Using Mindfulness to End Mindless Eating…
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”
~Jon Kabat Zinn
Mindfulness is about staying in the present without giving thoughts. It’s simply being aware. While this is difficult for the great majority of people, it is also important in helping to reduce stress, staying mindful in health and focus on what is really important.
Let’s look at the typical life in the Western world. If we’re not eating out (which is done about 4 times per week), we’re eating in with junk food. Many times we’ll be sitting in front of the television set and eating. No awareness about how much or how we’re eating occurs. Think of the old Lay’s potato chips commercial, “No one can eat just one.” It is true, in part because we’re engaged in mindless eating. If we’re watching a football game or an intense movie, we may have eaten the whole bag of chips in no time. Then we may wonder what the heck happened and where did the chips go?
Mindless eating is common in many areas of our lives. Whether at home or at a restaurant, it happens. The opposite of mindlessness is mindfulness. Jon Kabat Zinn, Thich Nhat Hanh and Jack Kornfield are among the top experts in this arena. As he and other experts have described, it’s about emptying the mind of its thoughts and only focus what is in the present moment. When I say present, not what just happened or what is about to happen, but just at each moment as it is happening. I can tell you from experience that it’s extremely difficult.
Tibetan monks practice for years in a quiet space, undisturbed by modern distractions. Hence, I would suggest for each of us in the modern world to find a quiet place in which to develop one’s mindful mindset. Zen Buddhism talks of the concept of the “empty mind.” This is in essence the same as mindfulness. Being in present awareness is where one should be.
In the case of this article, it’s about being in present awareness or mindful of one’s eating habits. Instead of continuously eating mindlessly, focus on what and how much you eat. Focus on eating for your health and still enjoy each meal. Being mindful doesn’t have to take away from the enjoyment of eating. In fact, being mindful can enhance the quality of food instead of letting one’s emotions get in the way.
I would suggest delving more into mindfulness training. At the very least, practice the art of meditation. This will help you to become more mindful of each present moment without giving thoughts and judgements. Now, onto your journey are a person who is fully aware.