– why you chose this topic
– how your belly, chest, and head each feel when you reflect on this topic
– the emotions that you can associate with these visceral feelings
– the positive or negative impact of any stories you believe in regarding this topic
– the consoling/humbling/inspiring fact that many others are feeling similarly about this topic as you
– how you will feel with increased awareness around this topic
– when you can apply increased mindfulness to this topic in your day-to-day life
What is mindful eating? Just as with mindfulness in other areas of life, mindful eating is about focusing your full attention on what you’re doing–what you’re eating, how it tastes, and the textures, flavors, colors, and other elements of the food in front of you. It’s fully enjoying your meal without distraction or judgment. It’s taking your time with each bite, focusing on chewing, tasting, swallowing, and the health benefits that nutritious foods provide for your body.
Eating mindfully offers multiple advantages overeating thoughtlessly. When you slow down and pay attention to the activity at hand, you’ll enjoy the taste of the food more fully and enjoy better digestion. It may even help with weight management as you become more conscious of what you’re putting into your body. You’ll eat more slowly and become more in tune with your body and the difference between real hunger and temporary cravings. To explore these benefits, try eating meditation.
An approach to eating meditation that’s perfect for beginners is the Trail Mix Meditation Technique. All you need is a small portion of trail mix (but this exercise will work just fine with any other simple food that you can eat with your fingers). Now:
Done correctly, this exercise will require you to take you up to 20 minutes to finish a small portion of food. Focus all your awareness on the act of tasting the food and enjoying each tiny bite. You’ll likely notice that eating this way makes flavors more intense and satisfying.
It may not always be practical to use this eating meditation technique when you are with friends or in restaurants, but you may be able to eat mindfully in some of these situations, too. Practice alone so that when you are with others, you can apply the same principles and eat less while enjoying your food more.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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