We are all becoming more aware of the importance of being mindful but we are also so very busy in our daily lives so how can we incorporate mindfulness into our routine to obtain the benefits.
Mindful eating is a wonderful way to incorporate mindfulness into our daily lives as we all have to eat! For majority of people, mindful eating gives you the opportunity to be mindful at least 3 times a day!
So what is mindful eating?
Mindful eating is sitting down and being present when eating, noticing the texture, taste, flavour and how eating makes us feel.
It is about being present so that includes sitting and eating at a table, sitting upright and not having a screen or device near us.
How do I eat mindfully?
It is best to begin with an introduction.
Choose a food you would like to practice with (preferably something you can hold in your hand without getting messy).
Something as simple as a single raisin will work well.
Move slowly through these steps, taking a moment to focus on each one. Before you pick up your food, notice how it looks on the table in front of you.
Notice its color, how the light reflects from its surface, and its size.
Now, pick up the food.
Notice the weight, and how the food feels against your skin.
Roll the object between your fingers, or roll it in your hand, and notice its texture.
Notice if it’s smooth, rough, slick, soft, firm or if it has any other properties.
Hold the food to your nose, and pay attention to its smell.
Next, place the food in your mouth, on your tongue, but don’t eat it.
Notice how it feels in your mouth.
Does the texture feel the same as on your hand?
What do you taste?
Roll the food around in your mouth and pay attention to the feeling.
Finally, begin to slowly chew your food.
Notice how your teeth sink into it, and how the texture is different inside.
Pay close attention to the flavor, and how it spreads across your tongue.
Notice how your body changes - does your mouth fill with saliva? Does your tongue feel hot or cold?
Continue to chew your food, paying close attention to the many sensations as you finish.
Do I have to take this long to eat every time?
No is the answer! However the process of being mindful is taking the time to experience what is happening in the present.
Give it a try for 3 weeks beginning with 1 meal a day and see how you go. Just as a reminder, being mindful is difficult to begin with but with practice you will find it easier and less challenging!
I don't enjoy mindful eating - does that mean mindfulness is not for me?
No this is not the case, mindfulness as with everything is about finding something that suits you and continuing with that. Over the next few weeks we will be continuing to look at mindful practices so stay tuned for some other practices that may suit you better.