We desperately need more opportunities to practice mindfulness in our culture. A lot of our current technologies are sources of speed and convenience, which take us out of the present. When we are out of the present moment, it is far easier to welcome anxious thoughts (i.e. worry related to the future or getting stuck in decisions of one’s past). If one can consciously practice taking time to think about his/her own thoughts and how one thought moves to the next, then discipline & self-control becomes easier. It is impossible to worry when you are fully in the present — you simply focus and manage what is in front of you. Our thoughts are NOT who we are…and just because we THINK something does not mean that we need to ACT on it. Our thoughts are merely thoughts and we must practice seeing them just as they are.
Do you know what the highest peak of arousal is in the brain when eating? Surprisingly, it is before you even take the 1st bite! Yes, the highest peak of excitement in the brain is in the anticipation….in the “waiting.” After the 1st bite, arousal decreases. Practice being present the next time that you eat and catch yourself in the moment of that heightened state of arousal right before taking a bite. This is the moment that we often chase when we are faced with sources of stress & anxiety in our culture…this instant, convenient state of arousal we can quickly achieve through eating.
Mindfulness allows one to find their own inner intelligence and personal power. Buddhists practice the art of mindfulness and are able to find states of peace more efficiently because they feel more in control, as opposed to feeling dominated by the direction of their thoughts. Thus, practising daily relaxation techniques and learning the art of being fully present can greatly help you combat those (perceived) uncontrollable urges to go to the fridge — which inevitably leave you feeling guilt & shame (i.e. a vicious, destructive cycle). Instead, in these moments, dare to be brutally honest and ask yourself, “what am I really hungry for?”
Does it bridge an opportunity to access an instant feeling of comfort? Could you be replacing this feeling because of a lack in your life of love and connection, significance, pleasure, etc.? When you become aware of what your TRUE hunger is, these MINDFUL moments can offer you a gift — a glimpse into what the stumbling block is that is preventing you from having the life of your dreams!