This may very well be the easiest thing you do today or (depending on how often you rush yourself) the hardest.
Pick a meal you enjoy and a time of day when you will not be in a rush.
Because you will be paying close attention to the flavors in your mouth it may be better to avoid foods you dislike at first. Eating utensils will be helpful in this exercise however they are not necessary.
Gather all your things for a quiet meal at the table. Have your beverages and condiments handy. Once you sit down to the meal there is no more getting up. Cell phone away, TV, & ringer off.
Time to eat.
Sit with your food. Now you will eat doing only one thing at a time, paying careful attention to every bite.
If you are eating with utensils you will be placing them back on the table after every bite. If you have picked something like a sandwich and will be eating with your hands you will be placing your food item on the table after every bite.
Pick your food up. Take one bite. Put your food (or utensils) down. Pay close attention to each step, be mindful and do not rush. Be aware of every bite, count each time you chew. What flavors do you taste? Do you enjoy the texture of the food in your mouth?
Stay with this through the entire meal. Do not allow yourself to rush or blend steps together. Stay focused only on the meal in front of you. This is not the time to worry about your finances or that disagreement with your friend.
Just sit with yourself, eating, paying close attention to the sensations of the food in your body. Have gratitude for your food. Think about the way it nourishes your body as you take this time to nourish your mind.
21 thoughts on “Mindfulness Practices You Can Start Today – Mindful Eating”
Theravadin Buddhist monks encourage this mindful eating practice, for them there’s only one meal per day so they never have to be concerned about being overweight. It’s done for its own sake. Thanks for posting this…
Thank you for elaborating! 😀
Mindfulness can be incorporated into every day life, I would recommend reading peace in every step by thich nhat hanh
I agree – thank you so much for the recommendation.
So much more enjoyable this way. Great post!
Great post! This is also a way to become a better cook, really embracing the flavors of the food
I’ll be giving this a try 🙂 Just reading the description of each step reminded me how little I’ve paid attention to HOW I eat. It’s easy for me to be mindful about the food choices I make, but once I sit at the table that mindfulness gives way to gobbling down food so I can get to another task.
I hope you find a new enjoyment in meal time.
When I read your post, I had an inner reflection about writing because sometimes feel like writing is the same way. I have been working on a short story, and know you do some writing. Would you be interested in proofreading it for me? I am trying to go slow and take it one step at a time, but no worries if not but liked your post and how it related to taking one’s time and enjoying rather than going quickly through. Hope you had a Happy New Year!
Hi Sarah as long as you are not on a deadline, I would be happy to have a look! I have one other item in front of you in line. 😉
Oh, I don’t plan to publish it so I’m in no hurry and not finished with it. I was more curious on your take as I am mixing Greek mythology with Buddhism – you were my muse of inspiration as to the Buddhist theme mixed in with a little pagan based on some of our dialogue. Hopefully will be done in two or three days!
Sounds great! You can email firstname.lastname@example.org whenever you finish. 🙂
I love the way this was written. It feels like a meditation. Breathe in, read a sentence; breathe out, process. A good reminder that even a simple thing like having a meal (something not everyone has everyday) can be a blessing. “Dolce far niente”, or pleasant idleness.
This is something I will try to think about my food.. and it’s taste.. and enjoy it..
This actually works, but I usually look from a scientific side 🙂
Taking your time while eating, chewing more actually makes the alimentary bolus easier to digest 🙂
Also, taking your time allows you brain to realize you are full. The information from your stomach to your brain takes time (about 18 minutes), so taking a break from a meal may also be the end of that meal (that’s a good thing).
It’s a know fact that people who read, watch tv or talk to each other while they eat, tend to eat much more. Also, in 18 minutes you can eat quite a lot of food if you are a fast eater, so a lot of people (mostly fast food enthusiasts in a lunch break at work) can eat about twice they usually need. They take chunks of food and swallow like pelicans/crocodiles with alimentary bolus that actually hurt. They punch their chest and they laugh about it, go back to work, sit in a chair and the information to the brain kicks in: “Dude, you ate a whole cow. Now you can’t get up.” So they don’t get up 😉
Love this!! More people need to do this. 😁
Glad you found it helpful! 🙂
This type of knowledge is critical in Eating Disorder Recovery. Practicing mindfulness when eating is a lifelong skill that helps to balance the rest of your life. Thank you so much for this! Please check out my blog at http://www.thefrozenorangesociety.com
very enjoyable post. to be in the moment and fully aware, rather than racing through is sheer delight! cheers, Debi 🙂