What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of learning to listen to our bodies and our minds with curiosity and without judgement! It is the practice of being in each moment as a new beginning, fully engaged in the here and now. It’s about learning to see the moment as a new opportunity to start over, to tune in, and to reconnect with ourselves. I have used “mindfulness-based practices” both personally and with my clients and groups for many years now. What a gift to give ourselves, especially for living in this day and age of little the screens! Some of the practices include, pausing and breathing, meditation, yoga, mindful eating, and conscious inhabiting of our bodies during all activities, just to name a few. When it comes to our health and nutrition, mindfulness practices can take us to a brighter level of health and vibrancy. Here are some ways that mindfulness practices can improve our health…we can:
*become more aware of our attachments, habits and patterns of eating which either nourish us or not
*become more aware of how the foods we choose affect our health and our planet
* become more aware of how we eat and how we prepare our food.
Practicing mindful eating
Practicing mindful eating can help us to eat appropriate portions with much more satisfaction and pleasure. We become more tuned in to the body’s signals and rhythms. We also begin to love natural whole foods and may experience processed foods as less appealing and simply lose interest. Below are 4 simple recommendations for practicing the principles of mindful eating.
2. Take bites with complete awareness given to tastes, textures, and your overall sensual experience of your food. Chew completely, and place your utensil down between each bite. (Think about how often we are chewing food, talking, and getting the next bite ready all at one time. We will miss the fullness of the experience of the food if this is our auto-pilot experience of eating).
3. Notice the auto-tendencies and gently come back to your experience of each bite, one at a time, and the space between each bite of food. Notice if you taste your food more on the inhale or more on the exhale. (note: the answer is exhale – try it!)
4. Practice mindful eating every time you eat. Practice it alone and in silence and then bring it into your social settings and try to experience your food completely and at the same time, enjoy your social experience with others.
P.s. this is also good for the digestive system – a real bonus!