Recently I have attended a workshop on mindfulness, organized by Search Inside Yourself (SIYLI).The Search Inside Yourself program teaches emotional intelligence skills that lead to sustained peak performance, strong collaboration, and effective leadership. This workshop helps create positive emotional and mental states for a strong and inspiring leadership presence.
In the Workshop, I learned various exercises that I will integrate into my life such as Three Breaths, Mindful listening, SBNRR and Mindful Eating.
My main focus will be on mindful eating as it was the most mind-blowing part. In the workshop, we were asked to take a bite of our food and take all the time required for it to dissolve in your mouth enjoying every bit of taste without thinking of anything other than the bite you took. Frankly speaking, I have never ever tasted a better piece of lettuce in my life.
I wanted to explore mindful eating more. I left the program telling myself I would eat every meal like I ate that piece of lettuce. I have kept up with a mindful meal to myself each day and been exploring ways to bring more mindfulness into my daily life.
Eating as mindfully as we do in a mindfulness course is not realistic for many of us, especially with families, jobs, and the distractions around us. This is not to mention that our friends, family, and colleagues might not have the patience to eat with us as we take five minutes with each bite.A tip to cope with that is to consider formal mindful eating on special occasions and informal mindful eating in your daily life.
What I want to offer in this post is what we call informal mindful eating. Especially during the craziness and stress and extra food for the holidays in which we are more likely to eat mindlessly in than mindfully.
Here are six simple guidelines to keep in mind to mindful eating, and bringing our bodies and minds back together.
- Listen to your body and stop when you are full. This requires you to stop half way through your plate and breath for 1 minute and judge how full you are. It is quite tough at the beginning but as you do it more often, you will adapt to it and it will get easier.
- Eating when our bodies tell us to eat. Signs that your body needs food can be like stomach growling or low energy. Often we listen first to our minds, but like many mindfulness practices, we might discover more wisdom by tuning into our bodies first. Rather than just eating when we get emotional signals, like stress, sadness, frustration, loneliness or even just boredom, we can listen to our bodies. True mindful eating is actually listening deeply to our body’s signals for hunger.
- When you eat, just eat! Many of us tend to be doing something when we eat, like scrolling through Instagram or watching Tv or simply having a conversation, it is very important to focus on the doing of eating alone. When we are distracted it becomes harder to listen to your body needs.
- Consider where the food comes from. we have all become ever more disconnected from our food, many of us don’t even consider where a meal comes from beyond the supermarket packaging. This is a loss because eating offers an incredible opportunity to connect us more deeply with the natural world. When we pause to consider all of the people involved in the meal that has arrived on your plate, it is hard to not feel both grateful and interconnected. As you consider everything that went into the meal, it becomes effortless to experience and express gratitude to all of the people who gave their time and effort, With just a little more mindfulness like this, we may begin to make wiser choices about sustainability and health in our food, not just for us but for the whole planet.
- Eat at a set time and place. Another way that we eat mindlessly is by wandering around eating at random times and places, rather than just thinking proactively about our meals and snacks. Eating at specific times can boost both your mind and body’s health, not to mention greatly helping your mood and sleep schedule. Yes, that means sitting down (at a table), putting food on a plate, not eating it out of the container, and using utensils not our hands. If we limit eating to kitchen and dining room, we are also less likely to eat mindlessly or eat while multitasking.
Mindful eating isn’t something you shock your self with it is a practice the more you practice the easier it will get to start on a micro-scale maybe have a mindful first bite of every meal and add a bite every day.
Disclaimer – I’m not a mindfulness instructor all the information is based on the 2-day program I attended and research.
I definitely loved the mindfulness program and would recommend anybody who is interested to join the program it is an amazing opportunity to meet lovely people and to learn amazing things about how your brain works and how to control your emotions.
I’ll leave you with a little micro-practice that you could do at any time of the day when you feel a tad stressed or angry.
Breath … I do my best … Breath … I let go of the rest … Breath
If you are interested in the program, visit their website:
Link to SIYLI website: https://siyli.org/
Information Gathered from https://www.thecenterformindfuleating.org/