No doubt you’ve heard about (and have likely even practiced) meditation at some point in your life, but have you ever thought about meditating on food and hunger?
Meditation is the act of cultivating mindfulness: Focusing on the present moment, noticing (without judgement or criticism) when thoughts about the past or future begin to creep in, and then gently redirecting our awareness back to now.
Applied to hunger and eating, meditation can be a very valuable exercise. This practice – commonly referred to as mindful eating – involves deliberately paying attention to our bodies, hearts and minds while experiencing hunger and/or engaging in the acts of choosing, preparing or eating food. Over time, we begin to notice what’s really behind our food choices and our desire to eat, to deeply enjoy the act of eating and notice when we are truly full, and may even feel more gratitude for the meals on our plates.
Engaging in this practice may not come naturally at first. The extra effort put forth, though, can lead us down a very rewarding path toward a deeper understanding of our relationship to food! For more information on this topic, ask your nutritionist, or check out the book Mindful Eating by Dr. Jan Chozen Bays.
Bays JC. Mindful Eating. Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications; 2009.