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Just a few minutes a day can help you get in touch with your body.  Keep reading for two simple exercises that will help you learn to understand the signals your body sends you in just five minutes a day.

The Purpose of Mindfulness in Nutrition

How much of your day do you spend looking at screen or focused on a task?  In contrast, how much of your day do you spend focused on the sensations your body is sending to your mind?  Many people ignore too many of those signals.

Recognizing those signals is key to helping you understand how to feed yourself.

Doing this exercise is a simple step toward accepting and acting on feedback from inside your body.  When you struggle to judge your body’s response to the way you eat, it’s tough to figure out if changes in eating are helping you.

Goal of the Getting in Touch with Your Body

The goal is to feel what is happening inside your body, from your nose and your mouth to your bladder and colon.  There are no right or wrong answers– just sensations.  Accepting the sensations without judgement is the goal.

For example, right now, I feel a bit of heaviness in my right ear (allergies to the cat…).  My mouth feels dry, a little scratchy toward the throat.

Exercise #1: The Nose and Lungs

  1. Close your eyes and pay attention to how your nose and ears feel.
  2. Describe it to yourself.
  3. Breathe in and out, relaxing for 3-5 breaths. Imagine you are following the air in and out.
  4. Move your attention down and pay attention to how your lungs and diaphragm feel.
  5. Describe it to yourself, as you breath in and out for another 3-5 breaths.

Exercise #2: The Mouth and Stomach

  1. Close your eyes and pay attention how your mouth feels.
  2. Describe it to yourself.
  3. Breathe in and out, clearing your mind and relaxing for 3-5 breaths.
  4. Move your attention down your throat, to your stomach.
  5. Describe how your stomach feels, as you breathe in and out for another 3-5 breaths.
  6. Rate how full your stomach is on a scale of 1-10 (4 is comfortable hunger; 7 is comfortably full).

When Should You Do These?

Start with exercise #1 when you have a chair and a few moments.  After you are comfortable with the first exercise, move onto the second exercise.

Try the second exercise at different times of day.  See how the sensations differ.  How do you feel after you exercise?  Is it different when it’s cold outside?

When you are ready, check out the resources below.  Begin paying attention to how you feel when you eat different foods– do some help you feel better more than others?

Still have questions?  Send in a Reader Q & A Submission!

Resources

UCLA Mindfulness Awareness Research Center: Free guided meditations as well as online courses and information on the research related to mindfulness.

How to Be Mindful with a Snack: Ready to connect this practice to food?  Try a snack.

Center for Mindful Eating’s Free Recordings: Begin a consistent practice– with plenty of options to see what works for you.

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