How much attention do you pay to your food? How quickly do you eat it? What does it taste like? How does it smell? What sort of texture is it? How it makes you feel when you're eating it?
Most of see our meals and snacks as simply ways to conquer hunger or to give us energy, but what we eat and how we eat it is so much more than that - if we just slow down and take some time to really to pay attention to it.
Sound a bit strange? This will only take a couple of minutes and will change the way you eat and appreciate your food!
- Find a small piece of food, a nut, a small piece of fruit, a piece of chocolate (not a block- everything in moderation, right?).
- Begin by exploring this little piece of food using all your senses, or as many as possible.
- Close your eyes and explore the food with your sense of touch. What does this food feel like? Is it hard or soft? Dry or sticky? Rough or smooth?
- You’re not being asked to think too much here, but just to notice different aspects of your experience using one sense at a time. If your mind wanders away from exploring this food – thoughts about the past or the future (chances are they will) - gently bring yourself back to your food.
- Before you eat, explore this food with your sense of smell. What do you notice?
- Begin eating. No matter how big or small the piece of food, take at least five slow, long bites. Chew very, very slowly. Notice the actual sensation of chewing and tasting.
- Notice the texture of the food; the way it feels in your mouth, between your teeth, on your gums, on the roof of your mouth, on your tongue.
- Notice the flavour, and the changes in flavour from moment to moment. This is what mindful eating is all about.
- If your thoughts drift to the past or the future, again, gently remind yourself to return to sensation of chewing and eating.
- Continue doing this mindful eating for a couple of minutes (between 2-5 minutes), being aware of the simple sensations of chewing and eating.
Give it a try! You'll never take your meals for granted again!
Interested in other opportunities to be mindful? Check out our Mindful Challenges and keep the momentum going!