We all have ingrained habits when it comes to what we eat and how we eat. For some people though, there’s a struggle with eating that can result in an eating disorder.
Any abnormal eating pattern can be helped through the practice of mindfulness. When you engage in mindfulness techniques it means that you’re focused on what’s going on around you in that present moment.
It means that you release the judgment that you have when it comes to your relationship with food. Eating isn’t simply a process of putting food into your body.
Eating is connected to what your body experiences emotionally when you eat. For most people, this would be satisfaction, but for those with an eating disorder, it can be dread.
When you eat, the action can trigger emotions, whether they’re good or bad. If you struggle with an eating disorder, you might feel depressed at the thought of eating.
Or you might crave the food, but be unable to stand the thought of keeping it within your body. Mindfulness can free the negative connection you may have to food.
It can be used to rewrite the past negative experiences you may have had concerning food and lead you to a healthier understanding of eating. When you practice mindful eating, you’re aware of the food, but you don’t focus on the food – which is the basis of an eating disorder.
When you have an eating disorder, whatever you’re feeling and thinking is projected onto the food. The food becomes the enemy and overeating or undereating becomes of way of dealing with the emotions.
Mindfulness teaches you how to understand and find relief from eating disorders by changing the way that you think about food and breaking the cycle of emotions.
There are countless articles about eating disorders where the person who has the disorder isn’t even aware that they have a problem. This is because they’re not fully present, and not focusing on being present with their thoughts, actions or habits when it comes to food.
An awareness toward eating takes away the power of an eating disorder. It breaks the hold that the condition has over a person. In order to heal from an eating disorder, you have to learn how to associate food with becoming aware of your body sensations.
With mindful eating techniques, you would ask yourself why you feel the way that you do about food. But you would not ask yourself this in a judgmental way. The purpose of this exercise is not to make you feel bad about yourself, but rather to help you understand the reasoning behind your thoughts.
Mindful eating helps you to examine when it is that you feel hungry or you don’t and if there are any activities, thoughts or emotions tied in to that hunger or lack of hunger.
When you practice mindful eating, you’ll learn how you handle eating. Whether it’s something that you feel you need to just get through or if it’s something that you feel ashamed of.
Mindfulness will help you be able to be more aware of the behaviors you have toward food that aren’t healthy and lead you to establishing a new foundation with food that will allow you to heal.