Eating disorders can be a horrific thing to watch a loved one go through, no matter what degree it manifests. This is why we want to let you in on the healing powers and many health benefits of meditation.
What You Need To Know About Eating Disorders
First, it is important to know how prevalent this issue is in our society. If you or a loved one is battling an eating disorder there are natural and effective treatments that cut to straight to the root of what is going on.
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders:
- At least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the U.S.
- Every 62 minutes at least one person dies as a direct result from an eating disorder.
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
Second, it is important to address where eating disorders come from. It is about much more than food, but manifests from a deeper imbalance that is asking for your support.
Commonly one of the roots of disordered eating is control. By controlling your intake of food you find some level of control that you were not finding in other places of your life.
This can extend into many different branches of where one may be feeling a lack of control and will vary from person to person. Though one thing is true for everyone across the board, which is that meditation can help even as a supplemental treatment.
As we will discuss below the mental ways that meditation heals various aspects of the mental and emotional body that lead to disordered eating, stress reduction techniques are an important aspect.
Breathwork is a practice that you can dive into in a structured meditation practice or use throughout the day at any moment you feel yourself becoming entangled in your thoughts or anxiety.
We have a list of calming breathwork practices here that you can look through. One of our favorite and simple but effective breathwork techniques is the 4-7-8 technique. The basis is: breath in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, exhale slowly for a count of 8.
This actually will activate the parasympathetic nervous system which will help you calm the body’s physiology as well as your mind.
If you are ready to dive deeper into meditation and you are just getting started a meditation teacher or in-depth course will be a great tool to guide you. The right meditation instruction can create a powerful impact on your experience with diving deep into the mind.
We do have a 30-day meditation course which you can learn more about here. In this course, Kyle Greenfield will explain what you can expect from meditation and guide you through the most effective techniques such as mindfulness, working with mantras, and finding distance from your thoughts.
Helping Cope Through Triggers
During your meditation practice, the goal is to stay focused no matter what emotions, thoughts, or external sounds surround you. This practice guides you to surrender to whatever thoughts or emotions float by without attaching to them.
This, of course, can be uncomfortable, but over time this will get easier and will teach you how to find distance from negative thoughts and reduce impulsivity. By being able to find more control over your thoughts you will also be able to disarm stressful thinking. Again, this helps to dissolve impulsivity as well as self-punishing behavior.
Through meditation, the practice involves viewing life through a neutral and objective lens. Learning this correlates to being able to remove self-judgement and harmful thoughts.
This can even lead to finding compassion behind self-criticism and anxiety. Learn more about cultivating compassion in daily life with these practices.
If you or a loved one feels anxiety around their triggers then we suggest these mindfulness books that help you overcome and treat anxiety.