Heading into the New Year with Mindfulness
By Lia Threat
Click aqui para español- >Comenzando el Año Nuevo con Mindfulness
Mindfulness has been a trending buzz topic recently, for a good reason. The beauty of the practice is that one can implement mindfulness into various aspects of daily living, from family life to work to interactions with others. The goal is to become more in sync with our thoughts, feelings, and needs with greater presence. But how does one eat more mindfully?
Become an observer. Notice how you eat, when, and who dines with you. Think about how you feel: calm, stressed, rushed, nervous, happy, distracted? Are you finishing your food and not even remembering how you started?
Open your senses through observation. We can become more aware of our food by appreciating textures, tastes, aromas, and colors. This awareness helps us tune into our bodies and physiological response to food and hunger cues. For example, does the food you are eating make you feel pleasure, tired, sluggish, happy, or guilty? How much food does it take to achieve satisfaction before it dissipates? These are some questions to ask yourself before continuing a meal or going for an extra helping of (fill in the blank).
Check in with your body’s needs. Have you had proper rest, hydration, and emotional support? If your basic needs have yet to be met, you will eat to satisfy what has been neglected rather than to attain the nourishment your body needs. When our bodies are tired, thirsty, or going through a hard time emotionally, we are most likely to make impulsive food (and drink) choices that significantly impact our brains.
Slow down the process by:
- Expressing gratitude for the source of our food and those who grow it
- Placing our fork down between bites and chewing slower
- Stopping at signs of fullness
- Practicing honesty and forgiveness for moments when we slip away from our goals
Once you find benefits in mindfulness practice, you can use it in other aspects of daily life. Journaling and audio guides can be beneficial ways to explore the practice and become more consistent.