Have you found yourself looking down at your empty plate, but barely remembering eating? Has eating and thinking about meals just become another thing that you need to get done?
Mindful eating will allow your mind to refocus, to enable to you concentrate and make intentional choices for your overall health and wellbeing.
Join Dr Neera Dholakia for a guided mindful eating session to taste, experience and enjoy every bite, in this Episode 11 Impactful 10: Savour the Flavour - Mindful Eating and Enjoying Every Bite.
Your Better Mental Wellbeing is a weekly podcast helping you to manage stress and build resilience with easy evidence-based tools.
We're your hosts, Neera and Soen.
Dr Neera Dholakia is a GP for Boots Online Doctor and the NHS. She is an expert in mental wellbeing and has extensive experience designing mental health services whilst working for NHS England, Healthy London Partnership and mental health trusts. As well as promoting self-care, she also works to improve mental wellbeing in the workplace.
Soen Trueman is a full stack developer with Boots Online Doctor, specialising in graphics design, user experience, and user behaviour. Soen’s interests in behavioural analysis extends to psychology and further to neuroscience, which he is currently studying at Harvard University.
This week's tools:
[00:51] The problem with autopilot eating
[01:19] How eating mindfully can enable productivity and efficiency
[01:37] Guided Mindful Eating exercise
[06:39] Applying eating mindfully to other areas
Join us next week when we discuss how to improve your sleep.
Find our more:
Mindful Eating - Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World (Mark Williams and Danny Penman)
For transcripts visit our website: https://yourbettermentalwellbeing.show
For great health, lifestyle and wellbeing information visit: https://onlinedoctor.boots.com
The information in this podcast is not intended to replace your own GP or other doctor’s professional medical advice.
Have you found yourself looking down at your empty plate, but barely remembering eating? Has eating and thinking about meals just become another thing that you need to get done? Let your mind refocus and enjoy every bite.
Hello, and a very warm welcome to you to this Impactful 10 episode of Your Better Mental Wellbeing. Today is about mindful eating. And when you really take the time to taste, experience and enjoy your food, you will refocus your attention. And this will help to reduce your stress.
I'm Dr. Neera Dholakia. I'm a GP for Boots Online Doctor and the NHS, and my expertise is in mental health and wellbeing. I'm really pleased to be guiding you through this practical session today.
During the times when we feel overloaded, We're often operating on autopilot to get through the days. We do many of our unhelpful behaviours on autopilot, including the way we eat. We might eat too quickly and not notice what we're eating. We might eat too much or eat too little. We might be eating things that we feel we shouldn't be. And perhaps we're not eating the things that we'd like to eat.
So finding a way to step outside of this is important, to regain control, and for our minds to be able to focus. You can then make choices about what you want to do, about what you want to eat, about what you want to spend your time and your thought on.
I'll be taking you through a short mindful eating exercise. You'll need a raisin or another fruit or a nut or even a small piece of cheese or chocolate. Just something small.
Our bodies need food, so mindful eating is about returning to our basic needs. And by eating mindfully, you'll relearn to focus your awareness on one thing at a time. By paying very close attention to what you're eating will change your experience of it. And by bringing this same focus to everyday activities, doing things one at a time, we can become more efficient. more productive, and really savour the moment.
Okay, let's begin. Start by taking the raisin or your choice of food and hold it in the palm of your hand or between your fingers and thumb. Focusing on it, approach it as if you've never seen anything like it before. Can you feel the weight of it in your hand?
Take the time to really see this food. Imagine you've never seen one before. Look at it with great care and full attention. Let your eyes explore every part of it, examine the highlights, where the light shines, the darker areas, the folds and ridges, and the edges or curves.
Now turn the food over between your fingers, exploring its texture. How does it feel between your forefinger and thumb of your other hand?
And now move onto holding it under your nose. See what you notice with each in breath. Does it have a scent? Let it fill your awareness. And if there is no scent, or very little. Notice this as well.
Slowly take it to your mouth and notice how your hand and arm know exactly where to put it and then gently place it in your mouth, noticing what your tongue does when you do this.
Now without chewing, simply explore the sensations of having it on your tongue. Gradually explore the food with your tongue
And when you're ready, consciously take a bite and notice the effects on the object and in your mouth. Notice any taste that it releases. Feel the texture as your teeth bite into it. Continue slowly chewing, but don't swallow just yet. Notice what is happening in your mouth.
See if you can detect the first intention to swallow as it arises in your mind. And experience this with full awareness before you actually swallow. Notice what your tongue does to prepare to swallow. See if you can follow the sensations of swallowing down your throat towards your stomach. And notice what your tongue does after you've swallowed.
Now spend a few moments just registering any other sensations after eating. Is there an aftertaste? Do you automatically look for another bit?
By paying full attention to the small things in life. You really notice things that may have otherwise passed you by. What other food or drink could you really put your focus on?
Think about what else you could use the same principles with today.
Thank you so much for listening to this Impactful10 episode of Your Better Mental Wellbeing. If you liked this episode or think it would be useful for someone else, please do follow and share. Please join us next Friday for episode 10: how to Live Your Values, Accept Yourself and Let Go.
How do you want to behave as a human being? How do you want to treat yourself and others, and the world around you? When you live according to your values you can have a rich and meaningful life.
When we express gratitude and kindness to ourselves and others, we build compassion and self compassion.This will lift your mood and make life more enjoyable.
What food can improve your mood? And why do you need to know about your gut microbiome? Feeding your gut well will benefit your brain.
Live today. Enjoy the ups, and accept the downs. Focus on your experiences in the here and now and you will cope better with the past and the future.
Do you spend time worrying about things, wishing that you weren't worrying or feeling anxious? Finding helpful ways to manage your worries will reduce your stress and give you time back to focus on things meaningful to you.
You can’t feel stressed and relaxed at the same time. Actively relaxing your muscles dissolves the tension in your body and calms your mind, making it easier to cope with whatever life throws at you.
Do you have times in your life when you feel endlessly stressed, thinking you can't cope or finding it difficult to deal with things?
Coming up over the next few weeks on Your Better Mental Wellbeing: coping with long term stress, dealing with worry and anxiety, how food and sleep affects your wellbeing, and living your life with the values that are important to you.
Do you want to improve your ability to deal with stress? Not only surviving, but thriving through the challenges life throws?
Do you want to be able to calm your mind and body quickly? Using the power of your body's natural breathing ability is the key.
Do you have some very stressful moments in your day to day life? Things that feel beyond your control or overwhelming? Quickly being able to calm your mind and body is possible.
Do you have a habit or something that you keep doing over and over again that frustrates you or others around you? A habit that you really want to change? Rewiring your brain to improve how you act is possible.
Do you who want to learn to manage stress and build resilience with quick and easy evidence based tools? Welcome to Your Better Mental Wellbeing.
Music credits: Main theme by AudioCoffee, Impactful 10 by Dream-Protocol, Jingle by Serge Quadrado Music