I’m totally guilty of running on empty. Too many times, I’ve waited until the last minute to fill my car up with fuel and, more importantly, I’ve been too busy to nourish my body throughout the day. Practicing mindfulness while eating, or “mindful eating,” can boost both your energy and your mood.
A simple way I explain mindfulness to kids is “noticing both what is going on inside of your body and around you.” I find it helpful, with both children and adults, to practice using our senses in order to be more aware. This does not always come naturally! I will often use an activity to see just how many things we might be able to see, hear, feel, smell, taste when we are paying attention to what is happening inside and around us. Allowing the space to be able to notice can be the hardest part. Try taking a few deep breaths, sitting up straight, and letting thoughts come in and out of your head without too much focus on them.
Want to give mindful eating a try?
- Do your best to set aside some time for just eating meals or having a snack. – – No emails, Netflix, or Facebook.
- Use your senses. – – What colors are in your dish? What does the texture of the food feel like? How is the meal’s aroma?
- Slow down. – – Really chew your food and notice what you are eating and savor it.
- Notice your intentions and patterns. – – You might ask yourself, “Am I eating this because I’m starving and have had a crappy day?” Is this a good choice to “refuel” my body with?”
- Treat yourself. – – Next time you have your favorite dish or dessert, give yourself permission to experience the joy of eating it. Can you feel that childlike wonder and awe?!
Written by Caroline Racher