- Janelle Hunt
Many people find it difficult to slow down and savor their meals. Eating food on the go has become so prevalent in our culture that we fail to recognize the importance of taking time to appreciate and enjoy food. The practice of mindful eating is a way for us to pay attention to what we are eating and how it makes us feel, as well as foster better insight into the difference between physical and emotional hunger.
What is Mindful Eating? Mindful eating encompasses both physical and mental aspects of consuming food. Physically, this practice involves savoring each bite and chewing slowly, which gives our body time to feel satisfied and full before we reach the end of a meal. Mentally, being mindful while eating consists of paying close attention to our thoughts and sensations around food such as hunger, taste or cravings that are often triggers for over-eating.
Benefits of Mindful Eating The act of slowing down and being more aware when it comes to eating can be beneficial on several levels. For starters, it allows us enough time to identify if we are really hungry or if our desire for food comes from external triggers like stress or emotions such as boredom or loneliness. Additionally, taking more time when it comes to consuming meals can help us better digest our food. Undigested food can lead to feeling bloated, gassy, unsatisfied, and uncomfortable. Being mindful during meals can also improve cognitive functioning since slowing down enables us to focus more during mealtimes instead of filling up quickly without giving much thought about the experience - reducing overall mealtime anxiety in the process.
Why Is It So Hard To Eat Slowly? Although there are numerous benefits associated with mindful eating, practicing this type of behavior can be extremely challenging due to various factors:
Busy lifestyle – We live in a fast-paced world where many people have a limited amount of free time which makes it hard for them to take breaks when they’re hungry throughout the day. Additionally, work deadlines or commutes can make it nearly impossible for someone who has hectic schedules to fit regular meals into their day-to-day lives.
Social pressure – We tend to eat quickly because society pressures us into not wasting too much time on things “as trivial” as eating which strengthens an unhealthy attitude towards nourishment - further promoting rushed dining experiences unbefitting of its significance.
Anxiety – Those with eating disorders or disordered eating often do not want to think about what they are eating as it causes feelings of guilt and mental chatter. They often avoid eating with others due to fear of what others will think of what they’re eating. It’s easy to forget that everyone deserves to eat all types of food and eating food should be enjoyable.
Conclusion Eating mindfully isn’t always easy, however understanding why we struggle with this behavior can be paramount in developing better practices related to nourishment and well-being. With effort , dedication , patience , support from loved ones and professional guidance from medical practitioners , one can unlock the secrets behind mindful eating - learning how best they can listen to their body and enjoy food while combatting stressors along the way .