4 Healing Benefits of Mindful Eating

In Love

“At any moment you have a choice that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it” ~Thich Nhat Hanh


The way in which we nourish our bodies is a reflection of the way we walk through the world. Busyness has become our modern day epidemic and this affects how we think and feel about food. These days, it’s the faster the better. The result of this perpetual busyness? We find ourselves suffering from increased levels of anxiety, depression and stress. Not to mention we become more disconnected from those we love most in our lives ~ our partners, children and friends.

Mindful Eating is a way we can begin to cultivate awareness of our thoughts, patterns and ways of being in the world. It isn’t a diet or about giving anything up. Mindful Eating is a way to stay in the present moment experience without judgment and with more joy. It’s being able to smell, touch and taste our food intensely.

As the rhythms of our lives speed up, we need even more intention to slow down in order to stop allowing life to slip away, moment-by-moment. Truly, Mindful Eating is a deep practice. So before you grab that donut from the break room or scarf down that third piece of pizza, here’s some food for thought: Ask yourself ~ “What would it look like for me to be a less stressed, healthier, happier human being?”

Consider Mindful Eating a way you can regain control of your life by creating a practice that will help ease stress and generate more inner peace. Here, we share 4 ways Mindful Eating can heal.

  1. Mindful Eating Cultivates Self-Love

    When we eat, we ingest energetic messages with our food. Eating can be a built in way to give yourself affirmations each and every day. This practice of loving kindness towards self can awaken the heart, increasing our ability to give and receive love. For example, when you indulge in your nightly piece of chocolate, consider pairing this treat with a Mantra. Say to yourself, “This chocolate is a piece of love from the Universe. I deserve this gift of kindness.” As you slowly eat the chocolate, sense body sensations and feelings that emerge from within. Sense the heart opening.

  2. Mindful Eating Enhances Self-Efficacy

    When we begin the journey towards greater body awareness, we begin to uncover how we use food to self-soothe. We begin to become aware of when we crave foods like caffeine, sugar, alcohol, carbs or salt. Through the process of mindful eating, we begin to infuse compassion and understanding in a non-judgmental way. This awareness is the first step in creating a change in your life. Perhaps you want to lose weight, eat foods that make you feel more energized or increase your water intake. Becoming aware of what you’re putting into your body, plus, how it makes you feel, allows you the opportunity to make choices and soothe your stress and emotions in more nourishing ways.

  3. Mindful Eating Fosters Interconnectedness

    Feeling a sense of separation from ourselves and others fosters anxiety, depression and stress. Mindful Eating is an opportunity to reflect on where your food came from and how it got to our plate. For example, if we acknowledge that it took sunshine, rain and farmers to plant, grow and harvest our food, a sense of connection emerges. This kind of connected awareness decreases isolation and increases a sense of loving belonging. When we feel we belong to the world again, the illusion of separateness melts away, and all that is left is love.

  4. Mindful Eating Increases Joy

    Nothing is insignificant. When we make one choice towards greater love and self-care, our perception of the world begins to shift. This tiny shift can create a ripple effect within us. As we flow with greater self-love, the way in which we see ourselves and others will begin to change. When you choose to practice mindful eating, you’re choosing to take better care of yourself. When you practice more self-care, you allow more joy to flow into your experience.

We invite you to practice mindful eating at least one time per day for one week. Set a timer, grab an accountability partner or write it in your calendar. Notice what comes up as you practice quieting your mind and focusing solely on one activity: eating. Your mind will wander. That’s ok! In a compassionate way, allow the thoughts to come and go, then refocus your attention on your food. Innerconnectedness, confidence, self-love, joy ~ you deserve to experience these in your life. Consider all that you have to gain by slowing down and being in the moment.

For more intensive mindfulness work, we’d love for you to join us as a client and/or retreat participant. Learn more at www.innerjourneyretreats.com.

With Compassionate Peace,
Lena Franklin, LCSW & Meghan Toups, LPC

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