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The holiday spirit: Spirituality in eating disorder recovery (Examiner.com)

Eating Recovery Center’s Julie Holland Faylor, MHS, CEDS, Senior Vice President, Business Development, is the National Eating Disorders Examiner. Read an excerpt below from her blog post "The holiday spirit: Spirituality in eating disorder recovery": The holiday season is well underway—Thanksgiving is in the rearview, the final Hanukkah candles have been lit, Christmas stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and unadorned Festivus poles await celebrations at homes across the country. Whatever your tradition, the “holiday spirit” is in the air and offers a valuable opportunity to reflect on the idea of spirituality. Spirituality is an important concept in eating disorder recovery, now and throughout the year. In addition to restoring medical, psychological and dietary health, another important aspect ofeating disorder treatment is developing—or restoring—spiritual balance and well-being. It’s common in our modern culture for the terms “spirituality” and “religion” to be used interchangeably. Spirituality can be anything meaningful—an activity, an experience, an idea. Sometimes spirituality is described as having a transformative effect. In other words, the meaning associated with an experience or idea has the power to change you in some way—alter your mood, improve your outlook, inspire action or bring you back to your center. Organized religion can be an exercise of spirituality, but spirituality is not necessarily a religion or religious tradition. Religion, on the other hand, does have a concrete definition: “An organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems and worldviews that relate humanity to an order of existence.” Most religions have symbols and sacred histories that aim to explain the meaning of life, the origin of life or the Universe. For many, benefits of organized religion include meaning, inspiration and deep interpersonal connection with like-minded individuals. For others, pressure to conform and/or ideological conflicts associated with their religion can result in depression, anxiety, interpersonal challenges with friends and loved ones and a loss of identity. At any phase of recovery, reflecting on spirituality, including religious beliefs and practices, can be valuable in conjunction with other traditional interventions. Consider these suggestions to explore your unique spirituality this holiday season: Read the full article.

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