In this fast-paced world, we often forget to pay attention to the food and drinks we consume which can lead to many health problems including heartburn, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and cancer. We have also become disconnected from the purpose of eating which is to nourish our body and mind. Instead we eat mindlessly while doing jobs or in front of a screen
We also need to extend our awareness to the information we consume through the media and entertainment as this also impacts on our self image and mental health, A diet of fear or judgement based media is likely to contribute to poor self image and anxiety or depression. It can also alienate us from the wider community as we spend more time on our own inside.
Our environment can also nourish or harm us and an awareness of the quality of what is consumed within our environment can have a huge impact on our wellbeing.
How to improve your wellbeing by being mindful of what you consume. 1: Better nutrition Mindful eating means paying attention to what you are eating, where it came from, and how it is prepared. It involves slowing down and savouring each bite, which not only helps with digestion but also allows us to appreciate the food and drink. Take the time to smell the food and notice what feelings that brings up.
Become aware of how the food looks and whether that brings you pleasure and makes your mouth water. Putting the fork down between bites may also help you to slow down and be present when eating. When you savour to the food and drink you consume, it changes the energy of what you are putting into your body. Scientists have proven that water takes on the energy around it and as all our food has water content, viewing it positively and eating calmly and with grace will improve the value of the fuel we are consuming. You will feel more energized and focused, which is helpful for a productive day.
2: Reducing Stress Eating and drinking mindfully and choosing what we consume through the media can also help reduce stress. When you are stressed, your body produces cortisol which is great in the short term as it helps us to manage high risk situations. But when we are exposed to it on a regular or sustained basis, it can cause heart disease,high blood pressure, anxiety, depression and adrenal burnout It can also hamper digestion and nutrient absorption.
When we slow down and enjoy the process of food preparation and consumption we relax and this will help us to quieten the mind which in turn will reduce the stress hormone levels.
When we are in a more balanced state, our body can process the food easier and more effectively which can boost our heath and wellbeing.
In a similar way, when we become aware of the emotional triggers in the media we consume, we can begin to identify those arenas that cause us to feel unworthy, depressed or fearful and if not stop interacting with them altogether, we can aim to have more balance in our consumption providing a more balanced intake of information for our brains to process. This will facilitate our body producing more beneficial hormones which will nourish our body and mind.
3: Connecting us with nature. Processed food may be convenient but it is not the best thing for us to consume however delicious it may be.
When we make the choice to cook from scratch, buy organic or grow our own food we have the opportunity to connect with nature through our ingredients.
Eating seasonal foods helps us to become aware of the cycles of the seasons and by appreciating them, we are acknowledging the beauty and abundance of the world around us.
4: Helping us to cultivate gratitude Being mindful of the food and drink we consume can also become an act of gratitude. Try a short statement of gratitude before eating for all the hard work that goes into producing our food and drink and the people who make it possible for you to have it before you.
5: Promoting Healthy Habits When we are conscious of what we are consuming, we are more likely to make healthier choices. We become more aware of the impact of our choices have on our bodies and our wellbeing and how our diet or demand for produce impacts on the environment.
This awareness hopefully encourages us to make more conscious decisions as we become more aware of sustainability.
We are then more likely to support local farmers and shops, reduce waste, and make choices that are better for the environment. When we are mindful of the media we are consuming and how much of our time is being consumed by it, we can work to reduce that,Try leaving your phone in another room in the evening or using apps that monitor your usage or maybe read a book instead of putting the tv on and pay attention to how you feel with less technology.
6: Building Connections Food and drink bring people together and can help us to feel connected and build a sense of community.
It can be a shared experience with family and friends or a communal experience that brings us together to connect with others, celebrate and provide an opportunity to express gratitude.Eating with others and sharing our food can be a way to demonstrate love or affection and for some of us, preparing food for others brings great joy and relaxation.
In a similar way, social media and video calls can provide a community and connection. There is nothing wrong with media, it's more about being mindful about how we interact with it, the time we spend on it and the information that we engage with.
7: Honoring Traditions Food and drink can help us to also honour our culture, ancestors and those we love. Food is often a significant part of cultural identity, and by learning about it, appreciating it and preserving the traditions of it we can acknowledge the richness and diversity of our world. When we are mindful of our environment, we can honour our culture or that of our loved ones and our relationships through the decor we use or the belongings we keep. The way we use that space can also be used to honour tradition through zoning or furniture placement.
8: Energetic spaces.Consumption is not limited to food and drink and social media. We are surrounded by electromagnetic energy, people, music, chemicals and other pollutants. When we are mindfully aware of how we move through the world and our impact on it, we can choose to extend that awareness to the spaces we occupy.
You can introduce crystals to reduce electromagnetic energy in the space, open windows daily to increase a the circulation of energy and improve the air quality, reduce the amount of chemicals that you use for personal care and when cleaning or freshening your environment.
You may also want to look at the people you associate with to see if their values and behaviour aligns with yours.
For those people that don't add to your life, you can begin to reduce time spent with them or walk away form them.
Music has a huge impact on our wellbeing and can also impact on the physiology of our body. By choosing what type of music we surround ourselves with, we can alter our mood and help ourselves to stay well. The plants that we bring into our space can also affect our energy and the music you play to them can help them to thrive or cause them to keel over.
9: Cultivating Self-Care Becoming aware of what we are consuming physically, spiritually, emotionally or intellectually is an act of self-care. Being mindful encourages us to slow down, be present and appreciate what is available to us. It offers us the opportunity to identify, challenge and change those habits that are not working for us. Through taking care of our body and mind and what we consume, we can live healthier and happier lives. So being mindful of what we consume as you've heard, is essential for our physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
By being mindful, appreciative and conscious of our choices, we can cultivate healthy habits, build communities and honor traditions.
It's a small mindset tweak that can make a big difference in our lives and the world around us.
As always, I hope you have found this interesting and useful.
If you would like to know more, as always, please get in touch.