Tips to Feel Better and Recover from Eating Disorders

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“…Most of the work in the world is done by people who aren’t feeling very well.”

LeBaron Russell Briggs

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, nor to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

–Buddha

Dear Readers,

 

Please find below a wonderful post from a guest author Sarah Cummings from https://www.sleepadvisor.org. Thank you Sarah for these wonderful tips on sleeping.

 

Sarah Cummings

 

 

 

 

Tips to Feel Better and Recover from Eating Disorders

 

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Recovering from an eating disorder, or any disorder, is tough. Rediscovering the real you, the you before food controlled your life, is going to be a long road. But it’s one you don’t have to walk alone. You’ve made the first and by far most difficult step in even realising and acknowledging you have an issue at all. Stop for a moment and give yourself a big pat on the back.

 

There are going to be a low of highs and lows ahead of you, but as Lao Tzu says, ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’ Just treat each day as it comes, make your only goal to get to the end of that day. Then suddenly an insurmountable challenge becomes a lot less daunting.

 

Please forgive an inappropriate pun, but break down the problem into bite-sized chunks. It will be a lot more manageable this way.

 

Treating an eating disorder is generally nothing to do with food, but in treating the root cause of the suffering that drives us to food. Below are three amazingly simple tips that cost no money, require very little effort but that will have a hugely beneficial impact on your mood, outlook and recovery.

 

Laugh More

 

Laughter really is the best medicine. Well, actually second best medicine, I will get to the best medicine below. But laughter is a really good medicine. And unlike all those bottles of white pills you can get from the pharmacy, it has zero negative side effects. It is addictive though.

 

You see, when we have a chuckle at our favourite tv show, have a huge belly laugh with our friends or just have a secret smile while watching the kids play in the park, the brain lights up like a firework display. A cocktail of incredible powerful neurotransmitters flood our system and have an effect on our mood far more powerful than any antidepressant.

 

Having a good laugh has been proven to dramatically reduce less of stress and anxiety, it gives the body’s immune system a very welcome boost and it even has anti-inflammatory qualities. Meaning it can reduce chronic pain. Cracking a smile has even been proven to be good for the cardiovascular system.

 

What’s even more astounding is that it doesn’t even have to be fresh laughter to have an effect. Simply remembering a funny moment from your past, say when your uncle Khalid accidently set his moustache on fire, will still trigger the release of endorphins into your bloodstream. Endorphins being your body’s homemade prozac.  

 

So whatever you do today, make a daily date to laugh. Call up your funniest friend for a chat, or just sit down in front of the television and put on your favourite childhood film. The more you laugh the better you feel.

 

Go Outside More

 

Improving your mood and with it your self-confidence doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Sometimes the simplest things can have the most profound effect. Case in point, nature. Researchers have found that the simple act of being in or around nature can have enormous positive consequences for our mental health.

 

In fact, so powerful is the joy giving effect of nature that just looking at beautiful photos of the great outdoors can spark activity in the areas of our brain associated with happiness and heightened mood.

 

If you are in a position to take a trip to the woods or national park that’s great. Do it! If not, don’t worry, simply having a walk along the river to feed the ducks or taking your lunch in the park and watching the squirrels will have a similar effect.

 

Getting outside into daylight more often will also have the added benefit of recalibrating your circadian rhythms. Meaning you will have a much better chance of falling asleep tonight that last. Speaking of sleep, that brings me to my last and most important tip…

 

Sleep More

 

Sleep has been referred to as the single greatest performance enhancer known to humankind. Sorry, correction, single greatest natural performance enhancer. Lance Armstrong and shifty cycle buddies probably have few more artificially concocted potions tucked into their cycling shorts.

 

This claim is true and it’s not just referring to athletic performance, far from it, it’s referring to every single bodily function and mental process. It’s something the team at the sleepadvisor.org talk about all the time. In the history of medical science not a single thing that the body and brain does can’t be improved by improving sleep. Or, suffers from missed sleep.  

 

Sleep plays a huge role in how we control our mood, our willpower, our cravings, our hunger and our weight. If you, or someone you know, suffers from any form of anxiety, stress, depression, eating disorder, or basically any form of mental condition, then improving your sleep is the single best thing you can do.

 

Well there you go – my top three tips to improving your mood. The better you feel the easier your recovery will proceed. What’s so good about the three tips above is how they form a feedback loop. The more you laugh the less stressed you are, the less stressed you are the better you’ll sleep, the better you sleep the more you want to go outside, the more natural you surround yourself with the less anxious you’ll be, the more you’ll laugh, the better you’ll sleep. And so on and so forth.

 

My thoughts are with you. Good luck!

 

Sarah Cummings

 

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About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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