“Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow but a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope”
There might have been several instances in your life that keep recurring in your mind and you simply lose focus on the present owing to your persistent rumination of the past. At some point all these frustrate you so much that you take an oath to simply focus on the present and live in the moment. Taking adequate steps to move forward with this concept is good for health too! Technically called as mindfulness this is an age-old concept that seems beneficial in terms of weight loss too!
Mindfulness is awareness of one’s experiences and a state of living in the present moment without getting tangled between worries of the past or thoughts about the future. This is not accepting things in an emotionless state (such as going on autopilot mode) but experiencing life as it unfolds in front of our eyes, both good and bad, without predetermined thoughts or mindset.
There have been different studies that have come up with different advantages of practicing mindfulness and this includes ability to cope with stress and serious illnesses, suffer less from depression and anxiety, enjoy life with much joy and enthusiasm and experience improved self-esteem. Other advantages include:
Its no secret that eating healthy food, exercising daily and leading a disciplined lifestyle helps a person lose weight. We know that it’s a clear-cut ‘no’ to foods that contain more of sugar, oil, salt or fats. The main thing is to change how you eat and why you eat.
The main idea of mindfulness in weight loss is to prevent individuals indulging in eating foods owing to emotional hunger instead of real hunger. Read more about emotional hunger and how it causes weight gain in a person from the website www.firsteatright.com. Its very rare to see someone eat because they really feel hungry and in most cases, we go for an extra helping of the dessert, pounce for the last wafer packet or plop a candy into our mouth to get rid of anxiety, irritation and frustration. This kind of practice might seem beneficial now but leads to graver consequences (weight gain) later in life.
On a mission to eat healthy food your mind automatically changes when your eyes find a freshly baked cake sitting on the bakery. You eat a piece of it and feel disappointed with your own behavior and follow it up by eating more pieces to get over this emotional turmoil. Avoiding such cravings is not going to be easier and focus needs to be shifted over something else of interest to compensate this. Practicing self-awareness helps us realize that feelings of guilt, urge to eat and cravings are like waves that come and go. It depends on our reaction to these waves to chuck them out of the house.
None of us are perfect in this world and each of us are bestowed with our share of positives and negatives in life. Succumbing to a craving is not a great sin and it doesn’t call for a torture of your own self. Studies show that practicing mindfulness meditation which focused on eating-based practices helped individuals to acknowledge their hunger levels, emotions, thoughts and motivation. This further prevented them from emotion-based eating.
Focus on Thyself
Mindfulness enables you to focus on your thoughts, actions and body. Individuals watching television keep themselves relaxed and joyous with some popcorns, soft drinks and the movie without bothering about what goes into their mouth. But, with mindful eating you are aware of every mouthful of food that goes into the mouth, focus on what you eat, enjoy the food and stop eating once you feel full.
This fast-aced world is a challenging place to practice mindfulness as we are bothered more about doing several things at the same time, but this practice can leave you delighted and full of positivity.
It’s possible to practice mindfulness anywhere and anytime-while waiting for the cab, sitting in the bus, answering calls or standing in the queue. The only concern here is that you need to be more aware of your breath, fingers that are typing, feet that are placed on the ground and people’s voices around you. As individuals start practicing mindfulness they realize how badly they had been fluctuating between the past, present and future all these years. This helps to bring them back to the present and it is these small little steps that create a much brighter, healthy and mindful life.
There are many ways such as yoga, tai chi and qigong to practice this technique but most common among all is to develop it through mindful meditation.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.