Yesterday, we discussed recovering from eating disorders. I shared my interview with Carolyn Costin and excerpts from her book, 8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder: Effective Strategies from Therapeutic Practice and Personal Experience, with co-author Gwen Schubert Grabb.
One of the topics we talked about was feelings. Learning to tolerate your emotions in a healthy way is important for recovery – and for living life. But many of us, whether we have an eating disorder or not, have a tough time identifying and processing our emotions.
Interestingly, our perspective can make or break negative emotions. As Costin said: “Your emotions are your body’s response to your thoughts.” Or, “What you tell yourself affects your emotional state.”
We run into trouble when our thoughts are inaccurate and self-critical but we see them as pure fact. These are called cognitive distortions. Psychologist and eating disorder specialist Sari Fine Shepphird, Ph.D, defines cognitive distortions as “a biased way of thinking about oneself or one’s environment, including one’s body image, weight or appearance” in her excellent book 100 Questions & Answers About Anorexia Nervosa.