Meditation and Mindfulness for Eating Disorders

By Irina Webster

As much as we would love to snap our fingers and offer a quick fix to overcoming eating disorders, it’s just not safe nor practical to do so. However, the simple act of being mindful of how you’re feeling on a regular basis – and how those feelings are being manifested into actions that could be harming your body and mind – is very important step to your healing journey.

Mindfulnessis a practice of calming the mind and becoming aware of our inner selves in the present moment. The term meditation refers to a wider range of practices generally meant to help the individual achieve some sense of inner peace and relaxation. In a broad sense, the term mindful meditation refers to a practice in which an individual strives to achieve a calm and stable state-of-mind that is based solely in the present moment. In this moment, the shame from the past and the worries of the future cease to exist. All that matters is that you look at yourself in a non-judgemental manner in the present moment.

Being hard on yourself for the past or worrying about the future is not part of the here-and-now. In the present moment, it is just you and your surroundings. Listen to it. Be present. Quiet your mind and just be. Even though it may seem like a small thing, embrace the fact that right now, you are making a positive step, just by doing this. Every small step you take adds up to big steps. And by taking this first step, you are already on your way to great change!

Make a conscious effort to become more aware of your thoughts and actions when it comes to your eating habits. Make it a personal goal to get enough essential vitamins and minerals and to stay hydrated throughout the day – because, let’s face it, it is quite impossible to make informed decisions about your health when you don’t have the necessary fuel your brain needs to do so. When a person suffers from an eating disorder, their choices are often not conscious choices – the decisions that end up being made are made by the disordered part of the brain (which is often the part that is too tired from lack of proper nutrition to think clearly). The voice within your head that tells you to binge, purge or starve yourself is not your rational voice. With practice, mindful thinking and mindful eating can help you get your true voice back.

Being mindful of eating regular meals is something we hear all too often, but understanding why it is so important can make such a difference in our lives. Our bodies are quite literally machines. They need a steady and constant supply of nutrition to keep them functioning at their optimal levels throughout the day. If you go all day without eating, you will feel tired and low. It’s as simple as that. In this state, there is no way that you can make informed decisions about anything in your life. Nutrition affects everything. Even the act of being mindful becomes impossible if you don’t have the basic fuel to help your brain function the way it needs to.

Another important thing to remember is that, within your mind, something called your “ego” poses as the real you. When you have an eating disorder, the faulty information that you get from this ego is what you inevitably come to believe. Wisdom comes from identifying with your true mind, or your true self. It is essential when attempting to overcome an eating disorder to separate your true mind from that ego state which is constantly giving you incorrect information. Once you make this separation, proper healing can begin. Make a conscious effort to listen to your true mind.

Armed with this new information, start putting it into practice. A good first step is to keep a journal. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Just make an effort to recognize when you’re happy or sad, stressed, angry or overwhelmed. Make a chart. What types of foods do you choose during these varying times? Keeping track of your moods and the actions that stem from them is important in helping you make some major changes in your life and can be an essential step in your road to healing.

Don’t react blindly to stressful stimuli and make unhealthy choices. Remember – you’re worth more than that! It is also vital to make sure you don’t give up if you don’t start achieving the results you want right away. It’s one of the biggest mistakes we make as human beings. We get frustrated when we don’t see immediate results, so we are too quick to say, “This doesn’t work!” or “I put the effort in, but I still failed.” Don’t fall victim to this way of thinking. In reality, you will NEVER fail as long as you are willing to keep trying. Set-backs are different. Set-backs do not make you a failure. They simply make you human. The most important thing is to pick yourself up after you stumble and keep going. Learn from your experiences and keep moving forward. Stick with it. Nothing worthwhile ever truly comes easy – especially something as serious as overcoming an eating disorder. It will take time to achieve the results you seek. But with dedication those results WILL come.

YOU hold the power to change your life for the better. Managing and overcoming an eating disorder is no easy feat. But it IS possible. And no longer does success have to happen to “someone else”… right now, the time has come for you to start this journey.

Dr Irina Webster MD is a recognised authority in the eating disorders area. She is an author of many books on women health. She propagates mindfulness therapy and neuroplasticity as a treatment for eating disorders.

http://meditation-sensation.com

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Science Based Meditation for Happiness

By Gene Sykes

Life and joy are all about adaptation. Meditation is the consciousness of your being and how you are doing – every moment is called mindfulness. Each and every animal must adapt to survive and flourish. The death rate is relatively high and survival takes a hefty toll.

There is a difference between you and animal. The difference is not just one but more than a thousand of niches to consider. Animals are stuck in their natural environment and all species adapt to their niches. Non-humans have very few options. They can’t buy clothes and foods for themselves. A dog can’t all of a sudden decide that it’s already fed up with bones and meat, take off from the owner’s house and go to other owner with a bigger house to become a chef. A person, on the other hand, can decide on whatever he wants. The question to ask for yourself is – what do you want? Or what is your niche? Do you want to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, singer, dentist, and many more? One fact is definitely true – it is hard to be a human being? A person’s success depends on how well he can adapt to his environment and how he can use his skills. You may choose to develop your tools and knowledge, pursue passions and interest, design your environment, change career, etc.

Success is equal to genuine happiness is equal to optimal adaptation. In the end, we’re dealing with one factor for your success. There is no seven keys or ten considerations. This one key is universal, it does not matter who you are or where you’re from. It is about meditation.

Meditation means consciousness. It is about the things you perceive – whether good and bad. Perception is reality and meditation is everything. All meditation style is about focus.

The two main type of meditation are:

  • Mantra – any particular point of focus.
  • Mindfulness – includes all the mantras that come to your mind and how you perceived them moment – by- moment. It is all about perspective.

Meditation is not about sitting still. It involves change, movement and adaptation. Life does not sit still. It is always adapting, selecting, surviving and dying. Human life is all about the need for genuine and evolved happiness. Meditation and happiness are one powerful family. They relate all meditation techniques and they have a healthy and powerful impact on your family as well as on your body and mind.

Mindfulness and compassion are very connected. Absolute mindfulness or detachment is the fundamental basis of true compassion. They will take you to other direction from your current position. Maybe you were convinced to think and make something unimportant to your life. It’s very normal but sad. By detaching from your idea of self you can only perceive the real meaning of true self – your own strengths and passion, especially on mindfulness and compassion meditation techniques.

The only secret for success and natural path in life is favorable adaptation. It is the basis of evolved happiness and the key to success. Medication techniques are the training grounds for optimum success and real happiness.

Ponder this:

In our brain, emotions and reason always interact. The church and our state may be separated in some societies, but church (emotion) and state (reasons) are never separated inside our minds. Negative reason interacts with negative emotions and vice versa. When you’re doing the things that you love, you are not aware that time goes by; you’re within the “zone”. In positive psychology, this is called “flow”.

When you start to meditate and develop the love and compassion within yourself, you will inevitably feel, see and become mindful of your real passions and treasured memories and experiences. You will be aware of your circumstances and destiny, your niche, your area for great adaptation.

Human survival is just about survival of the most firm, dependable and stress-resistant. The remedy to distress is only compassion. This also means that survival of the fittest means survival of the most compassionate. True success and happiness comes from demonstrating compassion within yourself and compassion within you and your special abilities is optimal adaptation.

Mindlev.com offers terrific advice on how to combat your stress. Remember, it is easy to reduce stress through meditation.

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