Mindfulness is the foundation of all of the DBT skills. As we practice mindfulness, we intentionally bring ourselves into the present moment and notice what is in the here-and-now. These skills are especially helpful to notice our emotions, sensations, thoughts and needs.
Mindful eating can help reduce disordered eating and increase balanced, healthy practices. However, reducing disordered eating does not stop here. We must develop mindful habits around our eating behaviors as well. It is important to pay attention to our habits and our automatic response to internal cues and our environment.
We can be mindful around our habits in multiple ways:
Be Mindful when a food craving arises and ask yourself…
- What am I doing right now? What is going on in my environment?
- What is going on internally? What am I feeling emotionally? Physically? Am I tired? Do I need to sleep instead?
- Am I truly hungry right now? Do I need to eat to give me energy?
- Use the STOP Skill (Stop, Take a Step Back, Observe & Proceed Mindfully) and pause between craving and action.
Physical activity has also been shown to increase one’s ability to actively control eating behavior. Have you been practicing your PLEASE Skills? How can you reduce your emotional vulnerability?
Connect with Wise Mind to be mindful and make an informed decision that balances your immediate urges with your Life Worth Living goals.
- Do you want the pleasure of eating this particular food? Eating yummy food can be enjoyable! Be mindful of this experience, know that it is okay as long as it is done in a balanced way (not too much or too little). Balance can be found over time through a mindfulness practice and connection to Wise Mind.
- Does your body need a break from exercise today? Does it need rest?
- Does your body feel the need to move? How can you move in an intentional way that feels good to you?
Get curious and notice when you launch into autopilot mode and go through behaviors and emotions mindlessly. Do your best to slow down, practice mindfulness, and choose an effective response. Remember it’s a practice and not perfection.
For more information about National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and resources for those experiencing disordered eating and exercise habits please visit: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/get-involved/nedawareness