The holidays are coming and with it comes so many different emotions. While some people love this festive time of year, for others it’s a source of stress and pain. And unfortunately, many people who are stressed, overwhelmed, and hurting make poor decisions about their health this time of year.
Whether it’s the shorter days or the constant exposure to favorite foods, it’s the time of year where most people put on an extra 15 pounds or so. While there is nothing morally wrong with enjoying your favorite foods during the holidays, it can cause discouragement and setbacks for people who want to focus on their health. The great news is that by incorporating mindfulness exercises into your daily routine, you’ll be able to enjoy some treats and drinks without guilt or regret.
There are many different ways to think about meditation. In the Christian faith, meditation is about renewing your mind in the Word of God and focusing on that. For those who practice Yoga and other religions, meditation can be about breathing, clearing your mind, and setting intentions. Meditation helps because it causes you to not only look inward, but to dig deeper into your faith to find peace, rest, and wholeness. Daily meditation can cause you to identify stressors that are impacting your ability to make rational decisions. If you’re trying to eat better for instance, you might leverage meditation to help you identify if you’re being driven by peer pressure, stress, or other outside factors that are causing you to run to food.
Dear diary might be out, but journaling is in. People who are working through any challenge can leverage journaling to process emotions, and gain clarity on important decisions they need to make. Journaling is a powerful mindfulness habit that only takes a few minutes a day. People who are recovering from food addiction can leverage a food journal to process what they are thinking and feeling before they eat too much of something. While a piece of cake might not derail you, an entire cake might leave you feeling sick and depressed. Keeping a journal can help you notice triggers and other things that lead you to overindulge.
Commit to Being Active 30 Minutes a Day
How on earth can activity help you eat less? It causes you to focus on something else. If you’re having big cravings in between snacks and meals, you might be bored, dealing with underlying emotions, and so much more. You might be wondering how much exercise do you need a day, and it’s best to start off with around 30 minutes. This can be enough to help get your mind off food, improve your cardiovascular health, and help you destress.
Helps You Identify Nutrients You Need
Sometimes, we overeat because our body is craving something we are lacking. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to poor dietary choices. While you might be scarfing down your second bowl of ice cream, your body could be crying out for more vitamin D. Mindfulness helps you pay attention to those hunger cues to do a quick inventory to decide if you’re hungry, thirsty, or you need more of a particular vitamin or nutrient.
How many times have you eaten something just because you were frustrated, angry, or feeling completely overwhelmed? Mindfulness practices are powerful because they help you manage those stressors that lead to poor dietary choices. It helps you to build a lifestyle around focusing on your emotions and how to appropriately deal with them as they come. While a food high might be a fabulous temporary fix, your food hangover might not feel so good.
It Helps you Feel Thankful
November is the month of thankfulness. We are constantly reminded to be thankful for what we have and to do nice things for others. The good news is that practicing gratitude and thankfulness can help you eat better as well. When you are thankful for your health and your body and the progress you are making toward your goals, you can be more aware of how overindulging will limit your progress. By being thankful, you are focusing your attention on the good things in life, instead of the bad. This also improves your mood, with digging into four pieces of cake.