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Coping with Triggers and Temptations in Eating Disorder Recovery: Tips and Strategies

February 29, 2024

Woman sitting on her bed with a blue dress on, flipping through a book. Eating disorder triggers are hard, but with these tips from Manhattan therapists, you can over them.

Recovering from an eating disorder is a challenging but integral part of the healing journey. It’s important to understand that this journey isn’t linear, and recognize that setbacks and moments of discouragement may occur. Progress takes time and consistent effort. Working through how to cope with triggers and temptations that are present can be intimidating; however, it’s important for us to be aware of and understand the impact that our responses can have.

Let’s explore some strategies to assist you in cultivating healthy coping mechanisms for handling triggers and temptations while on your path to recovery.

Identifying Triggers 

Acknowledging and identifying your triggers is a key step toward understanding and managing them. This process also fosters self-awareness, a key component of meaningful change. You can begin this journey by maintaining a journal and recording any triggers you encounter throughout your day. While identifying these, pay attention to the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that arise. Dive into the emotions you experience when facing these triggers and take note of moments when intense emotions surface. When examining your triggers, also consider what might heighten them, such as specific situations, places or individuals. Recognizing triggers empowers you to prepare for or avoid situations that provoke them. As you progress in your recovery and develop techniques and strategies, maintaining this list will help you track your growth and identify patterns that lead to challenging behaviors.

Support System 

two woman laughing in front of a brick wall in Brooklyn. including your support system in your eating disorder recovery is key.

Building a supportive network is significant during the recovery process, especially as it can feel isolating. Surround yourself with people who encourage, support and positively impact the recovery process. Embracing support from others can enhance your resilience as you navigate challenges and experience personal growth during this time. However, it’s equally important to set boundaries with individuals who may trigger you, so consider limiting your interactions with them.


woman in a bathroom at a Manhattan spa with her hair wrapped up drinking a cup of coffee while she pampers herself. Self care is an important part of eating disorder recovery.

Prioritizing self-care should not be underestimated, as it plays a pivotal role in ensuring you can be your best self. Participate in activities that make you feel good and also distract your attention from negative urges and thoughts. Explore various hobbies, activities, reading materials and social interactions that contribute to your well-being. Employ positive affirmations as a valuable tool to reduce negative thoughts and create a more optimistic mindset for yourself. Recognizing your strengths and potential creates opportunities to train your mind to focus on the positive aspects of yourself and your circumstances.

Coping Strategies

Coping strategies help us manage our emotions, triggers, thoughts and behaviors. Be mindful of the coping strategies that work best for you. This might involve breathing exercises, journaling or mindfulness practices. Develop a list of coping strategies that help you effectively manage stress and anxiety without falling back on negative behaviors. Consider creating coping cards containing positive thoughts, affirmations or quotes to remind you of your commitment to recovery. Celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem, as these celebrations reinforce your dedication to the recovery process.

Seek professional help

women sitting in a flower field in Brooklyn, laughing and joking around. Eating disorder recovery can be made easier by identification of your triggers and helpful coping skills.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to face this journey on your own. Seeking professional assistance while in eating disorder recovery ensures that you receive the necessary care. Many individuals struggling with eating disorders strive for perfection, battle feelings of not being enough and struggle with self-acceptance. Therapy offers numerous advantages to young professionals, supporting them in creating the confidence necessary for a fulfilling life. Therapists specialize in tailoring their therapeutic approaches to each individual, moving clients toward developing a more positive self-perception.


We understand that navigating life, work, relationships and family can come with many emotions and feelings behind it. This is why our Manhattan providers offer a range of counseling services such as Depression Therapy, Anxiety Therapy, Therapy for Self-Esteem, Therapy for Women, Therapy for College Students, Maternal Mental Health Care and more.

Are you feeling like you’re not living the life you want and are ready to make changes? Let’s talk about it.

Other Therapy Services Offered in Manhattan, Brooklyn, & Throughout New York

We offer a diverse range of individual counseling services and couples therapy. Our dedicated therapists can help with stress management, symptoms of depression, self-esteem challenges, and college student counseling. Additionally, we specialize in offering support for addressing body image concerns, and navigating the unique challenges faced by women, among other aspects. If you need support reach out to connect with a therapist.

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