Most of us eat without being aware what we are eating. Being mindful about our eating can have many benefits including enjoying food, drawing pleasure, cultivating gratitude, not overeating and feeling sated. The purpose of this exercise is to eat slowly and with full attention to our eating.
When to do this exercise
Apply this exercise to any food you eat during the day.
Steps of exercise
1. Eat in silence. If possible with no phone, TV, etc
2. Take few deep breaths and relax
3. Notice why are you eating? Are you hungry?
4. Look at the food you are eating
5. Pay attention to all the ingredients it contains
6. Is it healthy or unhealthy?
7. How does it look?
8. Reflect on the people who might have worked behind the scene to bring your food in front of you. Develop gratitude and thank all who might have played a part
9. Notice the smell of your food
10. How does it taste, pay attention to flavour, its texture, can you identify all ingredients
11. Savour your food intentionally
12. Chew your food slowly up to 15-20 times
13. Put your cutlery down between bites
14. Pay attention as you swallow it, notice the movements of swallowing, notice when it goes down the back of your throat.
15. Pay your attention to the feeling of fullness developing as your stomach gets filled slowly
16. If your attention drifts away from the food, it is ok. Don't judge yourself. Just bring your attention back to eating your food
17. Repeat steps 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,15 and 16 until you finish your food
When you eat mindfully with full attention, you will notice eating can be a rich experience. If you develop the habit of eating mindfully, you don't have to worry about finding a particular time for mindfulness. Mindfulness can be applied to our daily acts of eating, drinking, having a coffee or having a shower.
Mindfulness has been a part of eastern culture including Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam for centuries. It is well documented in their traditional scriptures. These exercise can be found in most of the books or material on mindfulness. More recently Mindfulness has been found helpful in dealing with stress, anxiety, negative emotions, low mood, pain tolerance and insomnia. We will be regularly uploading various mindfulness exercises here. Keep checking this page regularly.