Health Library

Eating Disorders: Stopping Negative Thoughts

Topic Overview

People who have an eating disorder often become preoccupied with negative thoughts about themselves. It is often hard for them to think healthy or balanced thoughts. Although it is impossible to stop all negative thoughts, you can reduce these thoughts with a few simple techniques.

  • Remember that your goal is to feel better with each passing day. Ask someone you trust to remind you of that when you are feeling hopeless.
  • Every day make one encouraging statement to yourself. For example, say to yourself, "Every day, I am taking better care of myself and my body."
  • Remind yourself that you can do this. Say to yourself, "I am a capable person."
  • Distract yourself for awhile. Play with your pet, write a "thinking-of-you" note to a friend, listen to an empowering song, or imagine putting your negative thoughts in a box and sealing it shut.
  • Accept the thought as your experience, knowing that your thinking took some time to form this pattern. It will take some time to learn to think in a different way. Try mindfulness-based stress reduction to help you with accepting difficult situations and experiences or negative thoughts and feelings.
  • Spend time with other people. Get to know them. Do not spend time repeating negative things to yourself.
  • Make a list of your accomplishments, such as things you have recently learned, things you have recently done that were hard for you, or things you have changed about yourself.
  • Make plans to do something you have been wanting to do, such as visit a new store or see a certain movie.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
W. Stewart Agras, MD, FRCPC - Psychiatry
Last Revised August 27, 2013

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Symptom Checker