Many of us have a complicated relationship with food. In our busy lives eating usually involves grabbing something on the go without taking the time to think about what we are consuming, and often without taking a moment to be grateful for the blessing of having enough food to eat.
Practicing mindful eating can have a hugely positive impact on our overall health and wellbeing. When we start to become aware of what ‘fuel’ we are putting into our engines, it is much easier for us to make other observations about our eating habits, motivations, self criticism and body image.
How do we learn to be more aware of what and how we are eating?
Excercise 6 –
Taken From “Distress to de-stress”, a radical approach to stress reduction by Pauline Skeates and Sandy Fabrin
Eat a piece of fruit, taking time to fully experience it, with no distractions (a segmented fruit like a mandarin works well, but other fruit will suffice).
Mindfully eating is experiencing your food with all five senses – Taste. Smell. Touch. Hearing. Sight.
- Notice the details that you would not usually take time to notice. Variations of colour, the texture, the construction of the different parts of the fruit.
- Eat slowly. Take time to consciously chew and swallow the food.
- Notice the sensations in your mouth and throat as you do so.
- Now move to an even deeper experience of eating by becoming aware of your emotional response to the colour, taste and smell of the fruit.
- If it has reminded you of a different time of your life, gently pull your mind back into the ‘here-and-now’ and your current experience.
- What are you becoming aware of?
This experience of being present to what you are doing, can be incorporated into your daily life. It may even lead to a deeper appreciation of food as a simple blessing that we experience everyday!
- Discuss these observations with someone you trust, or journal your thoughts.