Positive affirmations for teens in eating disorder recovery

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Seeking treatment for an eating disorder isn’t always easy, especially in your teen years. It takes courage and vulnerability to accept that you need help. And whether you’ve just entered treatment or are returning home after your program, eating disorder recovery isn’t always going to be easy, either. It is often emotionally trying, full of ups and downs and triggers that threaten your recovery, and your family may not always be understanding of what you’re going through. 

For these reasons alone, it is so important to have a self-care and recovery plan in place to help you cope with stressors, avoid returning to disordered eating behaviors, and ground you when you’re feeling helpless, or unsupported. Part of that recovery plan may include positive affirmations that can help you build self-esteem and self-compassion and overcome negative thought patterns.

Last updated on 
February 21, 2022
In this article

List of positive affirmations

The list of positive affirmations you create will be very personal to you and your experience, but it’s always helpful to have a place to start. In honor of it being National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, here are some positive affirmations for teens in eating disorder recovery that may help you on your journey:

  • My life is just beginning, not ending.
  • I will not define myself by my past.
  • My worth does not depend on my size or weight, but on who I am.
  • What I do or do not eat does not influence how I feel about myself.
  • I am strong, I am a survivor, and I am good enough.
  • Today I will stand up for myself.
  • Today I will abandon unhealthy behaviors and use behaviors that are good for me.
  • I deserve happiness, love, and care.
  • I deserve to fulfill my dreams.
  • I deserve to treat my body with kindness, respect, and compassion.
  • I will love and appreciate myself.
  • I deserve to eat food I enjoy.
  • I will engage in mindful movements that I enjoy.
  • I can’t see the outcome of my journey, but I can take the next step.
  • I will be patient with myself, even during hard times.
  • I will trust my own process and recovery.
  • I will not demand perfection from myself, but rather accept that I am a person worthy of love, even when I make mistakes.
  • I am not defined by my eating disorder.
  • Today I will assert my feelings and needs.
  • I accept all of my feelings, the good and the bad.
  • I cannot please everyone in my life, and that’s okay; it’s not my responsibility to.
  • I will surround myself with people who are empowering, supportive, and encouraging.
  • I will ask for help if I need it.
  • I will give myself the attention and care I need today.
  • I am not finished growing and evolving; every day is a new chance for growth.
  • I am not a failure if I slip into old habits.
  • I will take the time to appreciate what I love about myself.
  • I will let go of negative thoughts that don’t serve me.
  • I have the power to heal. 
  • I am getting better and better each day.
  • I cannot change others, but I can change myself, my attitude, and my outlook.
  • I do not compare myself to others.
  • It’s up to me to define my own beauty.

This list is by no means exhaustive. You can always come up with additional ones on your own, especially as various challenges pop up in your life. Include whichever affirmations resonate with you and leave the rest. Positive affirmations are all about you and what you need. 

And remember, the changes associated with saying affirmations take time. You won’t magically stop thinking negative thoughts or experiencing distressing feelings. But by integrating affirmations into your daily self-care practice, you can, over time, begin to internalize these positive messages and be better equipped to deal with challenges.

How to create a practice of affirmations

Once you’ve chosen a list of positive affirmations, you may want to hang them up somewhere in your room where you’ll always be able to see them, especially during times of stress. A few good places are over your desk, next to your mirror, or next to your bed. 

It’s not enough to simply hang this list up. You will want to build these positive affirmations into your daily routine.

Every morning, read each affirmation out loud three times. The first time, read them standing in place, which helps prepare you to receive them. Next, read them while you walk around outside or in a different room, which helps you to feel these positive affirmations in your body as it moves. It also helps you to feel these positive feelings in various settings. Lastly, read them in front of a mirror, looking at yourself as you speak. This can help you to accept the encouragement and support you are providing yourself.

Repeat this every morning for a month. At the end of the month, adjust your list as needed. You may want to add an affirmation to help with a particular challenge or remove one that is no longer serving you.

If you are in need of eating disorder treatment, or aftercare support, reach out to our clinical care team for first steps. We will meet you wherever you are in your recovery.

Good luck on your journey. You’re worth it!

Disclaimer about "overeating": Within Health hesitatingly uses the word "overeating" because it is the term currently associated with this condition in society, however, we believe it inherently overlooks the various psychological aspects of this condition which are often interconnected with internalized diet culture, and a restrictive mindset about food. For the remainder of this piece, we will therefore be putting "overeating" in quotations to recognize that the diagnosis itself pathologizes behavior that is potentially hardwired and adaptive to a restrictive mindset.

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