Every moment nature is serving fresh dishes with the items of happiness. It is our choice to recognize and taste it. Amit Ray
Have you ever scarfed down your food while multitasking and focused on getting something else done without taking even a moment to enjoy your meal? Do you stress eat – devouring candy or chips, not enjoying the sweet or salty tastes and then feel awful afterward? In our busy lives, we often miss moments of enjoyment because we are worried about something that has happened or are fantasying about something that may happen. Eating is something we turn to because it takes you out of the moment.
Mindful eating is a form of focus or meditation. It is about being aware and enjoying the moment: the sweet and smooth tastes, the smells of our hot beverage, savoring the crunchy, salty experience of eating chips.
Being mindful can develop your sense of why you are eating. Is it because of stress or are you actually hungry? Observing the present allows you to feel your emotions. Just observing is a healthy act- and taking a few moments to enjoy your food enhances awareness and joy.
Mindful eating can be practiced with any food. If you are new to this focus, an easy way to start is with a simple pleasure such as fruit or chocolate.
Mindful eating can be practiced with any food. If you are new to this focus, an easy way to start is with a simple pleasure such as fruit or chocolate. This exercise was shared with me by Dr. Erika C. Scheurer, Faculty Liaison, Project for Mindfulness and Contemplation at the University of St Thomas.
A Chocolate Kiss
Take a piece of candy to begin your contemplation.
Look at it – the packaging, color, and size.
What is the wrapping made of?
What is the texture?
What does the candy feel like? Is it cool or is it warming in your palm?
Think about where it came from. Did it travel miles to get to you today?
Who made this simple pleasure?
How many people contributed to this moment – just for you?
Unwrap it – slowly.
Look at the candy. Explore each side of it.
Is it uniform in color?
Does it have blemishes or is it smooth?
Pop it in your mouth and let it sit there for a few moments.
What does it taste like?
Enjoy it melting on your tongue as it softens and dissolves in your mouth.
Observe the experience for a minute or two as you enjoy the sweetness and creaminess of the candy as it disappears in each swallow. Try to make the moments last.
As the sweetness fades in that last moment, be grateful for the sweet moments you just sensed.
You have probably not experienced enjoying candy like this and a few moments of this sweet experience can calm the ego and refocus your emotion. Practice this exercise until you can go through each step without other distractions bumping into your experience. If you can, shut off your phone, your computer, and remove you yourself from other temptations that can steal your attention.