Mindfulness is a daily practice that helps people live their lives with greater purpose and intention. One direct focus of mindfulness can be found within a person’s overall approach to eating. Consuming food can become a mindless practice that leads to a wide array of physical and mental health issues. However, mindful eating is a remedy with roots in well-studied mindfulness practices.
You may have heard of mindful eating before, but it’s not everything you may assume. Rather, what you eat—and how you choose to eat it—matters. Here’s a look into how mindful eating leads to healthy living.
Controlling Food, Instead of It Controlling You
The main objective of mindful eating is to improve your direct relationship with food. As an approach, mindful eating is a pleasurable practice that increases a person’s understanding of their body’s cues. One way how mindful eating leads to healthy living is through this enhanced understanding of cravings.
Confusing your body’s physical needs with emotions or lacking clarity about hunger cues is relatively common. As a solution, mindful eating provides an opportunity for assessing and discerning the diversity between the two. True mindful eating prompts one to ask: Am I hungry? Or is there another trigger? This awareness is key to intuitively connecting with food and savoring one’s eating experience without feeling guilty. Healthier living exists when you control and fulfil your innate cravings nutritively.
Promoting Healthier Responses to Stress
Eating habits develop over time from our behaviors and lifestyles. Various negative habits tend to develop after years of eating on the go, as socializing, to make oneself feel better, or to relieve stress. Having a healthier relationship with food means paying closer attention to your specific eating habits. Eating fulfills needs beyond mere hunger, but it can easily lead to harmful habits.
Keep in mind that mindful eating is not a diet, but rather a mindset. Choosing suitable quality and quantity is only a piece of the larger puzzle. By noticing and honoring your thoughts, emotions, and senses, you can respond appropriately to stressors in your life without coping with sustenance that will leave you feeling just as empty.
Appreciating and Living in the Moment
The choices you make about your food and eating environment—evenselecting an ideal dining table to sit at—play a distinct role in cultivating a mindful kitchen. Being conscious about your posture, the chair holding you upright, the people around you, and the flavors and textures of your food fully tunes you into the present moment. Tuning every sense into the moment helps you slow down in your day, seek sizable joy around you, and genuinely appreciate your life for what it is.