Mindfulness & Eating
Wonderfully, eating presents itself as an opportunity to cultivate mindfulness. In fact when we bring mindful awareness to our eating, we have the opportunity to shift our relationship both with what we eat and how we eat.
Eating mindfully encourages us to take a bigger perspective of the food we eat. As an example, our food did not grow, pick, pack, ship, and shelve itself. While we may have been the one to prepare and cook our meal, it is the shared outcome of the work of dozens of people. To pause for a brief moment before eating and recognize this can instill in us a deep sense of gratitude that is guaranteed to improve our enjoyment of any meal.
Another example of the benefit of mindful eating is that we can discern when we are truly hungry versus eating emotionally or to mask uncomfortable feelings. Mindfulness enables us to relate skillfully with our thoughts and emotions, which allows us to avoid overeating or eating unnecessarily.
Finally, to be mindful in eating is to savor. It is hard to savor the taste of an apple or a piece of chocolate when we are just wolfing down on piece after another. Slowing down, taking our meal one bite at a time, we realize how fulfilling each bite of our meal can be.