With its ability to redirect thoughts and calm the senses, mindfulness plays an integral role in the eating disorder treatment process. Mindfulness has the power to alleviate disordered thoughts and lessen self-destructive actions through true self-awareness. This state of being takes effort to achieve, however, and may require guidance from experts skilled in eating disorder counseling. Understanding the importance of mindfulness in eating disorder recovery can help patients commit to adopting this level of awareness in their daily lives as they work toward becoming recovered.
What Is Mindfulness?
At its core, mindfulness promotes living in present and being aware of your actions. This state of being helps diminish disordered thoughts and behaviors that can exacerbate eating disorder symptoms and complicate the process of becoming recovered. The simple act of committing to being mindful can remove the tendency to go into autopilot and engage in avoidance activities.
Mindfulness surrounds the simple act of directly experiencing life and all that comes with it. Each moment and the sensations that come with it are recognized and appreciated for what they are and the messages they convey. It is also a deeper awareness of thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations that occur throughout the day. With mindfulness, it is important to simply witness the event and sensations without judgment.
Therefore, it does take time to learn how to become mindful and retain that level of awareness day after day. Eating disorder counseling can help patients set up the foundational skills they need to remain mindful of their surroundings and inner feelings.
How Eating Disorder Counseling Can Help Improve Mindfulness
While at eating disorder treatment centers, patients attend regular individual, family and group therapy sessions that help them develop skills and challenge disordered thought patterns. In this way, eating disorder counseling prepares patients to learn how to become mindful and use this skill in their everyday lives.
Eating disorder treatment professionals offer guidance and support for their patients as they begin learning how to live in the moment. They will introduce techniques, such as guided meditation, that help jumpstart the process of embracing mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness tends to center around purposefully clearing away all thoughts and recognizing when disordered thoughts appear.
These initial learning experiences occur in a controlled space, such as the eating disorder counseling center, to build foundational skills. As patients move through eating disorder treatment, they can practice mindfulness in less controlled scenarios through exposure exercises. Throughout this journey, eating disorder counseling experts will always remain on hand to provide feedback and support to their patients.
Tips to Help Patients Achieve Mindfulness as They Work Toward Becoming Recovered
With mindfulness, people in eating disorder treatment centers can focus day by day on recovery. Mindfulness does not always come easy, however, especially if the patient tends to favor avoidance as a maladaptive coping skill.
To have an easier time learning this skill, it is important patients accept that mindfulness can go hand in hand with becoming recovered from eating disorders. Upon accepting the necessity of mindfulness, it is much easier to learn and apply, especially when it comes time to practice this skill in day to day situations.
Mindfulness also comes easier when focusing on the positive, rather than letting negative, disordered thoughts rule the mind. Positive thought patterns can help transform perceptions and reframe potentially distressing situations into something a bit more manageable.
Finding Eating Disorder Treatment and Achieving Mindfulness
To achieve mindfulness in eating disorder recovery, patients can receive care from skilled providers at eating disorder treatment centers. These experts will help their patients counteract their disordered thought patterns and move toward full recovery. For help, patients can call (866) 452-7206 to speak to admissions specialists about acquiring eating disorder treatment services at Oliver-Pyatt Centers.