Self-Compassion in Recovery: Shifting Perspective to Heal with Kindness

Friday, Feb 24  •  


Self-compassion is an integral part of the recovery process for individuals with eating disorders. Oftentimes, fear of failure or judgment can be a barrier to success when it comes to making meaningful and lasting changes. The key to overcoming these obstacles is understanding self-compassion and how it can shift our perspective in order to allow us to heal with greater kindness and empathy.

What is Self-Compassion?

Self-compassion consists of three primary components: self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness. Self-kindness is the conscious effort to show ourselves care, understanding, and acceptance during times of difficulty or struggle. Common humanity involves recognizing that our mistakes are not unique – we all make mistakes as humans, it’s simply part of the human experience. Mindfulness involves taking a step back from our emotions so that we can observe them without judgment or being attached to them – kind of like standing back in an objective stance so that we can notice how we’re feeling without letting those feelings define us or take over us entirely.

How Self-Compassion Can Help Recovery from Eating Disorders

For those recovering from eating disorders, self-compassion can help alleviate many of the fears and doubts associated with change. It can provide a source of comfort and support that allows you to accept your own vulnerabilities while still striving for recovery goals. Studies have demonstrated that self-compassion helps individuals move through shame associated with past experiences as well as anxiety related to transitioning into new life patterns after treatment ends. Through self-care practices such as meditation, journaling, and yoga, you can learn how to connect with your own sense of strength which will help you face challenges head-on while also showing yourself kindness along the way.

Practicing Self-Compassion

One great way to start practicing self-compassion is by making a list of affirmations or positive statements about yourself. This will help remind you that mistakes do not define you – they are simply learning experiences on our path toward growth and progress in life. Talk kindly to yourself just as you would talk kindly to someone else who has made a mistake – focus on the lessons learned instead of the mistake itself. It’s also important to remember that compassion starts within before radiating outwards – once you tap into your own capacity for love and understanding for yourself, it will become easier for you spread those feelings outwardly too. Lastly, engage in activities that bring joy such as reading books, playing music/sports/games, or any other things that bring happiness into your life!

As much as recovery requires hard work and dedication on behalf of the individual seeking recovery from their eating disorder, having access to resources like compassionate care providers who understand what it’s like living with an eating disorder makes all the difference too! We may stumble along our journey but together, we have the power to lift each other up! 

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