On my mindfulness journey this month I’ve been focusing on the times my brain moves too fast and won’t stop. You know that loud noise that takes up so much space in your brain it feels like it’s going to explode? Those days when I should be sitting quietly nursing Gemma, but my thoughts won’t stop racing or at the dinner table when I watch the kids eating way too fast just to get back to playing or to a little special treat after our meal. Dinner time is the moment of the day (I wish I could say there were more) that I allow myself to totally sink into my chair and enjoy the meal we’ve prepared together along with conversation about our day.
It seems simple enough, but just allowing yourself to slow down and enjoy the food in front of you can take some effort. I’ve always been a bit of a slow eater, but how often do you take the time to really taste and savor the food you’re eating. How does the food feel in your mouth? Is it sweet or salty? Crunchy or smooth? Do you stop long enough to feel if your tummy is actually full or just keep eating because it’s in front of you?
Unlike lots of New Year, New You plans that help get you on track, this isn’t a diet for your body, this is a diet for your mind! One that will have you paying closer attention to the way your body responds to foods we consume and the effect it has on your body.
Recently Kenya was so excited to play with one of his holiday toys that he inhaled his dinner in no time flat. He was literally shoveling the food in to the point I wasn’t sure if he was even chewing. At that moment I realized how much mindless eating we must all unintentionally do. At that moment we all took a deep breathe and focused on the exercise of really tasting and describing the food on our plates. It was amazing how the conversation expanded beyond the food into how it made the kids feel. Not only was it a positive exercise in savoring the moment, but also slowing down in general.
If you’re taking Aetna’s Month of Mindfulness Challenge with me I would love to know in the comments below how you add mindfulness to the menu. If you’ve focused on food, has taking a few extra moments when you eat become a transformative experience? It’s really the first step to taking charge of your health and learning to love your body and food all over again!
This post was sponsored by Aetna, who believes health is about the body and the mind. Stress can affect emotional and physical health, and reducing stress can boost wellbeing. As part of their #Mindful30 challenge, the views and opinions expressed in my posts on the topic of mindfulness are my own, not Aetna’s. To learn more about mindfulness, visit aetnamindfulness.com.