What’s One Mindful Thing You Can Do Today?
One of the challenges with mindful eating, as with learning any new skill, is the desire to jump ahead to the point when you’re already good at it.
After all, most of us who struggle with our relationship to food are perfectionists. If you want to do things perfectly, it’s hard to be patient with the idea of learning from your mistakes as you go.
It also doesn’t help that American society is all about instant gratification. We’re not taught to go slow and steady.
And if you’re coming from a diet mentality, you’re more likely to be fixed on the endpoint of reaching a certain weight or size rather than focusing on the journey.
If this is something you struggle with, ask yourself this question when you find yourself getting impatient or wanting to rush ahead.
What’s one mindful thing you can do today?
Don’t think about next year, next week, or even tomorrow. Just think about today. Can you do one thing that will help you eat mindfully?
It doesn’t have to be big. It could be as simple as pausing for thirty seconds before you eat to take a few breaths and really notice your food.
Maybe you want to put down your fork between bites or try using a smaller utensil to help you remember to take smaller bites.
I know it’s tempting to focus on big changes, and it’s natural to want to get to a point where you don’t have to think so much about being mindful. You want to have it be an ingrained part of your life so you can relax a little.
The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to do everything at once and be vigilant all the time about being perfectly mindful every time you eat. And I’m not even sure what “perfectly mindful” would mean!
Instead, just do what you can today. Maybe it’s one thing, maybe you want to try a couple of things.
But if you start to feel overwhelmed, take something off the list. Remind yourself that if you want to eat while watching TV or reading or looking at things online, that’s your choice and it’s okay. Same with eating when you’re not that hungry. You may not want to always do it, but that’s up to you.
Small steps will get you there
Taking small steps may not feel as satisfying as going in leaps and bounds, but those small steps will still get you where you want to go if you keep taking them.
And by going slowly, and doing what feels most manageable, you’re more likely to enjoy yourself and not get worn out by taking on too much too soon.