Eating with Awareness
We are so used to eating in our habitual ways and often in a rush or while doing something else. But eating and drinking are actually moments in which we can nourish ourselves in much deeper ways than we usually do. To investigate this possibility let’s try some easy exercises:
- First we can just watch our next meal, drink, or snack and see how we typically eat and drink.
- Next we can try eating and drinking with a little more awareness. Is there a way of doing this that feels natural? What does this feel like?
- If we are present with our body, our awareness, and our thoughts, the effects of eating and drinking might be different.
- Having experienced this example of mindful eating, did that change anything for you?
- Do you feel you have a sense of what it feels like to be “nourished in a deeper way”?
- You could try a more formal approach: simply go along with the following video: This classic mindfulness eating exercise can be done while eating a raisin (or whatever else you have handy).
- For an interesting talk on how mindfulness and awareness affect everything we do, with a special focus on dieting issues, see MBSR teacher Michelle DuVal here.
- A helpful summary by Harvard Public Health on different focuses around food: The seven practices of mindful eating.
But most importantly again: see if you can get to know your habits, find your own way into eating with awareness, and see how this can benefit you in your day to day life.
(Below is a PDF which lists the different steps in a mindfulness eating approach that I found here.)