Sounds simple, right? Well, last night I practically inhaled my dinner while watching a TV show. After I finished eating, my brain told me I was still hungry (even though my stomach was full). Not a surprise given that I barely tasted it.
Mindfully eating means engaging with your food – tasting the flavors, textures, spices and temperatures of your meal. Noticing the scent and feelings that come up as you begin to enjoy your food.
For example, if you’re eating lunch at the office, put down your phone, take a break from email, and see what you notice about your food when you pay attention to it. Is it hot/cold, savory/sweet, soft/crunchy, bland/flavorful? What happens if you close your eyes for a bite? Maybe you notice that extra flavor or texture you didn’t know was there, or you feel extra pleased with yourself and your meal choice!
Mindfully eating helps connect the dots between our stomachs and brains. It also sends the message that we’ve not only satisfied the physical hunger, but the mental hunger as well. When our minds are focused on one thing (like eating), it gives us a mental break from things that may be causing us stress at work and in life.
You can do this with any food, including a cup of coffee! Feeling the warm mug in the palm of your hand, smelling the aroma before you sip, tasting that sweet (or bitter) flavor, feeling your chest warming from the inside out, and that moment of satisfaction that comes with feeling cozy and awake at the same time.
Practicing being present with the little things can train your mind to notice and be “awake” for the big things. During a time of year that comes with a variety of emotions (and extra sweets), I encourage you to find ways to pause and enjoy the little moments where you can, starting with a few bites (or sips) at a time. Cheers!
If you want more information on mindful eating, check out this article: 6 Ways to Practice Mindful Eating.
Inhale through your nose for four counts and exhale out your mouth for eight counts. When you feel stressed, come back to your breath.
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