coping skills for eating disorders

Nine Effective Coping Skills for Eating Disorders

If you’re living with bulimia or anorexia, you might look for coping skills for eating disorders. Below, we explain nine strategies to help you cope with eating disorders.

As a compassionate provider of counseling in Tucson, our team at In Balance Counseling helps patients manage their eating disorders and live healthier and happier lives. To see what our mental health professionals can do for you, call 520-722-9631.

1. Find a Support System

No one should deal with a mental illness alone, and having a strong support system is a major factor in successful treatment. Seek help both from a mental health professional and from your friends and family. If the people in your life remain unsupportive, ask your therapist for help finding a new social circle or support group.

2. Start Journaling

Journaling helps identify latent or subconscious emotions and offers a cathartic release. For the greatest effect, write about everything ranging from your failings and complaints about your day to positive affirmations and goals for your life.

3. Prioritize Relaxation

Stress and a perceived lack of control are significant triggering factors for eating disorders. Find time each day to do something you enjoy and relax. It can be a hot bath, spending time with a coloring book, or hanging in a hammock by a lake.

4. Practice Mediation

Emotion-oriented coping refers to the process of changing the way you feel about a situation. Practicing meditation and mindfulness allows you some control over how you react to stressful situations and better mitigates the compulsions and obsessions associated with eating disorders.

5. Try Yoga

One of the best coping skills for eating disorders is practicing regular yoga. The breathing techniques and concentration on bodily movement allow your body time to process and release endorphins and other neurotransmitters that increase your feeling of well-being.

Early research suggests that regular yoga decreases depression, body dysmorphia, and anxiety.

6. Find a New Hobby

Learning a new skill or hobby can bring greater joy to your life and distract you from those urges that tempt you to relapse. Eating disorders thrive on a lack of impulse control, so occupying your mind with consistent activity reduces the frequency of those impulses.

7. Increase Socialization

Much like finding a system for support is necessary, frequently engaging in social events can help you feel more control over your life, distract you from the disorder’s impulses, and increase the encouragement and accountability available to you.

8. Avoid Diet Culture

Avoidance-oriented coping refers to removing yourself from triggering situations. Avoid places and conversations that deal with diet culture, which is a toxic mindset for anyone dealing with an eating disorder.

9. Stay Mindful of Your Habits

Task-oriented coping strategies help you solve a problem or alter a situation. Work with your support system to identify harmful habits and routines around food and change them to support your new lifestyle.

In Balance Counseling Can Help You Cope With Eating Disorders

When you need help developing coping skills for eating disorders, seeking therapy with In Balance Counseling can help. For effective and compassionate support, book an appointment by calling 520-722-9631.

how to overcome grief

How to Overcome Grief the Healthy Way: 4 Tips

Grief finds us in many different ways. Most people associate it with the death of a loved one, which is certainly true. What many people fail to realize is that all sorts of loss can bring on grief. A relationship ending, job loss, or even financial struggles can all evoke this feeling. 

Even though all sorts of circumstances cause grief, the feelings are similar. You have to learn how to move forward with your “new normal.” It’s easy to develop harmful habits while you learn how to overcome grief, but with a little mindfulness, you can navigate the grieving process while also caring for your own personal well-being.

You don’t have to cope on your own. In Balance Counseling provides compassionate grief counseling services in Tucson to help you on your journey.

1. Take Time to Process

It’s true that every person grieves differently. It’s also true that you can’t begin the grieving process without taking the time to process your trauma. Dissociating as a coping mechanism temporarily relieves the emotional pain, but it does not help you adjust to the circumstances.

Take the time to feel sadness, guilt, confusion, and any other feelings you have surrounding your loss. Once you begin to acknowledge the pain, you can start coping with grief.

2. Make Sure To Eat

When you feel extreme emotions associated with grief, you may not feel like eating at all, much less like maintaining a healthy diet. Keep food on hand that takes little to no effort from you, such as crackers, nuts, and snacks you enjoy that you can reach for to nibble on.

Even if you don’t feel hungry, if you force yourself to eat a little bit, your mind may realize that your body needs nourishment during your grieving process, and you will regain some of your appetite.

Drinking water while you’re in a state of grief is also vital. Crying dehydrates you faster than you may realize. 

3. Don’t Isolate Yourself From Loved Ones

Many people self-isolate while they try to deal with extreme emotions. Instead of avoiding friends and family, lean on them for support. Simply turning to a friend to talk about the situation is a big step in learning how to overcome grief.

If you and your family members are coping with the same type of loss, take the time to check in with each other and talk about the way your lives have changed in the wake of a tragedy. Knowing you aren’t alone can bring a sense of peace as you learn to adjust.

4. Healing Through Talk Therapy

Keep in mind that grief is not linear. You may feel fantastic one day and devastated the next. Whatever you feel is valid, and having a few sad days doesn’t mean you will feel sad forever. If you struggle with learning how to overcome grief, you could suffer from effects of emotional trauma. Seeking support can help you cope with grief. Contact In Balance Counseling in Tucson, AZ, by calling 520-722-9631 to schedule counseling to begin your healing journey.

how to stop negative thoughts

How to Stop Negative Thoughts from Taking Over Your Life

Are negative thoughts controlling your life? Do you know how to stop negative thoughts from spiraling out of control? As providers of counseling services in Tucson, AZ, our team at In Balance Counseling will hear your struggles and help you find new ways to gain control. 

Call 520-722-9631 to set up an appointment for individual counseling. Then, continue reading to learn better ways to cope with negative thought patterns.  

#1 Name the Thoughts

First, take a moment to find a quiet space to reflect. Sometimes, the hustle of your daily routine can get in the way of your mental health. But your health is important, and you deserve the time and space to reconnect with yourself and change negative thinking.

Then, identify the thoughts by giving them names. Some examples of appropriate labels include:

  • Catastrophizing: “If I can’t complete this task perfectly, my manager will fire me.”
  • Negative labeling: “I am the worst at writing emails.”
  • Blaming: “She didn’t talk to me. She must hate me. She makes me feel bad.”

#2 Replace the Thoughts

Once you’ve labeled the thoughts, try to understand what they’re actually telling you. Use the catastrophizing thought as an example. You think the worst-case scenario will certainly take place. Yet, it hasn’t happened, and what actually takes place might differ completely.

The following examples demonstrate how you can have a negative thought and transform it into something more positive or balanced:

  • Replace “If I can’t complete this task perfectly, my manager will fire me.” with “I may feel disappointed if I can’t complete this task perfectly. But I do not know how or whether my manager will react.”
  • Replace “I am the worst at writing emails.” with “I will work on my email writing skills to improve them.”
  •  Replace “She didn’t talk to me. She must hate me. She makes me feel bad.” with “She didn’t talk to me. Perhaps she’s busy. I’ll catch up with her later.”

#3 Affirm Yourself

Learning how to stop negative thoughts requires self-affirmation. After replacing each thought with a new, more balanced thought, follow up with an affirmation. If loved ones approached you with the same thoughts about themselves, how would you respond? 

You would reaffirm their value to your life and the rest of the world. Practice doing something similar for yourself. 

#5 Reflect and Track Your Thought Patterns

As you practice this pattern of mindfulness, try to track your thought process in a journal. You can use the following tracking template.

  1. Original negative thought
  2. Thought label
  3. Thought replacement
  4. Affirmation

You might notice that your thoughts slowly begin shifting away from the old thought patterns that controlled your life and happiness. 

Learn How to Stop Negative Thoughts with Resources from In Balance Counseling

Discovering how to stop negative thoughts can help you cope with negative experiences in a more productive manner. At In Balance Counseling, we offer therapy for anxiety, depression, and other issues that cause destructive thought patterns.

Call 520-722-9631 to find mental health resources that fit your needs today. 

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