The benefits of mindfulness have become more apparent in recent years. The ancient buddhist practice has become very much mainstream with mindfulness being integrated into university curriculums and even practiced in pre-school. The benefits of mindfulness seem to be endless however it can sometimes become overcomplicated without needing to be. There is also a misconception that you need to meditate to be mindful. Mindfulness is innate and can be practiced while you drive, eat, exercise, while reading a book, washing the dishes , even cleaning your car. Its about intention. Being completely in the moment without evaluation or judgement.
Mindfulness has shown to reduce stress and anxiety, improve cognition and concentration, enhance memory and ability to problem solve and can help to support the immune system to be more resilient and cope better during times of illness.
Mindfulness and Weightloss
Trying to lose weight? Mindful eating could be the answer.
According to estimates for 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults worldwide are thought to be overweight, including 600 million with obesity. In fact, most people now live in regions of the world where obesity is a bigger killer than being underweight. This is a major public health concern not only because it reduces quality of life but it also increases the risk of chronic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Heart Disease and Cancer.
Obesity is an epidemic that is putting a tremendous strain on the economy, globally. It is not an easy problem to solve, even though it is preventable. Behaviour seems to have a tremendous impact on diet as well as exercise or physical inactivity and the use of medication. Other factors such as the availability of certain foods, education and the way food is marketed are all contributors to this global health crisis. The rise in mental health issues are also a great concern.
A recent study evaluated the effect of mindful eating as part of a weight management program. People looking to lose weight were to try to give meals their full attention rather than eat while doing something else, such as watching television or working. The study concluded that there is beneficial association between mindful eating and weight loss.
But How Can You Eat Mindfully? Here Are 5 Simple Ways To Be A Mindful Eater
1. Eat only when you're hungry.
Listen to your body and eat when it tells you to. Eat small amounts at a time.
2. Make eating time just eating time.
Move away from your desk, put down your phone, turn off devices. Just sit down and relax. Breathe. Indulge all your senses in the experience. Look at the colours, smell the aromas, feel the texture in your mouth and taste the flavours.
3. Eat Slow.
No one is chasing you. Take time chewing and swallowing. Digestion begins in the mouth and allowing the enzymes found in your saliva to work their magic will further enhance the digestive process. Your metabolism will thank you.
4. Stop when you are full.
By full, I mean not feeling like you're going to combust. Full should feel content and comfortable.
5. Show gratitude.
Whether you made it yourself or it was prepared for you. Be thankful.