What is mindfulness and mindful eating?

What are the Benefits of eating mindfully

Do you know What is mindful eating and What are the benefits of eating mindfully?

There is a Buddhist technique of mindful meditation. This mindfulness meditation technique can be used in dealing with overeating problems, weight gain, diabetes, relaxing, dealing with emotional problems etc. This mindfulness is also beneficial in reducing stress and when used while eating.

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is pure awareness. It is an eastern concept that is being practiced for centuries. Mindfulness is being aware of yourself and your surroundings and the activity you are doing at the moment. It involves body, mind, thoughts, emotions, all the senses.

Most of the time we do things automatically, out of habit. Our mind is always thinking thoughts, talking, chattering by itself. We are not aware of many actions that we are performing. We do these actions mindlessly.

When we multitask, ie when we do many actions at the same time, we are not paying full attention to any of the tasks we are doing. Our hands are doing the actions but our mind is absent. Doing things mindlessly can create stress.

What is mindful eating?

Mindful eating is eating with awareness. That is being mindful about the foods you eat, how much you eat, how you eat, what is the taste, texture, consistancy, color of the food etc. It is also about your experience with each mouthful you eat. The sensations you feel while you are eating. You would be using all your senses to eat mindfully.

For most people eating is also one of the things to get over with. For them eating is just filling stomach with food. That is an act necessary to live and they just want to get it over as fast, as easily, as much without wasting time and energy for it. We eat meal after meal in this way as we are always in a hurry to get to the next task after finishing the meal.

Our hand feeds the mouth and the stomach but we are not aware of what foods we are consuming, how much we are eating. Our digestion of foods eaten in hurry or eaten when we are upset or stressed or angry is different from when we eat in a peaceful and calm state and pay attention to what and how we are eating. When we eat mindfully, our digestive process and food assimilation is different, it is better.

This reminds me of a prayer we used to say in school. The prayer means

"Eating is not just filling the stomach with food. It is the worship for our soul and body. It is an act of making an sacred offering to our body that houses the soul."

Benefits of eating mindfully

  • Eating mindfully helps your life, improves mental and physical health. Mindful eating can improve your overall health, body image and self-image and self esteem.
  • With mindfulness, you can get rid of emotional eating habits
  • Can change the way you think about food and eating
  • You learn to eat when you are really hungry
  • You learn to make a decision about when to begin eating and when to stop eating
  • You respond to food without judgment, likes, dislikes about certain foods do not bother you much
  • You understand the problems of unmindful eating
  • You learn to enjoy food more
  • Learn to eat less than what you used to eat so you are reducing overeating. That helps in weight loss and other benefits.
  • Your digestion improves as you chew your food more and better
  • You feel satisfied even though you have eaten less than you used to eat earlier

    Go to Healthy Eating Habits from Mindful eating

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