We practice mindful eating through formal practice (where we sit for the purpose of completing the exercise). And we practice informally (where we just remember to eat mindfully in any situation). Our formal practice is very important – because this practice creates connections, pathways & triggers in our mind to remind us to informally practice mindful eating more and more. In time, these changes lead to a better relationship with food. Please enjoy this mindfulness and chocolate mindful eating exercise.
Exercise: Mindful eating.
Use a small piece of chocolate for this mindful eating challenge. When we use a sweet, rich source of food, such as chocolate to practice mindful eating, we find slowly consuming it is a very enjoyable experience that allows us to easily consciously acknowledge feeling satisfaction, rather than fullness.
1. To begin, sit comfortably with you back straight and notice your breathing – anchor your mind in your body. Then take a moment to non-judgmentally get in touch with how your body and mind are feeling…are you hungry or are you simply in the mood to eat? Allow yourself to experience a state of complete self-compassion and love for yourself. I want you to give yourself permission to eat sweet food without attaching to any feelings of guilt that may arise. Simple notice them and let them pass and return to giving yourself compassion and permission to experience positive emotion with food. You may want to smile and internally make the affirmation: I am about to completely enjoy myself.
2. If you need to unwrap the chocolate first, do it slowly, being fully present and aware of how you are feeling. Non-judgmentally notice the thoughts and emotions running through your mind; notice the physical sensation on your fingers as your peel the foil; notice any sounds coming from this experience – either internally or externally.
3. Hold the chocolate and notice its colour and texture.
4. Notice how the chocolate feels as it’s held between the fingers.
5. Smell the chocolate using a couple of deep breaths to draw in its full aroma, while being aware of any thoughts and emotions that this experience has triggered.
6. Throughout this mindful eating experience continue to simply notice your thoughts and emotions. Place the chocolate in your mouth (resist biting or chewing) and using your tongue roll the chocolate around slowly, allowing the chocolate to completely melt in your mouth. Also, notice any sensation in your jaw.
7. Be aware of the sensations and sounds you experience each time you swallow, while noticing how the chocolate makes your throat feel (you may also decide to slowly suck the remaining melted chocolate off your fingers).
8. Take a moment to notice how your tongue automatically sweeps around your teeth and upper mouth to clean up the residue of chocolate still remaining in your mouth – savour this experience, while continuing to be aware of any thoughts or emotional responses you are experiencing.
9. Repeat this process until you feel satisfied.
10. Once satisfied, take a moment to give thanks (using thoughts and/or just emotion). Feel grateful to nature for the coco beans. Feel gratitude for the people that harvested those beans; for the people that shipped them to the manufacturers; and for the manufacturers that turned those coco beans into the delicious chocolate that you have just enjoyed tasting. And feel grateful for the company of anyone who experienced this challenge with you.
11. Take a moment to return to focusing on your breathing as you appreciate the positive emotions that you are experiencing.
If you enjoyed this meditation you may like to try more:
Check out the amazing courses on offer https://mindfulnessforchildren.com.au