Starting a Meditation Practice
If you’re new to meditation you may have some preconceived notions about it being trendy, indulgent, or something others have time for, but not you. You may also wonder what the heck it has to do with your relationship with food…
When it comes to combatting binge eating, food addition and chronic dieting, research shows that meditation and mindfulness practice are some of the most widely validated forms of evidence-based treatments.
Initially, it may be difficult to see the link between our food behaviors and meditation practice; however, creating a meditation practice is an integral part of recovery. Overtime it helps reduce compulsive behaviors, teaches us how to sit with uncomfortable emotions and thoughts, become less reactionary and have greater access to our Wise Mind.
So, while it may feel like a “waste of time” or “unrewarding” at first, it’s important to remember that it is a practice. Similarly to other forms of practice, it can take time to notice results.
And if you’re making big, courageous changes with your food than you owe it yourself to give it a shot!
Here are a few helpful tips to consider as you begin this step…
- Start by asking yourself why you’re even doing it. Your initial meditation goal may be to do a couple minutes a day and your reason for doing so could be to spend two minutes away from the food. It’s that simple!
- Identify a few clear goals. Make them simple, attainable and get specific about the number of times a week and the length of time you aim to achieve.
- Remember there is no “perfect” way to meditate! Joel Minden, PhD writes that “rather than viewing meditation as a practice to master, it’s helpful to accept that some days will be more challenging than others.” Approaching meditation from a place of self-compassion and open-mindedness will help you build this practice. Minden also notes, “it can be helpful to view meditation as a valuable process, rather than something to love or hate.”
- Create a ritual and regiment: aiming to meditate in the same place and at the same time-of-day will help you build this habit.
As you ease into the practice, take note of how you’re feeling before and after you meditate. While there may not be an instant feeling of improvement, stay patient. It is a process and is hugely interconnected to developing a healthy relationship with food.