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Mindfulness is Key to Winning the Battle Against Eating Disorders

26th October 2018

Originating in the 5th Century B.C., mindfulness has seen a surge in popularity since the Center for Mindfulness began its research in 1990. These days, it is practiced by everyone from London business elites to at least 145 British Parliamentarians. Some use it to increase productivity at work; others as an alternative treatment for depression. One area where it is being increasingly used, however, is to treat eating disorders. It is thought that mindfulness can improve a person’s body image and help them to become aware of their emotions. For many people, this could be the answer for beating an eating disorder for good.

Improved Body Image
Mindfulness has been found to have a significant effect on how a person views their own body. While those with eating disorders commonly dislike the way they look, mindfulness allows a deeper mind and body connection. This in turn leads to a move towards self-reflection. By closely paying attention to the body’s needs, a person can start to view health as paramount. They will then find it easier to feed the body the nutrients and calories that it requires.

Reduced Stress and Anxiety
The causes of eating disorders aren’t always clear and vary significantly from person to person. However, it is often a side effect of high levels of stress and anxiety. This could be stress caused by pregnancy or anxiety because of school bullying. Mindfulness is one of the most effective means psychologists have found to reduce stress and anxiety levels, which explains how meditation deals with the root causes of eating disorders.

Emotional Awareness
Eating disorders are commonly a way for a person to numb themselves to their emotional reality. Mindfulness, conversely, allows you to reflect on emotional and physical feelings in the body in order to truly understand them. Mindful eating is the process through which a person can decide whether they are really hungry or if they are using food to cope with emotional distress. It can also help a person who struggles to consume enough food to learn to enjoy the feeling of eating.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool for focusing the mind towards wellbeing. It allows you to make peace with your body, overcome stress and anxiety, and become in touch with your deepest emotions. These three factors combined can help you win the fight against your eating disorder.

Lucy Windham