Cheryl A. Major is a volunteer contributor to WestfordCAT. If you have news, email [email protected]
Eating mindfully is an interesting concept, and I felt sharing it was timely during this holiday season.
When you think about how many of us eat most of the time, eating mindfully is a real change. Most of us grab breakfast, have lunch on the run or while we’re working at our desk. Dinner is take-out or fast food… maybe a pizza. We’re probably watching TV or doing something else while we’re eating it.
Practicing gratitude and eating mindfully may sound really “square,” but it’s an interesting concept to put into practice. Recently, I’ve begun to choose to slow down and breathe before a meal. This is not necessarily praying in the typical religious sense, but is more spending just a minute or two breathing slowly and being grateful for what you have and who you are.
It’s interesting to reframe your complaints so they are more tolerable. For example, you had a flat tire and were late for a meeting (today, I actually had a flat tire and missed a meeting). While it may be hard to reframe during the angst of it all, at the end of the day instead of letting the aggravation hang on, it will help you in many ways to try to be grateful that you have a car to have a flat tire, and you have a job that takes you to a meeting.
Far be it from me to want to sound too Pollyanna-ish, but it really does help your blood pressure and your overall outlook if you can discipline yourself to do this.
Before a meal or two (I make it two meals a day; usually breakfast and dinner) take a minute or so before you eat. Close your eyes and breathe slowly in and out for a count of 7 each. Do this slow breathing two or three breaths in and out; then spend a minute thinking about what you are grateful for.
Whether you’re a traditionally religious person or not, this practice really slows you down when you’re about to shovel in your food. It also gives you a great perspective on what you have rather than what you don’t have or wish you had. An added bonus is that it actually helps you to control stress and to better digest your food!
Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show Thin Strong Healthy airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com Cheryl offers ongoing information and coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.
Questions? Email Cheryl at [email protected] and be sure to put Health Question in the subject line. Your question and its answer will be included in a future article.