Mindful eating sounds like a concept that is very modern and hipster-ish(no offense guys). But, in reality it’s the best thing for us to do in current times.
When you sit down to eat breakfast or lunch or dinner, does your phone accompany you? Even if you say that you keep digital devices away, do thoughts about work accompany you? Most of the time, we rarely pay attention to what we eat. It’s just another routine exercise, and that’s where mindful eating comes in.
Mindful eating is the process of simply becoming more mindful about what we eat and how we eat.
Why We Should Practice Mindful Eating:
We have become habituated to mindless eating. Sometimes we don’t even know if we’ve chewed. This kind of reckless behaviour can change. Remember, mindful eating is not just about the taste. It’s about staying in the present.
So if you’re sitting down with your friend, significant other, or a colleague, listen wholeheartedly to what they are saying when you share a table for lunch. Sometimes, we just get into a routine of doing very (robotic), and we eat a whole tub of ice cream without enjoying a single spoon. And that is not a great way to enjoy life. We need to have gratitude for this moment, for the ability to enjoy and eat food. So we should enjoy mindful eating by engaging in what we do, one step at a time.
Next time you’re getting ready to eat, ask yourself these 4 questions:
1. Am I tasting every bite, or am I distracted?
2. What changes do I notice before and after eating. Am I still hungry? Did I over-eat? Am I feeling energetic or sleepy?
3. What feelings can I link with what I am eating now: Happiness? Disappointment? Regret? Sadness?
4. What category of thoughts pop up when I eat: Beliefs? Memories? Work? Family? Fear?
Take a screenshot of these 4 questions, if you’d like, and when you do, don’t be distracted by trying to answer them. Just be aware. Notice what you do, and then get back to the questions.
Slow down, the plate of food isn’t going anywhere, but how you are acting in the presence of food (Are you relaxed? Or are you mindlessly eating whatever’s in front of you? Can you enjoy one moment in the present?) will take your lunch/dinner time to a whole new level of relaxation and enlightenment.