Building resilience in yourself and improving your eating behaviours, I think, all start with becoming more aware of ourselves.
When I say ‘ourselves’, I mean our thoughts, out thought patterns, our bodily sensations, our hunger levels, our emotions, our stress levels and so on. Basically every bodily action or process that we can be conscious of.
We live in an abundance society full of distractions. We have food available pretty much at all times, have entertainment/media and technology to distract us and not to mention busy lifestyles. No wonder we become so out of tune with our bodies and minds. We’re always on the go and always doing something, anything, but always something.
When was the last time you just sat and did nothing for 10 minutes?
This is a rare feat for most people these days. Even though I think we’re living in an incredible time in history, with amazing technology and great communication around the world, I do think most of us could do with a bit of a self check in now and again, a bit of ‘me’ time if you will.
By observing what’s going on with our minds and bodies we can not only learn more about ourselves but also take a step back from those thoughts and feelings (if they’re negative). Self awareness makes us a little bit more objective of what’s going in within us and helps to create a bit of distance from our thoughts. In creating this distance or objectivity, those thoughts or emotions often lose some of their power over us.
In many fields this is called noticing and naming. Notice and naming helps you tune into your present state and observe what’s going on. This observation alone is beneficial and helps you to understand yourself in a deeper way, but also enables you to identify what’s actually going on with your body.
If we don’t know what’s right (calm, relaxed, present, just the right level of fullness after a meal, energetic) or wrong (always tired and lacking energy, I just don’t smile anymore, in a mood for days, I just ate so much I might be sick, busy busy busy mind-non stop thinking) in our body and minds then how will we ever change them for the better?
Right now do a full body and mind scan.
Close your eyes and scan down slowly from your head, down your face, neck, shoulders, back, torso, arms, hips, legs and down to your toes.
Observe but don’t analyse how that area feels physically (tight, relaxed, comfortable, uncomfortable). Don’t linger on any particular area and try not to judge or fixate on any negatives- this should only take around 30 seconds.
As your scanning down or just after also just check in and see how your mood is today.
This is an observation task, It’s good to do before/after meals or just when you’ve felt particularly busy so you can tune in to how you’re feeling.
If you find from your body scan that you’re feeling rushed, tight, impatient etc then maybe try 5 minutes of breathing exercises or some exercise.