I recently wrote about mindfulness meditation and the benefits. Today I thought I would write about mindful eating as a way to practice mindfulness. This is an easy and enjoyable way to begin or deepen a mindful practice.
You can either try this when you have some quiet time to try this exercise or give it a try next time you eat. Another good opportunity to try mindful eating is when you want to enjoy a special treat like chocolate. The idea is to stay in the present and really experience the process of eating. Let's use chocolate as an example. Take a bite of the sweet treat and really allow yourself to experience the chocolate. First smell the chocolate and allow yourself to really experience the aroma. Notice the texture on your tongue... pay attention to the place on your tongue where you taste the sweetness... keep your attention on the muscles in your jaw as you chew the chocolate. Notice how it feels as you swallow the bite of chocolate.
So many times we are eating while we work, drive, talk, or watch TV and we don't really appreciate the experience of eating. We are often in such a rush that we barely taste the food and risk overeating. Mindful eating will help you slow down and enjoy your food. When people try mindful eating they often find that they eat less because they are more satisfied with what they eat and they are more aware of their body's natural signals to stop eating. In addition, you will be gaining the benefits of mindfulness! How awesome is that?! Why not give it a try next time you eat?
I'd love to hear about your experiences as you try mindful eating... you can either leave a comment here or email me.