First step: Awareness When you notice that your thoughts have drifted away from what’s going on in the moment, stop. When you find yourself analyzing whether you ate too much or whether you’re a worthwhile human being, recognize that you’ve lost touch with what’s happening around you. Remind yourself that you are in the present. Take an inventory of exactly what is going on around you. Take deep breaths and try to relax your muscles.
Second Step: Identify the Feeling This is a step that tends to frustrate any person with an eating disorder. After all, we’re either “fine” or “not fine”, right? For this reason, some people find it helpful to use a list of feeling words. (Go to http://www.joyproject.org/Documents/emotionslist.pdf for a list you can use). Identify any words that seem to “fit” with what you’re currently feeling.
Third Step: What does this remind me of? Ask yourself what comes to mind when you think of past situations where you might have felt similar feelings. Don’t think too deeply about those situations for now—just make a note of what pops into your head (either a mental note, or writing a note on paper). What sounds, sights, sensations, people, conversation topics, or thoughts are you experiencing now that were similar back then? You can reflect on those situations more at your next therapy session, or when you’re in a good place to really focus on dealing with those feelings. For now, the goal is to get your mind back in the present moment so you can continue what you were doing before you got triggered. If some aspect of your current situation is alerting you to a danger that you’ve faced in the past, then begin planning to take action to protect yourself. Don’t ignore your instincts. However, if the current situation is NOT dangerous, and you’re simply finding yourself ruminating about internal fears or past hurts, focus on reminding yourself that the current moment is safe, and that those fears don’t need to block out what’s happening now.
Fourth Step: Re-Ground your thoughts to the current moment
***Taken from the Joy Project