This is an excerpt from the article “Refocuing Your Thoughts During the Holidays – from Eating Disorder Hope Website”.
Consider this example: You are sitting at a holiday meal with your family and suddenly you have the uninvited thought “They are all watching me!” and your anxiety increases, pulse races and suddenly you want to get up from the table and run to the bathroom to purge.
Let’s put the steps in action:
Step one: “I’m aware that I’m having the thought that “they are all watching me” and I’m experiencing increased anxiety, my heart is beating faster and I’m having the urge to go to the bathroom and purge.”
Step two: “It’s just my brain. I’m not in real danger. My brain is sending signals to my body that I create the feeling that I need to purge. In reality I don’t have to purge.”
Step three: “I’m going to refocus my attention on something else. Instead of thinking more about this I’m going to choose to ask some questions to my grandma about what it was like growing up.”
By focusing on your grandmother, or a game you are playing as a family or practicing other healthy grounding skills you are refocusing your attention and changing your brain.
These steps, though fairly straightforward, are not easy to do and must be practiced, but if you do them repeatedly and consistently you will actually be participating in rewiring your brain—and making powerful steps in your recovery.
This is only an excerpt from the entire article “Refocuing Your Thoughts During the Holidays – from Eating Disorder Hope Website”. The entire article discusses step-by-step actions to start training your brain to react differently to old patterns.