What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a practice based on Buddhist tradition in which our attention is focused on sensations in the present moment, without judgement, as a technique to quiet the mind.
Practicing mindfulness is simple:
- Sit in a comfortable position with your back upright
- Notice the natural rhythm of your breathing
- Focus on your bodily sensations without judgment or control
- Observe your thoughts and feelings
Mindfulness involves allowing yourself to be where you already are, to become more familiar with your own experience moment by moment. — Dr. Kabat-zinn
Principles of Conscious Eating
- Chew, Chew, Chew. Each mouthful 35 times. Releases digestive enzymes, improves digestion and assimilation and satiety.
- Eat only when hungry. Do you really need a snack? Or is it a walk, a tall glass of water, or a rest that you truly require?
- Eat simple, whole foods. If it won’t rot, don’t eat it. Enough said!
- Drink Water. Chronic dehydration can cause fluid retention and bloating. You wouldn’t wash your floors with milk or juice, would you? Water is the universal cleanser.
- Breathe, Relax, Feel. Use mealtime to connect with your body.
- Practice Gratitude. When we consciously and deeply acknowledge what we receive, we assimilate the benefits and open ourselves to the sense of abundance that we crave.
- Keep a food journal. Observe your body’s responses to food and learn the truth of what works for you. Your needs may change with the seasons, stress levels and aging.
- Exercise every day. Whether it’s yoga, walking, aerobics or swimming, daily exercise creates a healthy appetite. It also tones all our muscles and organs, oxygenates our brain and creates feel good hormones. It is essential to good health.
Mindful eating is a way of connecting with and appreciating food as nourishment.
- Eat in silence.
- Focus on the sight, the taste and the smell of the food before putting it into your mouth.
- Once in your mouth, notice the texture, the flavor, and any thoughts you are having as you chew.
- Consider the food’s journey: from seed, to harvest, to market, to skillet, and so on.
- After you finish, note any sensations, such as satiety, wanting more, or digestive discomfort, etc.
- Remember to breathe throughout this exercise!
Benefits of Mindfulness
Why practice mindfulness?
Studies indicate that this technique can:
- Relieve stress
- Reduce anxiety
- Lift depression
- Improve attention
- Reduce insomnia
- Decrease hot flashes
- Manage chronic pain
- Soothe cravings
So…by focusing attention on our relationship with our bodies, we can become more aware of our emotions, less re-active to stressors, and more mindful in our responses.