Negative emotions can have positive effects. Each negative emotion serves an important purpose. For instance, anger energizes us and tells us when someone has crossed our boundaries. Sadness helps us to pause and reflect on our values. Envy clues us into what we want.
Negative emotions, including anger, anxiety and sadness, make us very uncomfortable. Because they're literally, physiologically uncomfortable. So we deem them bad. Most of us also don't have much experience with feeling these emotions. Which means we avoid and dread them even more.
Some of us have a hard time relaxing. We get sucked into the following cycle: (sorta) sleep, eat, work, eat, work, (sorta) sleep, with some cleaning and household chores mixed in. Because it's too easy to go without stopping. Because it keeps the guilt at bay. It keeps our inner-critic quiet. It keeps thoughts like "There's soooo much to do!!!!" (generally) away.
Maybe something is on your mind. Maybe you're worried about your workweek. Maybe you feel like you didn't get enough done today, and you're busy berating yourself. Maybe you work in the evenings, and it's hard to turn your mind off. It's still stuck on tasks and emails and meetings. Maybe you've always had a tough time falling or staying asleep.
When we're going through a difficult situation, it's very easy and natural to get bogged down, to dwell on the problem, to wallow in what's not working. Because you're likely and understandably upset, frustrated, disappointed, hurt. And tired. Very, very tired.
We hate our "flaws." The traits we've deemed as flaws. We hate that we're too sensitive. We hate that we're slow learners. We hate that we cry so easily and get anxious so quickly. We hate that we're indecisive (making decisions also makes us nervous....of course).
One of the best things we can do for ourselves is to be self-aware. It is to pause regularly, take several deep breaths and check in with ourselves---to check in with the stories we're spinning, the actions we're taking, the thoughts and feelings that are driving these actions.
When you’re struggling with an eating disorder, recovery can feel light years away. It can feel impossible. You may quickly lose hope, and assume that recovery just isn't a reality for you. Which is understandable because the eating disorder voice is very convincing.
Today is Eating Recovery Day, a day dedicated to removing stigma, raising awareness and inspiring hope for eating disorder recovery. This year's theme is #MyRecoveryLetter, and invites individuals struggling or recovering from eating disorders, along with their loved ones to pen letters of gratitude, reflection and inspiration.