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Giving thanks by giving back

Gratitude is extremely healing. It puts us in touch with what is positive in our lives and helps us appreciate everything we have. Writing a gratitude list, using quiet time to reflect and adopting an overall "attitude of gratitude" are all practices that can enhance your life.


Once that's in place, though, it's time to put your gratitude into action. Because recovery and healing are not just about awareness, they are about action.


Helping others helps us as well, so everybody wins. We create good karma in the world and become part of the solution, not part of the problem. We're an excellent model to the next generation and everybody else whose lives we touch. If you saw the movie, Pay it Forward, you saw examples of how a good deed can have far-reaching effects.


When you're dealing with an eating disorder, it may seem hard to find gratitude. But keep in mind that it was your challenges with food that started you on this healing journey – discovering your passions, improving your relationships and moving towards your dreams. There may actually be lots of reasons to be grateful for having your eating disorder.


Feeling grateful? Give thanks by giving back. Here are some ways to do that:


  • Help someone out with their chores
  • Call a family member, friend or someone from your support group and ask about THEIR day
  • Volunteer in your community
  • Offer a kind ear to someone who is struggling – listening is one of the most powerful gifts we can give
  • Share your story with a group of people to help someone else find the healing that you've found
  • Encourage other people to seek out help
  • Deepen your relationships by moving the conversation below the surface
  • Perform random acts of kindness and try not to be discovered doing them – it will be a joyful little secret that you can have with yourself for the rest of the day


Gratitude is about more than your own feelings of satisfaction and optimism. When you put your gratitude into action and give thanks by giving back, you create a ripple effect that touches everyone around you.