Wellness special: Why you should't just pay attention to what you eat but how you eat
I know you all might have come across this word at some point or the other in life, so what do you think it means? ‘Mindfulness’ means the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something, and in other way, it’s a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, happily acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, emotions and thoughts.
We all know that our life comes with a lot of obstacles, and that is needed for our growth. Similarly, engaging in a mindful life is not too different. Mindfulness is nothing but being more present and aware of your behaviour in each moment that you face daily. Throughout the process, wherein you start practicing mindfulness, there are times when we get too tired to practice the same, which can be due to various reasons, and we think that we need to give up and avoid being mindful.
But if you look at things the other way round, we come to understand that these are not signs of failing
at being mindful. Instead, they are opportunities for learning about the hindrances of life and tackling
It surely is a way to live in the present moment, and to enjoy it well, we also need to stay healthy, so needless to overstate, mindfulness — when it comes to eating your food —also goes hand-in-hand. Practising mindful eating means being present when we eat or drink any particular food and enjoying it thoroughly. We generally tend to focus on what we eat (healthy or unhealthy), but we also need to focus on how we eat, as that has a huge impact on our health. Let’s see what you need to do to begin mindful eating or to follow mindfulness regularly:
● Eat slowly, and take the time to savour each and every bite to enjoy food — that’s one of the healthiest things you can do. You’re more likely to notice when you are full, you’ll chew your food more, and hence, it will get mixed with the saliva well to digest more easily, and you’ll probably find yourself noticing flavours you might otherwise have missed. The body also sends its satiation signal about 20 minutes after to the brain, from the time we start eating, which is why we often unconsciously overeat, if we chew fast. But on the other hand, if we slow down, we can give our body a chance to catch up with the brain, and hear the signals to eat the right amount and avoid overeating. So, let’s start practicing this to eat well.
● Try to keep meal time as silent time, which doesn’t mean you can’t talk to your family members, but keep it minimum. Avoid gadgets, TV, phone, laptop, etc and stay focused
on the food you are eating. This way, you can connect with the food more easily, without any distraction, and you’ll savour each bite too.
● Try and look at your portion sizes. We tend to eat more when we eat directly from a packet or box of food. Instead, take out a small portion on a plate to avoid overeating. Try and use a smaller plate and small spoons that will ensure you take small bites and chew well. This way, your food intake reduces, and we avoid issues related to the gut.
● Deep breathing during a meal is equally important to make sure the body is getting enough oxygen even for the digestive system, thus making it work more efficiently. The increased oxygen improves the
blood flow, and also improves overall digestion.
● Keep your phone and TV time limited. Too much of both isn’t good, as it puts more pressure on the eyes. Better to avoid them at night, so that it doesn’t affect your sleep cycles.
● Take out at least 15 minutes in your day to meditate. Sit quietly and follow your breath. You’ll observe that you’re more calm and conscious, plus this will help you feel connected with yourself for the rest of the day. We connect with others regularly, but take time out to connect to your inner self, and you’ll be at peace.
● Try and stay active throughout the day, be it by walking, yoga, exercising, pilates, etc. Being mindful of your body is important to keep your health in check.
There are many things that you can do to be mindful, but let’s focus on doing these few things, and make it a lifestyle habit to keep your health in check.