The Positive Impact Of Mindful Eating
What is mindful eating? The word mindful is defined as being conscious or aware of something. Being a mindful eater involves being attentive and making deliberate choices in regard to food. While this may sound like an easy task, it can be difficult and present different challenges to many people. With that being said, by being more present around food and during mealtimes, an individual can learn to navigate difficult situations and start to make better choices. There are a number of benefits to eating more mindfully that can help those who suffer from eating disorders and food addiction, as well as individuals that are simply trying to eat healthier.
There are many approaches to mindful eating, but the most important aspect is learning to slow down during the eating process. Becoming a mindful eater is learning to pay better attention to what is happening with the body, and removing the unconscious eating habits of the past. By considering the thoughts, sensations, and feelings that accompany eating, a person can identify triggers and develop tools to successfully steer them through the complicated world of food.
There are several areas to focus on when becoming a more thoughtful eater:
· How does the body feel before and after the meal? Is the stomach empty or full?
· How does the food smell, look, and taste?
· How does the food feel as it is being digested and throughout the day?
· What feelings are associated with the food? Joy, guilt, pleasure, or disappointment?
· What thoughts are accompanying the food? Fears, beliefs, or nutrition myths?
So where does a person start? Becoming a more mindful eater is a skill just like any other, and it requires practice to become proficient. Thoughtful eating is not a decision that is made one day and practiced perfectly the next, but rather something that is learned and perfected over time. Slowing the entire eating process down is an excellent way to start being a more mindful eater. This includes creating space between the initial craving for food and when it is eaten. Additionally, increasing the length of time in between bites is a great way to slow the eating process down. By allowing for more time, it makes it possible for an individual to examine what is happening during the eating process.
Another great way to begin eating more mindfully is to eat in a quiet area. With the constant interruptions from cell phones, computers, and television, it is easy to forget what it is like to sit in an area away from distractions. It is important to allow for some quiet time to reflect when eating in order to truly get to the core of what is happening within the body.
Being more mindful can help an individual to identify and manage their emotions in a more positive way. With healthier coping skills, it is possible to deal with feelings and moods without relying on food. This process is all about starting to hear and recognize the thoughts as they appear, but not having to obey them. Becoming a more thoughtful eater is a learned skill and has many benefits that carry over to other aspects of life. Take the time, take a deep breath, and start eating more mindfully today!
Visit The Center For Mindful Eating for more info!