7 Ways To Lift Your Spirits in 5 Minutes Or Less

Need an emotional (and even physical) lift? You only need a few minutes to make a big difference in how you feel.

7 Ways To Lift Your Spirits In 5 Minutes Or Less


Sit up straight, shoulders back but relaxed. Clear your mind. Close your eyes. Relax. Take a slow breath in through your nose. Slowly exhale through your mouth, completely pushing the air out of your lungs until you can’t exhale any more. Take another slow, deep breath through your nose. This time completely fills your lungs letting your chest and tummy expand. Exhale slowly. Repeat. Keep a relaxed rhythm to your breathing.

Benefits include:
  • Releases tension
  • Elevates mood
  • Oxygenates the blood
  • Strengthens the lungs
  • Increases Energy
  • Strengthens internal muscles and stomach muscles
  • Releases endorphins
  • Release of toxins by increasing the functionality of the lymphatic system


Hum in a deep tone that resonates in your chest. Hum a happy, light tune. Either, or… the vibrations of humming are very similar to a meditative chant. Like chanting, the sound waves and vibrations are both soothing and beneficial.

Benefits include:
  • Relieves stress
  • Relieves tension
  • Improves Sinusitis
  • Slows breathing
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Relaxes facial, neck muscles, and shoulder muscles
  • Improves the parasympathetic system


Not feeling particularly happy at the moment? Smile anyway. Even a forced smile causes positive physical and emotional responses. Smile at others. It will make you and them feel better. Think of the amazing chain reaction you could cause simply by lifting the corners of your mouth.

Benefits include:
  • Release of endorphins
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increases Serotonin
  • Increases lifespan
More benefits of smiling


Take time to stretch before jumping out of bed and starting your day. Get up from your office chair and stretch those muscles once in a while. Stretching feels great and is great for you.

Benefits include:
  • Improved circulation
  • Improved flexibility
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Helps joint and muscle injury recovery
  • Increases Energy
  • Relieves stress and tension
  • Increases feeling of well-being
  • Improves posture


Remember when you were little and the teacher would put on a record and you were told to just draw along with the tune? Take pen (or pencil) to paper and let your creativity out. Doodle to something you hum and double the benefits.

Benefits include:
  • Improved memory and retention of information
  • Improved focus
  • Decreases stress
  • Decreases tension
  • Increased creativity


You don’t need to be able to carry a tune to benefit from singing. Lucky for me, and anyone graced with a similar set of vocal chords, singing off key is just as healthy for you as singing like a professional. You don’t even need to sing a song. Try singing sounds like short a or e.

Benefits include:
  • Energizes
  • Releases endorphins
  • Exercises the lungs
  • Deeper breathing
  • Increases Circulation
  • Lessens muscle tension
  • Relieves stress
  • Exercises vocal chords
  • Elevates mood
  • Stimulates the pineal gland
  • Stimulates thyroid function


Let your imagination take over for a few minutes. Close your eyes and let some positive imagery take the wheel.

Benefits include:
  • Increased creativity
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Relives stress
  • Improves memory
  • Improves concentration


Relapse: An Eating Disorders Poem


I drove you away. You’ve returned to define my body, my soul;

anywhere I go you follow, burrowed deep within a pocket of my genes.

Stop pretending to be my friend, I am your captive, helplessly watching

you force me to be lite as I am surrounded by darkness.

Trapped in this self-imposed desert of malnutrition

I return to the god damn scale; my hands shaking,

hair falling out, heart wanting to give way.

What have you done? Why must you strike again?

The doctors say I need more: calories, rest, peace.

Doctors are not what I need, with their facts and figures:

I know the equation, I’ve seen the answer.

I don’t want the fancy treatments,

just someone (other than you) to hold my hand.

By: Genevieve Morrow

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Why You Should Add Meditation To Your Recovery Arsenal

Meditation has been around for ..well, ever ... just about. Where and when it originated isn't clearly documented (as far as I am aware) but it can be found in many, many cultures and throughout history.

I have meditated since I was a young teen. I was first introduced to the idea when I started doing yoga, inspired by a book I picked up at a neighborhood yard sale. Though I struggled at first, with what felt impossible at the time due to my ever-present thoughts, learning to clear my mind… it soon became easier and easier to accomplish. I found myself amazed by how different I felt afterward and surprised to see how much time had actually passed as I sat quietly meditating in my room for what felt like no more than 10 or 15 minutes.

Over the years I abandoned the practice, picking it up again when stress, anxiety, or worry took over, reminding me that I could feel better if I meditated. I had an on again/off again relationship with meditating for years.

Though I had experienced nothing but positive (and often amazing) results from meditation, I don’t think that I truly understood how powerful it was until years later when I found myself sitting in my cardiologist’s office, as an adult, with a medical issue. I was wired up to monitors in an attempt to figure out why my heart rate had become so dangerously fast. There I sat, machines beeping and registering each beat of my heart, my blood pressure, and my respiration. I was scared. The thoughts of how my children and my husband would cope if something happened to me weren’t improving the situation. For a few minutes I was alone as the doctor left the room to retrieve more supplies and that’s when meditation came to mind, again.

I closed my eyes, slowed my breathing, cleared my mind and began. I let go of my thoughts, concerns, and fears. My body and my mind relaxed. It didn’t take long for the beeping of the machines to slow. I opened my eyes to peek at the monitors and saw my heart rate had already dropped to almost normal but began to rise again as I stopped meditating. I closed my eyes again and let the sounds of the machines become a barely noticeable low, dull hum in the background. I concentrated on my breathing and let go of everything else. In those few minutes I had managed to lower my blood pressure and my heart rate and though they rose again when I stopped, they remained lower than when I had arrived. That was all I needed to bring meditation back into my life.

What is Meditation? Wikipedia defines it as follows:
Meditation is any form of a family of practices in which practitioners train their minds or self-induce a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit.[Meditation is generally an inwardly oriented, personal practice, which individuals do by themselves. Prayer beads or other ritual objects are commonly used during meditation. Meditation may involve invoking or cultivating a feeling or internal state, such as compassion, or attending to a specific focal point. The term can refer to the state itself, as well as to practices or techniques employed to cultivate the state.
There are dozens of specific styles of meditation practice;[3] the word meditation may carry different meanings in different contexts. Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions and beliefs.  wikipedia

 The benefits of meditation are many. Here are a few;

Physical Benefits:
  • Increases energy and strength
  • Improves airflow to lungs
  • Decreases/cures headaches
  • Helps lessen pain (including chronic pain)
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increases blood flow
  • Helps balance the endocrine system
  • Relaxes the nervous system
  • Changes brain electrical activity for the better
  • Improves heart function and reduces work load of the heart
  • Lowers heart rate
  • Increases production of endorphins
  • Increases serotonin levels, improving mood and feelings of pleasure
  • Decreases muscle tension
  • Better, more restorative sleep
  • Improves the immune system
  • Slows brain aging
  • Lowers blood sugar levels in diabetics
  • Reduces free radicals (which cause tissue damage, disease, and aging)
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Decreases chronological age
  • Increases DHEAS 
  • Increases circulation

Mental and Emotional Benefits:
  • Helps build confidence
  • Helps balance communication between both brain hemispheres
  • Increases activity in the left pre-frontal cortex resulting in positive, happy emotions
  • Calms and soothes
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Improves depression
  • Decreases restless thoughts and worry
  • Improves tolerance
  • Creates/Improves positive emotions
  • Helps improve perspective
  • Helps with OCD
  • Improves worth performance
  • Increases attention span/focus
  • Lessens feelings of worry
  • Reduces stress and helps improve ability to manage stress
  • Relaxes the mind and the body
  • Increases feelings of happiness
  • Increases patience
  • Improved learning ability
  • Decreases moodiness
  • Improves emotional stability
  • Improves concentration
  • Improves memory

In addition, studies have shown that meditation helps recovery from eating disorders and addiction. 

How do you Meditate?

There are many different types/styles/techniques of meditation. The best way to choose one for yourself is to do a little research and experiment until you find the one that feels right to you. Don't be afraid and don't give up if you don't find what works best for you right away. It's out there and worth looking for.

Give it a try. Give it some time. Practice. You'll be glad you did.


Eating Disorders News and Views: April 24, 2012

The following News and Views presented do not necessarily reflect the opinion or beliefs of Weighing The Facts.
Warning: Some articles may be triggering.

Internet Crackdown on Pro-anorexia Sites

Two years ago, when Madeleine Bowman began treatment for anorexia, she stopped looking at a pro-anorexia website that for years had served as her community and her source for ideas to nurture her secret illness.

But on Tuesday she was curious and decided to take a look. Fortunately, her login had expired.

Bowman 26, of New York, is in recovery from a decade-long battle with anorexia, she said.

She'd stumbled upon the website in eighth grade, after googling "eating disorders." Bowman had been skipping meals to lose weight and she wanted to find out if she was anorexic. She then visited the site often to find new ways to hide her condition from friends and family.

Given the many social aggregators that spread information to wider and wider audiences, Bowman says that today it would be even easier for someone to find their way to a pro-anorexia site.

That might not be the case for much longer.
Read Internet Crackdown in full.

Self-Harm Banned by Instagram

Instagram, the popular online photo-sharing service that was recently bought by Facebook for US$1 billion, is banning images and accounts that condone "self-harm" behavior such as eating disorders, cutting oneself, or committing suicide.

In a blog post Friday, the company said the following:

Going forward, we won't allow accounts, images, or hashtags dedicated to glorifying, promoting, or encouraging self-harm. Should users come across content of that nature, we recommend flagging the photo or flagging the user as a "Terms of Service" violation for our Support team to review.

It is important to note that this guideline does not extend to accounts created to constructively discuss, or document personal experiences that show any form of self-harm where the intention is recovery or open discussion. While we strongly encourage people to seek help for themselves or loved ones who are suffering, we understand the importance of communication as a form of support, in order to create awareness and to assist in recovery.
Read Banned in full.

Family of Padiham victim (17) warn other families of signs of anorexia

THE family of a talented and caring Padiham teenager who died battling anorexia have called for more to be done to raise awareness and help youngsters with the disease.

Charlotte Rose Seddon (17), a straight A student, died suddenly at home in Balliol Close 12 days after leaving the Priory, Altrincham, following four months of treatment. She weighed just 6st.

An inquest into her death at Burnley Coroner’s Court heard Charlotte’s heart failed after becoming small due to a lack of nutrients.

Pathologist Dr Jane Edwards, who carried out the post-mortem examination, said there would have been no symptoms or warning, despite Charlotte having regular health checks.
Read Warn Other Families in full.

K 06 Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder

Feeding and Eating Conditions Not Elsewhere Classified

These Conditions should be considered only if the individual has a feeding or eating disturbance judged to be of clinical significance that does not meet the criteria for any of the Feeding and Eating Disorders described above. The Conditions are described briefly; detailed criteria are not provided pending additional research. Although a diagnostic hierarchy (“trumping”) is not explicitly described, only a single condition should be assigned to an individual reflecting the description that best fits the individual's symptoms.

Sufficient data are not available at present to justify designating these Conditions’ as Disorders. However, these Conditions may be associated with levels of distress and/or impairment similar to those associated with the recognized Feeding and Eating Disorders, and may require intensive clinical intervention.
Read Other Specified in full.

Study: 16 Percent Increase in Men with Eating Disorders

New data from the NHS shows a shocking rise in the number of men with eating disorders (ED’s). Over the last year, there has been a 16% increase in the number of men and boys admitted to the hospital for eating disorders. While this is a huge jump, it may only hint at the true number of men suffering from an ED.

By its very nature, disordered eating is a secretive and guilty practice. Sufferers develop an unhealthy relationship with food over time and often go to great lengths to hide the symptoms of their condition. In particular, men have a difficult time admitting they have a problem because of the stigma that still surrounds eating disorders. Conditions such as anorexia and bulimia are often seen as a women’s disease and may be labeled “unmanly”.
Read 16% Increase in full. 

Image is everything: Unfortunately, that's the case in our society

Half the girls in this country between the ages of 11 and 13 believe they are fat.

That startling statistic comes from The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders in Philadelphia and echoes what others say about the way girls think about food and their bodies.

Some young women go on fad diets or exercise binges at a time in their lives when they should be enjoying childhood and succeeding in school. Instead, they are overly preoccupied with their appearance — or better said, what they think they should look like.
Read Half The Girls in full.

Instagram, Pinterest latest to ban 'thinspo,' other 'self-harm' content

Many online communities have seen issues with "thispo" or "thinspiration" content, promotion anorexia or bulemia, and Instagram, Pintarest, and Tumblr are among services which have responded by banning "self-harm content," with Instagram the latest.

Blogging service Tumblr made its move in February, saying that while it is ”deeply committed to supporting and defending our users’ freedom of speech, [but] we do draw some limits.”
Read Latest to Ban in full

Binge Eating Disorder Continues to Rise Among Men

About 8 million men and women suffer from Binge Eating Disorder (BED), which is nearly three times the amount of those affected by Anorexia and Bulimia. With as many men affected by BED as women, The Eating Disorder Center of Denver (EDCD) aims to offer a treatment program that is accommodating and effective for both genders.

A newly recognized condition, those suffering from BED eat more than normal meal portions, feel a loss of control when eating and do not purge after binging.

Men are traditionally underrepresented in clinical trials for BED that gauge the effectiveness of treatments and are often overlooked when developing treatment programs, according to Dr. Tamara Pryor, EDCD clinical director.
Read BED Continues to Rise in full.

Demi Lovato: Bullies Sparked Bulimia

Demi Lovato's bulimia was sparked by school bullies who branded her 'fat'.

The 20-year-old former Disney star - who was admitted to rehab in 2010 for help with an eating disorder, self-harm and depression - believes her problems started at the tender age of 12.

Talking about her tormentors, she said: 'They called me a whore and told me I was fat and ugly. I shouldn't have listened, but I took it to heart and it hurt. I thought maybe I didn't have friends because I was too fat.'
Read Demi Lovato Bullies in full.

Anorexia May Be Caused By Brain Abnormality

London, April 22 (ANI): A new study has suggested that anorexia may be triggered by a defect in the brain, offering new hope that the potentially deadly eating disorder can be treated.

The pioneering research, carried out on anorexics as young as eight and using powerful new brain-imaging techniques, could lead to different treatments.

Anorexia is defined as a body weight at least 15 per cent below that expected, the Daily Express reported.

"We believe subtle problems in early brain development make patients susceptible to anorexia. We need to re-examine other mental health problems," said Psychologist Dr Ian Frampton of Exeter University, one of two researchers leading the study.
Read Anorexia Brain in full.

Pro-Anorexia 'Thinspiration' Photos Shouldn't Be Banned from Social Media

First, they came for the thinspiration pictures.

Internet censors are always agitating to ban one thing or another, and it's rarely the same thing twice. Instead, there's a revolving carousel of images that are deemed in succession to be beyond even the online pale. Each one seems to present a plausible occasion for, this once, curtailing free speech. The king wearing a pig snout. A swastika. Naked children.

Right now it's semi-naked women that the distressed classes want to cover up -- the very images on which the entirety of Western visual culture is founded.

This time, the anxiety about graven images has nothing to do with how they might arouse desire in men. We're afraid of what's known as " thinspiration," it seems, because glamorous photos of very skinny women, together with admiring captions, might arouse self-loathing in women, and thereby inspire self-mortification, and in particular anorexia.
Read Shouldn't Be Banned in full.

Scots man reveals his battle with anorexia as number of sufferers rise 

JONATHAN Hill has a year to start eating or he could die.
That is the stark warning he was given by doctors trying to help him overcome anorexia.
And he is an example of a worrying trend, with a rising number of males fighting the disorder which is usually associated with young women.
Jonathan, 29, has battled an eating disorder since he was 12.
His weight is currently six and a half stone – he used to be as low as four and a half – and hopes he is doing enough to see his fourth decade.
“I’ve accepted I’ll always have this illness. I won’t get better,” said Jonathan.
Read Scots Man in full.


Recovery Quote Of The Week: April 23, 2012

Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't.
Steve Maraboli

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In Case: Eating Disorders Poetry

In case nobody’s told you, and in case you haven’t heard.
I’m trapped inside this limbo, teetering on the verge.
In case I get too scared, and in case I lose all nerve.
In case I lose myself trying to erase all of my curves.

In case one day I vanish, disappear into the air.
In case the day arrives as if I was never there.
In case one day this plan works, and no longer can you see.
In case one day I finish in erasing all of me.

In case I cannot beat this, and this letter’s all you find.
In case one day ed wins in taking hold of heart and mind.
In case one day I cannot fight, for the war is far too great.
In case I can no longer hide from this, my hopeless fate

And when the day “in cases” come and I am ash upon the wind.
The eulogy they speak for me won’t talk of fat or thin.
Now the rhythmic words in which I write may read like fairy tales.
But know I gave both life and limb for the numbers on a scale

By  Erin M. Akers

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Recovery Quote Of The Week: April 16, 2012

Those who seek growth, embrace life and learn from the journey.

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Eating Disorders Poetry: Untitled

I lie.
I lie about what I’m doing, where I’m going, and what I just ate.

I steal.
I steal food when I can’t starve myself any longer, the scale that I’m prohibited to use, and my mom’s trust, which she thinks is so strong.

I hide.
I hide my discoloring nails, my dirty deeds, and my shrinking body.

I believe.
I believe that I’m ugly, that I’m not skinny enough, and that everyone hates me.

I regret.
I regret that I’ve betrayed the ones who love me the most, that I’ve harmed my body in ways unimaginable, and that I’ve stopped caring about the most important things in life.

I’m trying.
I’m trying to get better, to resist temptation, and to learn to love myself. 

by:Jasmine Pickering

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