Mindfulness is described as an intentional state of being aware, in the moment, engaged, and observing. A state of mindfulness is free of judgment, both positive and negative. Mindfulness is an ancient practice, but has gained popularity in recent years as people search for natural ways to heal the mind, body and spirit and improve quality of life.
Download Healthful Tips: Mindful Eating
Eating is a natural candidate for the practice of mindfulness. Mindful eating will allow you to become more aware of your body’s cues for hunger and satiety, to increase the pleasure of eating, and to enhance the opportunity to nurture your body.
To eat mindfully:
- Set aside distractions and dedicate the time to just eating. Yes, this includes the TV, computer, driving, reading, working and even talking.
- Honor your body by choosing foods that you enjoy eating and that are healthy for you.
- Before you begin eating, look at the food. With a deep sense of gratitude, appreciate the food that you are about to eat. If inclined, you may say a blessing.
- Take small bites, eat slowly and use all of your senses to savor the food. Notice how the food smells. How does it feel as it lingers in your mouth? Truly taste the sweet, sour, salty and bitter flavors. Note how the food begins to provide relief from your hunger. Listen to the sounds the food makes as you chew it.
- Stop periodically and put your utensil down. Notice your thoughts and how your body feels.
- Consider how this food is broken down into individual nutrients, absorbed into your blood stream, and used to nourish and power every function of your body.
- Listen to your body and stop eating when you feel satisfied.
- Be aware of your reactions to the foods you are eating and avoid judging foods as good or bad. Instead, think of how a cup of hot tea soothes you or lean chicken helps to maintain your muscles.
- Enjoy a few quiet, peaceful moments at the end of your meal.
One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.