Mindfulness is about waking up, being fully alive, and being present in the richness of each moment of our lives. Being mindful is a natural human ability present in every person
Mindfulness is a strongly evidence-based practice for stress reduction, increased aliveness, awareness, joy, and relaxation that improves many health outcomes, including eating and weight outcomes.
Extensive research has demonstrated that practicing mindfulness can transform the outcomes for people coping with a wide variety of physical and emotional conditions including:
- Anxiety and panic disorders
- Job or family stress
- Chronic pain
- Sleep disturbances
- Type A behavior
- High blood pressure
"Awareness of the moment is
when change can occur."
Mindfulness is the foundation of the integrative medicine program at Duke University Integrative Medicine Center and their Integrative Health Coach Professional training program and practice.
The Center for Mindful Eating is a professional organization dedicated to implementing the principles and practices of Mindful Eating. They have graciously shared the following information on mindful eating:
Principles of Mindfulness:
• Mindfulness is deliberately paying attention, non-judgmentally
• Mindfulness encompasses both internal processes and external environments.
• Mindfulness is being aware of what is present for you mentally, emotionally and physically in each moment.
• With practice, mindfulness cultivates the possibility of freeing yourself of reactive, habitual patterns of thinking, feeling and acting
• Mindfulness promotes balance, choice, wisdom and acceptance of what is.
Mindful Eating is:
• Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food preparation and consumption by respecting your own inner wisdom
• Choosing to eat food that is both pleasing to you and nourishing to your body by using all your senses to explore, savor and taste
• Acknowledging responses to food (likes, neutral or dislikes) without judgment
• Learning to be aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decision to begin eating and to stop eating
Someone Who Eats Mindfully:
• Acknowledges that there is no right or wrong way to eat but varying degrees of awareness surrounding the experience of food
• Accepts that his/her eating experiences are unique
• Is an individual who by choice, directs his/her awareness to all aspects of food and eating on a moment-by-moment basis
• Is an individual who looks at the immediate choices and direct experiences associated with food and eating: not to the distant health outcome of that choice
• Is aware of and reflects on the effects caused by unmindful eating
• Experiences insight about how he/she can act to achieve specific health goals as he/she becomes more attuned to the direct experience of eating and feelings of health
• Becomes aware of the interconnection of earth, living beings, and cultural practices and the impact of his/ her food choices has on those systems