Definition – InspireAngels

The field of thinking and how cognitive thoughts occur are followed by the notion of a person’s awareness of their own thought process also known as metacognition. This can refer to cognitive mechanisms that involve mental activities such as interpretation, knowledge, perception, and regulation of oneself. Metacognitive emotional regulation and metacognitive knowledge can correlate with changes in eating behavior. Emotional regulation tends to influence people by exerting the experience and expression of their emotions while in metacognitive knowledge an individual is influenced by their own perception of themselves. This can affect how individuals can handle their eating disorders such as binge eating. However, if eating behavior is related to emotional regulation and knowledge then individuals can control the types of adaptive strategies they use to strive away from their destructive eating behavior. Incorporating mental exercises like crossword puzzles in your routine can help benefit a person’s metacognition especially in developing healthy cognitive mechanisms in eating disorders.

Eating disorders and mental illness tend to correspond together since most often excessive negative thoughts or emotions tend to lead a person to overeat or not eat enough. A person with unhealthy eating habits can regularly have obstructive thoughts that prevent them from having a relaxing untroubled day. The theory of Self Regulatory Executive Function of psychological disorders suggests it’s model indicates that there are two types of metacognitive components that guide information processes, interpretations, and the control of thoughts. These two metacognitive components are metacognitive knowledge and metacognitive regulation. Metacognitive knowledge refers to when individuals hold an understanding of themselves and various other cognitive processes. While metacognitive regulation refers to how we control our thinking and use different coping strategies to facilitate our thinking. When it comes to individuals who struggle with psychological disorders, their metacognitive system can be impaired having any metacognitive processes to become unstable. However since individuals can regulate their internal state and control their thoughts using coping mechanisms to facilitate their thinking, it could be said that negative thinking that’s involved with eating disorders can be reduced when the individual can have a better understanding of their disorder to be able to regulate their thought process before they go into a hostile mental state. Using one’s own metacognitive knowledge can help develop a better coping strategy for future binging eating episodes. An individual can use a crossword puzzle to attain knowledge of their disorder to help regulate it effectively.

Most of the time people will take out their crossword puzzle if they have time to spare throughout the day. It’s a fun little activity that can help stimulate the mind as you try to solve each word after other. Crossword puzzles hold many advantages to expanding one’s knowledge of vocabulary, stimulating the brain, encouraging logical thinking, and as well as aid in improving the retention of concepts. A study by Martinez Serna and Francisco Parra Azor demonstrated the positive effects it had on students when learning a new topic. Students had more of a positive attitude toward learning when using crossword puzzles since they associate it with a game. The topic becomes more fun and interactive when it’s approached in a type of game. To be able to understand a topic you need to grasp the knowledge of it so you can have a better idea of what’s going on. This can be applied using metacognitive knowledge in eating disorders when individuals can have a better comprehension of themselves and their thought processes. It’s difficult to prevent one’s own overwhelming thoughts but even so, if a person can stop those thoughts in its track frequently it can become more effective in regulating one’s negative thinking when they have a better understanding of their disorders and habits. Individuals can learn terms or strategies through these crossword puzzles so they can remember what to do when they are having binge eating urges rather than negatively ruminating on the situation.

Rumination can be either a maladaptive or adaptive strategy. When an individual’s rumination thoughts occur, that person is repetitively analyzing their problems, concerns, or any type of feelings of distress. This process only becomes favorable when it relates to personal self-reflection. One example from Sofia Oosterwaal’s research on emotional regulation and the effect rumination has on it states that when picking up a crossword puzzle a person has to deeply think about the words to be able to solve it. During that rumination state instead of the person focusing on the destructive thoughts going through their mind, the person shifts their focus on solving the next word in the puzzle. This allows the person to not have all their focus on those negative thoughts that are occurring in their head but rather focus on positively thinking about their next approach for solving the puzzle.

Emotional regulation tends to influence people by exerting the experience and expression of their emotions hence it corresponds with the changes in eating behavior. When a person consumes an extensive amount of food at a time due to any negative feelings such as anxiety or any type of irritation, they’re experiencing emotional eating. In general, when people experience any negative emotions it leads to less food consumption of the individual however it’s quite the opposite for those who restrict what they consume. An analysis from Cardi and Everts revealed that only those individuals who restrict their eating habits are more likely to intake a large amount of food when feeling any negative emotions. An analysis from Cardi and Everts revealed that only those individuals who restrict their eating habits are more likely to intake a large amount of food when feeling any negative emotions. Along with Cardi and Everts’ analysis, the restraint theory suggests that individuals who restrain their eating become more vulnerable and lose control of their eating, especially under stress. People can use cognitive distraction to help reduce distress and shift their mood to a more positive one. Crossword puzzles were found to be a relaxing, fun activity for people during their free time. As the individual continues to work on the crossword puzzle, the person attains the satisfaction of being able to complete a puzzle after solving one. This can positively alter the person’s mood, encouraging them to continue striving to complete the puzzle task. It provides the individual with a more positive mood than they might have previously been and does not have them immediately go to the fridge to consume a load of snacks when feeling sad. 

Metacognition helps an individual be aware of their thought process through the help of metacognitive knowledge and emotional regulation. When mental exercises like crossword puzzles are included in a person’s routine, it can be very beneficial to their metacognition as it can help develop better cognitive strategies to assist individuals who struggle with eating disorders. 


Oosterwaal, S.A.M. “Desire to Eat and Its Relationship with Emotion Regulation, What Does Rumination Has to Do with It? Masterthesis Sofie.” Utrecht University Student Theses Repository Home, Utrecht University , 1 Jan. 1970,

Serna , Isabel Martínez, and José Francisco Parra Azor. “(C-189) Active Learning: Creating Interactive Crossword Puzzles – UPCT.” ACTIVE LEARNING: CREATING INTERACTIVE CROSSWORD PUZZLES, July 2011,

Vann, A., Strodl, E. & Anderson, E. Thinking about internal states, a qualitative investigation into metacognitions in women with eating disorders. J Eat Disord 1, 22 (2013).

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