Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.
Eating Disorder Therapist
Overcome disordered eating and find peace with food
How to become happier :)
by Harriet Frew on January 6th, 2016

How happy are you today?
Are you feeling inspired and optimistic about the year ahead?
Or maybe you feel a bit worn down and jaded by life, wishing that things could really be different for you this year.  Maybe a preoccupation with food and your body has unintentionally taken over your thoughts and actions resulting in you becoming inward looking and also withdrawing from those around you.
You may have heard of the inspiring global movement ‘Action for Happiness’ comprised of people committed to building a happier and more caring society.
They have put together the 10 Keys for Happier Living which can enthuse and guide you to improving your level of wellbeing in everyday life.
Here I have listed the Action for Happiness 10 Keys and also added my own thoughts relevant for you if you are struggling with eating and body image concerns.
1. GIVING – doing things for others. If you have an eating problem, you may have at times become over-caring and adept at putting the needs of others before taking care of yourself. This may have even taken you to a point of burn out or feeling very resentful towards those you have given so much to.  It is important to care for yourself first before then making an active choice to give freely.  This can then significantly enhance your own well-being along with the lives of others. 

2. CONNECTING WITH PEOPLE – you may have become very withdrawn socially and feel disconnected from family and friends around you. When you begin to reach out and spend time with people you like and who support and celebrate the person you are, you will feel infinitely better with enhanced self-esteem. You may not always feel like doing this, but it is worth remembering that remaining isolated often exacerbates feelings of loneliness and low mood. 

3. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY – the pursuit of thin with endless diets or using food to cope and soothe emotions may have led to a punishing or obsessional regime where your body is under or overweight and subjected to all kinds of mistreatment through over-exercising to diet pills to purging food. By genuinely prioritising health and looking after your body both physically and mentally absolutely enhances happiness. This can be achieved through being active but not over-exercising; eating nutritional food whilst achieving balance; being out in nature; getting enough sleep and monitoring use of technology as just a few examples. 
4. NOTICE THE WORLD AROUND YOU – you may have become very preoccupied with anxious thoughts, thinking about what might happen. You might be constantly going over your past and ruminating on how things could have gone differently. You might spend vast amounts of time thinking about your weight and shape. Instead, begin to notice the wonder of the present moment and the world around you. Recognise the colours and tastes and beauty that are there when we stop for a moment. 

5. KEEP LEARNING NEW THINGS – often you might have become stuck and stale in the old routine. Embracing new learning affects us greatly whether it is through courses or books or meeting new people. You will be stimulated by new ideas and encouraged to become curious and engaged with life. Self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment can also be achieved through this. 
6. HAVE GOALS TO LOOK FORWARD TO – sometimes when you have an eating problem, you can feel very bogged down with the next meal or the number on the scales. Goals might be wholly focused around eating and your weight. It is incredibly helpful to have an optimistic view of the future. Finding goals that motivate and excite you, whilst also being achievable can bring the reward of finding meaning and improved satisfaction. 

7. FIND WAYS TO BOUNCE BACK – you might feel that you are extremely sensitive and that life has given you a fair share of knocks which have worn you down leaving you feeling mistrusting or wanting to withdraw and hide. By accepting that life will have its inevitable ups and downs and going with the flow of this can help. By becoming resilient and feeling that you have coping strategies, a positive attitude and ways to manage situations also brings feelings of control and mastery in your life.   
8. TAKE A POSITIVE APPROACH – as you can, try to see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty. The more you can experience positive emotions such as joy, happiness, inspiration and fulfilment on a daily basis; this will send powerful ripples of impact into every part of your life. Even if you are feeling stuck, remain hopeful that things can change for you. 

9. BE COMFORTABLE WITH WHO YOU ARE – social-media has opened up a whole new world for ‘perfect photo postings’ and then the inevitable comparisons that follow. Comparing yourself with others is a futile pursuit and only leads to feelings of dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Try not to dwell on your flaws; we all have them. Celebrate your strengths. Learn to accept yourself warts and all. 
10. BEING CONNECTED TO SOMETHING BIGGER THAN OURSELVES – you may feel preoccupied by daily life stresses, low mood and anxiety. If you can look outwards and feel part of something bigger, whether it be through your job, being a parent or volunteering this enhances feelings of self-worth. 

Be inspired by the 10 Keys and have a go! If you are really struggling to find a glimmer of hope or happiness in your life, it might be the time to reach out and get some further support through counselling.

Posted in Anxiety, Being mindful, Body image, Comparing self, Confidence, Eating disorder, Motivation and change, Self-care, Self-esteem, self-help, Happiness    Tagged with self-esteem, self-care, happiness, joy, mindfulness, giving, contribution, self-worth


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Find peace with food and overcome disordered eating.