Reflecting Each Day
Among those who struggle with eating disorders, introspection can be tough. However, spending time each day in reflection can be healthy. Mindfulness therapy is all about creating a routine that allows for daily meditation, calm, and reflection.
Sometimes, we teach clients how to breathe in a way that can slow down the heart rate and lower blood pressure. Physically slowing down the systems of the body can also slow down the mind, making it easier to focus on the day ahead, create a plan for the future, and feel confident about the next step in their recovery.