The following article is from the April 2012 edition of Seek Within You's Free Quarterly Newsletter. Sign up to enjoy more articles to help you in the process of improving your mind, body and spiritual health through meditation.
A Mindfulness Practice
What is your relationship with food? How do you normally feel when you eat? Do you consistently eat when you are unhappy or feeling bad? Do you eat with a smile on your face and with total enjoyment of your food? Are you aware of the thoughts that roam in your head when you eat? Are these thoughts making you feel good or is the voice in your head telling you that what you are eating is not good for you? How you feel directly affects your health so learning to feel good when you eat is essential.
Eating plays such a central role in our daily lives so why not take advantage of it and make it a meditation to train yourself to feel good. If you train yourself to feel good when you eat, you are well on your way to improved health. In addition, you will much more easily get to your desired weight and maintain it. When you feel good you naturally gravitate towards situations, people and events that will guide you to the steps to take for you to manage your weight. Good feelings = good results.
Use the mealtime meditation with any weight-management program and you will definitely see much improvement. It is the simple power of feeling good.
Make time for your meals to be sacred, a time for you to unwind and a time to start focusing on yourself. In the beginning it may be easier for you to do this meditation with one meal a day and then progress to as many as you desire. Consistency is key so make a commitment to do this meditation for a minimum of 1 month.
- Make a habit to be in a good mood BEFORE you start eating. A quick way to do this is to give thanks or express your gratitude. Sit down with your plate in front of you and start giving thanks for more than 10 things in your life for which you are grateful, including your meal. Let the ideas just flow to your head. When you start feeling good, then you can begin eating.
- Other ideas to feel good are listening to uplifting music, laughing, looking at a picture that makes you smile, closing your eyes and imagining a place that makes you feel happy.
- Alternatively, if you are eating the meal with someone else and are having a conversation, monitor how you feel during the discussion. You may need to redirect your conversation towards a subject that makes you feel good.
Be patient with yourself throughout this process. You are retraining yourself, which builds new neural connections. This process takes time but is well worth it in the end. Also remember to enjoy the journey! Good luck and I wish you well.