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Eating Disorder Coping Skills

Learning New Ways to Cope With Stress

Mirasol's alternative approach to eating disorder treatment is based on the conviction that eating disorders are chronic, stress-related conditions. Many eating disorders begin as a way of coping with stress, and since initially it appears to work quite well, the individual may not have the opportunity to develop healthy coping strategies.

There are two types of coping strategies: "approach coping" and "avoidance coping". An individual who uses approach coping skills is someone who takes direct action to deal with the situation that is creating stress. Someone who is uses avoidance strategies will go to any lengths to avoid the cause of the stress.

Individuals with support from family and friends will rely less on avoidance coping methods and more on approach coping methods. Coping skills include information gathering, stopping a certain behavior or action, and using cognitive coping skills that can change the way the person looks at the problem.

Here are some healthy and effective coping skills that anyone can use:

  • Boost your self-esteem by becoming involved in activities that interest you. Discover your passion!
  • Imagine yourself in a safe place where you do not need to think about doing anything that is harmful to yourself.
  • Make a list of positive affirmations. Pick one, look at yourself in the mirror and say if morning and night for 21 days. The affirmation will become a part of you!
  • Get a massage. You can get pretty inexpensive massages at any school that teaches massage.
  • Walk your dog or play with your cat.
  • Make a list of some nice things you would like to do for your friends.
  • Think about taking some classes or doing something to help you discover your passion.
  • Tell your parent, husband, partner, or friend that you love them.
  • Make a list of what you are grateful for. This is tough when you are stressed, but if you write it down, the act of writing will help!
  • Learning effective coping skills can change your life!

FREE Eating Disorder Support Group!

FREE weekly eating disorder support group for adults struggling with food issues, staffed by therapists from Mirasol Eating Disorder Recovery Centers. Thursdays from 5:30-6:45 pm at 3116 N Swan in Tucson. For more information, call 520-546-3200 or email Ann at support@mirasol.net.

"Mirasol is light years ahead of any other program in the country."