Many mental health disorders and eating disorders revolve around stress. When individuals can’t handle or manage their stress, unhealthy behaviors and habits may develop or worsen. To provide a healthy environment for healing and to help clients combat stress, the Odyssey Outpatient Network facilities offer mindfulness therapy and yoga.
Being mindful means being present or being fully in the moment. For those with mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, or eating disorders, staying mindful can be challenging. However, through various therapeutic methods, clients can learn to be mindful and better manage stressful situations.
Mindfulness Therapy Components
There’s not only one way to incorporate mindfulness into therapy. One way is with group sessions during which clients can start journals to write down their feelings. Another way is with meditation and yoga. Meditation can be done alone, in a group, outside, on the floor, or in a chair. Regardless of where a person practices, it’s about clearing the mind, assessing the situation, and taking rational stock of their life and what’s going on in the moment.
Rewiring Negative Responses
It’s common for clients to have automatic negative responses to certain emotions, events, actions, or situations. Although some automatic responses are normal, mindfulness can help reframe those negative thoughts into positive ones. Because the responses are automatic, mindfulness slows down the process. Once people start to think about their responses, they may see that they aren’t necessary. Slowing down and analyzing responses can lead to a healthier, more positive outlook
Avoiding Relapse Through Mindfulness
Evidence-based outpatient treatment can lay the groundwork for complete recovery, however, relapse may still be an ongoing concern for many clients. Fortunately, one of the best ways to counter the risks of relapse is through mindfulness. The beauty of mindfulness exercises is that they don’t end when the program does. When clients head back home to their independent lives, they can continue to practice mindfulness daily. This can reinforce positive habits and keep former clients on track toward the healthy and fulfilling lives they deserve.
One thing we see time and time again among those with mental health and eating disorders is a lack of self-compassion. Not compassion for others, which may be in abundance, but a lack of compassion for oneself. Mindfulness therapy can help clients practice self-compassion.
Spending just five minutes each day practicing mindfulness allows clients to be more patient with themselves. They can then see themselves as humans and understand that no one is perfect.
Slowing Down and Reflecting Each Day
For those who struggle with mental health disorders and eating disorders, introspection can be tough. However, spending time each day in reflection can be healthy. Mindfulness therapy is all about creating a routine that allows for daily meditation, calm, and reflection. Sometimes, we teach clients how to breathe in a way that can slow down the heart rate and lower blood pressure. Physically slowing down the systems of the body can also slow down the mind, making it easier to focus on the day ahead, create a plan for the future, and feel confident about the next step in their recovery.