What Mindfulness Means for Eating Disorders

What Mindfulness Means for Eating DisordersAccording to the Huffington Post, what mindfulness means is “the nonjudgmental awareness of experiences in the present moment.” The NEDC of Australia states that mindfulness can help address “feelings of shame and guilt that often accompany an eating disorder.” The person is taught to respond to their thoughts without judgment, and this encourages a state that connects mind, body, and soul. Experts are not sure how mindfulness works, but it is possible that it helps people to accept experiences – especially painful ones – instead of reacting with aversion or avoidance. For eating disorders, mindfulness can help in addressing shame and guilt.

How Mindfulness Works for Eating Disorders

There are several holistic practices that can help with eating disorders. Some of these include:

  • therapy
  • yoga
  • meditation
  • massage
  • kinesiology
  • acupuncture
  • mindfulness

Individuals who have eating disorders struggle with feelings of negative thoughts and impulses that lead to destructive behavior. Although these holistic treatments should not be used in place of medicine, they have been shown to increase quality of life.  One method that appears to be helpful is to use meditation to encourage mindfulness. The benefit of mindfulness meditation is that it provides a systematic method of focusing attention, therefore helping people gain perspective on irrational and self-defeating thoughts.

One of the most important aspects of mindfulness is to be aware and accepting of whatever arises in the mind at the moment. One must be kind, forgiving, and non-judgmental. It is a “go with the flow” type of practice in which the practitioner does not term any thought as good or bad. The attention is focused only on how one feels when experiencing the thoughts and emotions.  With this method, someone who suffers from eating disorders can develop an awareness of mental habits that produce feelings of well-being or suffering. Therefore, mindfulness is useful in helping with eating disorders.

What Mindfulness Means for Eating Disorders
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