Mindfulness is the practice of giving your full attention to the meals you eat, your emotions, your body sensations, and your thoughts. Mindfulness is an important skill that can promote your health and wellness.
Below are some questions to practice asking yourself that will help you train your “mindfulness muscles.”
- What emotions do you feel before, during, and after you eat? Some people may find that emotions such as sadness or anger can lead them to eat. This is very common and it is important to remember that you are not alone. Simply noticing the emotions that cause you to eat (without judging them) can lead you to a better awareness of your habits that can help you make healthier decisions.
- TIP: When you notice a negative emotion that would normally lead you to eat, try to interrupt the habit with a healthier way to cope such as: taking a few deep breaths, going for a walk, or playing your favorite song.
- What sensations do you notice in your body when you are anxious or stressed? In these moments, you may find that your heart rate increases, you sweat more, and your muscles may tense up. Being mindful of these body sensations and accepting them is an important part of coping with them.
- TIP: When you’re feeling stressed, notice how your body reacts. Then, practice a healthy coping mechanism such as deep breathing, exercising, or journaling.
- How do negative thoughts affect your health? Remember that our thoughts are simply thoughts. You can choose to hold onto them or allow them to pass. Practice noticing your negative thoughts and then allowing them to move on like clouds in the sky.
- TIP: A positive attitude can help boost your body’s production of healing chemicals that help you recover from illness faster.