Mindful eating requires our full presence in the moment, truly creating an individual experience. In today’s current climate, we often rush through meals, rarely appreciating the food in front of us. Eating is no longer a solitary experience but rather a distraction from work, relationships, or schedules. Fortunately, mindful eating can be accomplished by practicing the following 8 exercises.
- Get a raisin (or small piece of fruit) and lay it on the surface in front of you.
- Clear your mind and environment of all distractions. Take a few deep breaths and relax your muscles.
- When you’re ready, slowly observe the characteristics of the raisin, noting its color, weight, texture, and smell. You can move it between your fingers, squeeze it lightly, or set it between your lips—focus on the unique qualities of this food and nothing else.
- Pause for a moment to assess your emotions. How does this food make you feel? What do you notice now that you failed to notice before?
- Place the raisin in your mouth and roll it with your tongue. Refrain from chewing, concentrate only on your experience, and notice the taste (or lack thereof).
- Bite down gradually, but only once. Observe your reaction.
- Chew gently and thoroughly, fully appreciating the sweetness and flavor. Continue chewing until the raisin has a liquid consistency.
- After swallowing, evaluate your experience. Did you enjoy the raisin? What benefits did you obtain from consuming it?
Mindful eating can be a rewarding and eye-opening practice. It encourages us to live in the moment, experiencing the sensory details of our food. Most importantly, it allows us to feel our emotions in a safe and accepting space. We can enjoy our meals and remove any resentful feelings toward food.
By, Coach Kaleigh