Finding mantras that resonate with your soul and promote recovery can be the key to lasting healing from an eating disorder. It is a common misconception that recovering from an eating disorder simply means either eating more, eating less, and/or stopping certain eating disordered behaviors.
While these changes are a part of recovery, there are many internal changes in a person’s thoughts and beliefs that are just as (if not more) important to obtaining real recovery. And that’s where mantras come in.
Where do you find a mantra?
Just like no two recoveries will look exactly the same, there isn’t one right set of mantras for everyone. Choosing a mantra is very personal.
I happened to find many ideas from the body positivity and health at every size communities online. My favorite mantra is one I first heard Isabel Foxen Duke mention on a podcast interview with Christy Harrison on Food Psych. She said something like,
The problem is not my body, the problem is society.
I immediately felt the power behind those words.
Other mantras I have used are: “My worth is not determined by my weight.” “I am not alone, I am connected to G-d” “This moment is temporary. I will not always feel how I feel right now,” and “I can choose to shrink my body but it will come at a very high cost I am not longer willing to pay.”
If any of these resonate with you, please use them! If not, continue reading, talking, and listening to others until you come up with your own mantras. When you find the right mantras for you, you’ll know. They will speak to you on a very deep and meaningful level.
How to use your mantras
Choosing mantras is only the first step. Repeating them, especially in times of stress, is what ultimately helps us internalize them.
Repeating a mantra must be worked into your daily life until it becomes habit. For me, practicing my mantras regularly was challenging – until I found ways to place my mantras in my line of vision. Here are some strategies that worked for me:
1. Write them on a mirror
I literally needed to SEE my mantras in front of me, especially when faced with my own reflection.
Using dry erase markers, I covered every mirror in my room with body positive mantras. This helped me challenge negative beliefs that popped into my head as soon as I saw my reflection.
I found power in writing the messages on my mirrors and more power when I read and repeated them daily.
2. Change your passwords
It seems like almost every website, customer account, and technical device requires a password, right?
I realized that by choosing my own personal mantras as passwords forced me to type them out regularly. (Of course, add some numbers or symbols to these passwords so they are not easily guessed, but you see what I’m getting at!)
Another good thing about this technique is often we are required to change passwords after a certain amount of time. This reminds me to check in with my current mantras and decide if there are some more relevant to whatever phase I find myself in my recovery.
3. Update your virtual wallpaper
I have wallpaper on my laptop and my phone that see countless times every single day, and I’m sure you do too!
Changing the wallpaper and lock screen images on your phone and computer to mantras and inspiring images are an easy way to constantly remind yourself of your goals. Super simple but very impactful!
So, warrior, I hope these suggestions are helpful to you! If you haven’t given mantras a try, I highly encourage you to do so.
And if you’re already a mantra-lover, comment below and tell me your favorite mantra! Would love to hear what inspires you.