Do you eat while feeling bored?
Do you sit and munch in front of your TV/Laptop?
What is ‘Mindfulness’?
The world around us is busy rushing to work and back home. Research studies show that stress levels and probability of acquiring chronic diseases are on the rise. Mindfulness is all about the conscious efforts that you take in your lives to get into a better and healthier mind frame. It is a practice or a way of living that you adopt sometimes as a form of meditation or food culture. This practice helps you to de-stress your body through short exercises, forms of meditation and judicious ways of eating. It helps you to reconnect with yourself and with your family members in a happier way!
Now let’s talk about the importance of ‘Mindful Eating’.
Why do we need mindfulness when it comes to our diet?
We all live in the same world yet we are demarcated by geographic boundaries, varied ethnicity and a vast difference in cuisine culture. Food acts as a quick social connect wherever we are in the world---to unite with our family members around a table, to socialise with our friends and spread happiness.
The role food plays in our lives has taken a huge makeover these days!
In this world of pick-up foods and take-away cartons of foods from drive-ins, you can find that your food has switched its role from a ‘social binding mode’ to an ‘essential for survival mode’ due to lack of time. You have stopped enjoying your food and you also miss quality family time around the table!
Mindful eating is all about enjoying your food moment without any judgements, keeping away your future worries and anticipation. Mindful eating is an ancient mindfulness practice to pay attention to what you are eating and with an intention to care your body through wise food selection.
How to eat mindfully?
As all of you try to identify how you connect with food and the stages that the food takes you through, you become more inclined and curious to practice mindful eating, be it at your home or be it at work.
Some useful tips for starting the practice of mindful eating are:
Connect with your senses!
When you are at your dining table, try to bring in all your senses to the table. See what is on your plate, smell the aroma, taste your food slowly and try to chew the bites properly and enjoy every little bite that you take in!
Feel blessed and stop complaining!
Always feel blessed that you can afford good food for you and your family. While sitting in a social group or conversing with a friend, if food becomes a topic, try to talk positive about food.
Complaining about bad food habits does not add any value neither to your conversation nor to you.
Use eating as a stress-buster!
Enjoy the art of eating! Once you start showing your love for food through your positive views, you start to have a positive association with the food you eat and helps you control your stress levels in more ways than one.
Come out of your routine menu!
Nowadays people are looking for shortcut menus and cooking preparations to save time. If you find yourself stuck with a similar menu daily, it is time to think differently and change what you are eating. Monotony in consuming foods can bring about boredom irrespective of whether it is your favourite food/drink. Boredom, in turn, makes your association with food distorted.
Try to rework on your menus/recipes so as to keep your food momentum going!
Let your emotions be with you while you eat!
Please do not wait for your emotions to settle down before you sit to eat. Whether it be boredom, happiness, loneliness, sadness or short temper, emotions can play a role in ‘what you eat’ and ‘how much you eat’. We cannot escape from the emotions that we are going through. Therefore to prevent mindless eating, listen to your hunger cues and eat your food without delay.
Eat when you eat!
The world is full of people who can multitask. When it comes to eating, please stop scrolling your cell phones or reading newspaper and give your attention to the food plate in front of you. It helps you give attention to what you are eating and how much you are eating.
Definitely you can make out when you feel full!
Mindful eating takes into account the entire process of eating food. On shifting your focus from ‘what you eat to ‘how you eat’ you can find your life changing in dramatic ways. Mindful eating is for all of you who appreciate and respect what is on your plate. You can find a sea change in your food practices and notions once you start eating mindfully!
Guest Contributing Author