Your Relationship with Food and Mental Health Recovery
Tuesday, December 5 2017 Nancy Zacharakis
Many times our relationship with food affects our mental illness recovery and our mental illness recovery affects our relationship with food. Whether it’s overeating or not eating enough, usually our eating patterns are abnormal. This affects our mood, energy, thoughts, and feelings about ourselves. Lack of normalcy with food can make it extremely difficult to recover from mental illness. Being healthy and confident in our food choices, or having a good relationship with food, is key to recovery.
When to Focus on Your Relationship with Food
What comes first, healing our relationship with food or healing our mental illness? It’s different for every individual but I believe that if you heal your relationship with food, you will feel more positive, more powerful, more confident, and overall, happier; and this will allow your mental illness recovery to happen.
By the same token, if you were to start feeling less depressed, less anxiety, happier, and more confident, then your relationship with food would certainly change. So, it’s definitely going to be a personal choice. Personally, when I started having a healthier relationship with food, my depression and anxiety naturally decreased.
How Does Food Affect Mental Illness Recovery?
Food affects mental illness recovery in many different ways. As stated earlier, food affects our confidence, our energy levels, our mental clarity, how we feel about ourselves and our body. On a chemical and internal level, our gut sends signals to our brain that affect our mood as well. So your gut health is extremely important to your mental health, and this is ultimately determined by the food you are eating.
Eating nourishing, health-giving foods, and fueling your body with nutrient-dense meals, is certainly going to affect your mental illness recovery in a positive manner. Of course, this is not the end all be all, this is not the cure for mental illness, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.
How to Heal Your Relationship with Food
This is a topic that could take weeks to answer and is definitely not going to be covered in one paragraph at the end of this post. But as always, awareness is the first step.
Knowing that your relationship with food is abnormal and having the desire to heal it is the beginning of the journey. There are thousands of resources out there depending on what your struggle with food entails, but my first suggestion is to find someone who has struggled with a similar food issue and ask for his help and guidance. See if they have a program or information and go from there. No matter what you are struggling with, you are not alone and there is someone out there who has experienced the same thing and survived it. Find and work with him. Mental illness recovery and improving your relationship with food is possible.