How to Learn Mindfulness Skills to Support Intuitive Eating
Mindfulness is one of the most important (if not THE most important) skills to learn when you are working on healing your relationship to food and with your body. Read on to hear more about mindfulness and learn mindfulness skills to support intuitive eating and your body image healing journey.
This blog post contains edited excerpts from my book Unapologetic Eating.
Before you can try to shift your behaviors around food, you must cultivate awareness and mindfulness. Because if you aren’t aware of what thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or experiences are impacting your relationship with food and your eating behaviors, it’s going to be really challenging to reconnect to your body and eat intuitively.
(Also, learning mindfulness skills in general is important before you jump into mindful eating.)
What is Mindfulness?
At its simplest, mindfulness is the act of paying attention to something on purpose. We can expand this definition and say that mindfulness is about bringing your awareness into the present moment, where you can purposefully notice your experiences in a nonjudgmental way.
Mindfulness allows you to be in the present rather than the past or the future. The present moment includes external experiences, like things that you see or hear, as well as internal experiences like your thoughts, feelings, or body sensations.
Mindfulness is the process of being aware and observing yourself with openness, flexibility, and curiosity. Instead of getting caught up in your thoughts and intellectualizing things, you take a step back, shift your attention in a deliberate, intentional way and instead observe what is happening in that moment.
One of my favorite descriptions of mindfulness comes from Fiona Sutherland:
Mindfulness is a sense of ‘being with’ rather than ‘doing to.’
Fiona Sutherland, themindfuldietitian.com.au
When practicing mindfulness, you’re not trying to coerce yourself to do something; instead, you’re allowing yourself the space to notice and observe what is going on—whether that is externally around you or internally within your brain.
Why Mindfulness is Important