It’s a challenge for anyone to stay in the present moment. With our incessant social media scrolling, 24/7 news stream, and constant planning for the future, the distractions are omnipresent these days. For those suffering from eating disorders, a comparison mindset is one of those crippling distractions that keeps us from living in the here and now. When we’re constantly in comparison, we’re constantly judging ourselves, our past selves, and even our future selves. This is why for individuals suffering from an eating disorder, cultivating mindfulness can become the lifeline needed to ease self-destruction.
For those with anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder, thoughts around body image, caloric intake, and weight become incessant. These negative thought patterns hinder our capacity to live joyful, meaningful lives in the present moment. Life can only unfold in the present moment experience, so when our minds are mired in wishing our weight or body were different, we’re perpetually dissatisfied with life. This dissatisfaction is where misery thrives.
What's one way to break this cycle? Mindfulness. A study from Eastern Washington University suggests that using mindfulness as a treatment approach is effective, since eating disorders are associated with perfectionism, control, and harsh self-criticism. In essence, if we can change our relationship with our thoughts, we can begin to heal our relationship with ourselves—this includes our body. Here are three ways mindfulness is a power tool against eating disorders: