Most of us know that yoga is not only about the physical poses or asana practice, but also deep and proper breathing and meditating.
This meditation is also often called "mindfulness" in yoga. It's mostly commonly used when dealing with high-stress situations and super emotional times. Mindfulness is a powerful tool that helps us deal with the heavy circumstances, events, situations, and emotions plaguing our lives.
This very same technique can be used to deal with that pest called emotional eating.
What Is ‘Emotional Eating’?
Emotional eating means no longer looking at food as the proper fuel it's meant to be. Instead it's become a narcotic, a drug of some sort. We become dependent upon it and uncontrollably give in to our cravings.
This term is what we also sometimes use to nicely describe binge eating and compulsive eating.
Say you're really stressed out or suffering from negative emotions for a long period of time. You may turn to food as a way to numb yourself to the world. After all, eating gives us something to do, and we have to do it right?
Many people also eat certain foods that remind them of better, less stressful times. Case in point—eating Christmas cookies out of season.
Emotional eating is dangerous because we're not eating because we’re hungry. Rather, we use it as an emotional crutch to feel better during difficult times.
Challenging Our Habitual Thoughts
Sometimes during the middle of the day you get smacked with a naughty craving. Imagine wanting to eat nothing but cookies, cakes, pies, or donuts.
Thankfully, we can use the mindfulness technique to figure out why we want to eat these “naughty foods” that we don't need to put into our bodies.
We can spend all day weighing whether or not we need to eat it, but because mindfulness helps us get in more in tune with our bodies, we can distinguish whether or not we are truly hungry or just dealing with a craving. As a result, we become better able to control or say no to unhealthy cravings.
Rebooting Your Mind
If we must, we can summon up terrible images of what we may become one day if we keep up our unhealthy eating habits—losing our limbs from diabetes, going blind, broke from constantly buying clothes because old ones no longer fit, etc.
Mindfulness helps us distract our minds from those cravings. We can use it as a tool to really think about why we want to eat something and whether or not it's truly good for us – or bad.
Mindfulness can also help you problem solve how to feel better without hurting yourself through food or other means.
You can choose to use mindfulness in any way you see fit, such as learning to no longer be a slave to your cravings. Then they will no longer overwhelm you and lead you to make poor decisions. You are gaining control over your life.
Not only will this help you learn self-control and apply it in other areas of your life, but it will also help you become healthier. How do YOU use mindfulness techniques to make better food decisions?