9 Positive MENTAL Signs of FULL RECOVERY (Part 2)

Are you making positive progress in your recovery? What are the signs and symptoms that will indicate you are mentally improving? Are you getting closer to full recovery?

In today’s video, I will talk about the 9 common mental signs of full recovery.

Last week we talked about the positive physical signs of full recovery, read that post HERE.

Mental signs of full recovery

1. No food obsession

When someone has an eating disorder then food obsession is one of the most common symptoms. You may feel like you think about food all day, or your day revolves around what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat. You may be obsessed with recipes or planning your meals.

So in recovery, as you are eating and properly feeding your body you will come out of biological deprivation and starvation, you are giving yourself unconditional permission to eat and enjoy all foods, you are eating to your full hunger consistently then eventually, the food obsession stops completely. You are able to just eat when hungry, stop when full, and move on with your day. Mental food freedom is one of the best outcomes of full recovery for many people.

food2. Neutral response to food

For most people who have eating disorders, food will spark a lot of difficult and intense emotions. Emotions like fear, anxiety, guilt, and shame. Even in recovery eating will be a highly emotional experience because you literally have to face your fears in order to overcome them. But as you keep being consistent with recovery and work on rewiring your brain then over time food starts to be more neutral. And all the anxiety, fear, guilt, and shame will go away. You can absolutely still enjoy food and celebrate it but it’s not such a big deal anymore and definitely doesn’t induce all those negative emotions.

3. Improved cognitive functioning

A very common improvement is that many people notice better cognitive functioning. Things like better concentration, being able to read many pages of a book, they are more focused and engaged in conversations with others. They also may notice more positive and rational thinking. When in eating disorder their thinking was very black and white or in extremes then now they are able to be more rational and positive about things. Maybe they also notice having better memory, feel they can learn better and new skills start to come more easily. They feel they have better work performance or studying becomes easier at school and so on.

less anxiety4. Less anxiety

You may have so much less anxiety. You feel calmer and more relaxed. Maybe before things like sitting down were very hard and you had to constantly fidget and couldn’t be still. Or maybe before you couldn’t do things like mediation because your mind was always running at full speed. If previously you thought you are this anxious and neurotic person by nature then as you improve in recovery you feel way more chill, more relaxed, and laid back person. It can feel like part of your personality changes in a good way or it feels like you are getting back to your old self. You are still the same person, but just more calm and relaxed.

5. Less OCD and compulsive behaviors

Eating disorders can cause OCD symptoms and manifest in compulsive behaviors. Maybe you had to follow lots of rules and were very rigid about some things. Or you struggled with compulsive behaviors like overexercising, compulsive movement, fidgeting, and not being able to sit still and relax. Then now as you make progress in recovery for many people their OCD symptoms improve and they also stop compulsive behaviors like fidgeting, pacing around, or overexercising. 

Also, you no longer follow any food rules or those weird food rituals. All the behaviors that previously kept you “safe” are no longer a thing. You can eat freely and be more spontaneous and flexible with things.

6. Better mood and more positive thoughts

A better mood means that you just feel better, your mind is more positive, and you are not as irritable and angry as you were before. You may find yourself thinking more positively and being able to see the positive side of experiences. Because when your body and brain are starved then it’s very hard to think positively and things like feeling very irritable or having outbursts of anger are very common. So overall having a better mood and more positive thoughts is another sign of your body and brain getting out of malnutrition and the rewiring is happening.

improved body image7. Improved body image and a better relationship with yourself

Next, you may notice improved body image and a better relationship with yourself. This can be a result of coming out of starvation and finally having enough fuel to your brain but also the rewiring happening and your brain finally catching up to your body’s recovery. When we are malnourished our brain can’t function optimally then all of this can affect our body image and self-image. But as we recover and un-brainwash from the diet culture, learn about body acceptance, and self-love, we work on our thoughts and self-talk and so on – all of these things help to rewire the brain and develop a better body image and relationship with ourselves.

8. Laughing more

Another common sign of full recovery I hear quite often is that people find they are laughing more. They are funnier, they get the jokes easier. Or as we said before they feel they are getting their old personality back. Their moods improve, they are able to not take themselves or life too seriously, they are more laid back and think more positively. So laughing more is another sign and improvement that shows progress in recovery and what I hear quite often from people who fully recover.

9. More focus on your life, family, friends, work

And lastly, there is just more time and focus on more important things in their life. When before majority of their time and mental energy was put towards their body and the food they eat then in recovery they start to focus on more important things. Things like family, friends, having new interests and hobbies, studying something new, more focus and time for their work, traveling, going out, meeting people, and having new experiences. There is more energy and focus now on living their life and do whatever is truly important to them.

Recovery helps you get back the connection with yourself and also the connection with others, your meaningful goals, and important values. The eating disorder was all about destroying that connection but recovery is all about bringing back that connection. So it truly is a beautiful thing to experience it happening 🙂

Last week we talked about the positive physical signs of full recovery, read that post HERE.

If you want to learn more about recovery and how to do it step by step then please read my book “BrainwashED”

You can check out my recovery online courses HERE.

If you wish to work with me one on one, then I offer Recovery Coaching where I can help you go through your recovery step by step and offer support and accountability. Read more and apply HERE.

Or you can book a one-off coaching call with me HERE.

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