Being able to express emotions in a healthy way is a huge accomplishment. It allows one to not hold on to negative emotions that can lead to more serious issues. But, those struggling with mental health issues like eating disorders may have difficulty with expressing emotions. In most cases, women struggling with eating disorders attempt to cover their negative emotions with self-harming eating behaviors. So, getting comfortable with expressing emotions is an important part of the eating disorder recovery process. Certainly, throughout treatment, women are encouraged to express their feelings in therapy sessions. And, can learn how to better express emotions so that healing can commence. In this article, we discuss how people in recovery for eating disorders can work to better share their emotions.
Stop Avoiding Your Emotions
It’s easier said than done, but avoiding emotions leads to bigger issues. When one avoids experiencing their own emotions, emotional symptoms can occur like stress, anxiety, mood swings, and more. Emotions are a part of everyday life. So, it’s important to understand that experiencing them is normal and even healthy. Instead of avoiding your emotions, attempt to embrace them to better understand them. And, prevent them from developing into a larger issue.
Work Through Emotions in Healthy Ways
Rather than pushing emotions deep down inside, which can lead to negative self-harming eating behaviors, find better ways to manage them. Instead of avoiding your emotions, try to find a way that you can work through them effectively. For example, writing in a journal, going on a quiet walk alone, or sharing your thoughts with supportive people in your life. Certainly, when you find helpful outlets for your negative emotions, you’re more likely to utilize these than revert to past eating disordered behaviors.
Be Willing to Explore Your Emotions
Throughout recovery from an eating disorder, you’re bound to experience emotions you don’t want. However, it’s important to be willing to experience these emotions. And, identify when they come up. This way, you can reduce the effect of these emotions in the future and even attempt to prevent them altogether. For instance, if a specific person or place brings about a negative emotion that stimulates the urge to revert to past negative eating behaviors, note this person or place. And, remember that this person or place is a trigger in the future so you’re aware to be more careful in scenarios of this sort.
Communicate Your Emotions to Others
Part of experiencing your emotions in a healthy way is to express them to others. Practice this by telling others how you are feeling; whether you’re feeling good or not. Of course, when practicing this, try to remain calm while explaining how you feel. And, remember to be vulnerable when expressing how you feel. This way, your emotions don’t have a hold on you anymore. And, you can better navigate how to take the next steps to overcome these emotions. Finally, find alternative ways to express your emotions rather than just telling someone. For example, try to express your emotions through song, poetry, art, or more. And, bring these to your support to better express how these outlets explain how you feel.
Getting a Better Grip on Emotions in Eating Disorder Recovery
Want to learn how to better manage emotions that can lead to negative, self-harming behaviors? Are you dealing with an eating disorder that’s disrupting daily life? If so, Willow Place for Women can help.
We offer support and treatment for women struggling with addiction, trauma, and eating disorders. Plus, provide holistic approaches to therapy so women can learn how to effectively identify and confront unhealthy emotions. To get started on your road to healing, contact us today.