To fight food addiction with mindfulness, we have to understand addiction is losing control over something. In life, we desire control and domination. Humans tend to react in violence, towards others or themselves, when losing control or when faced with a situation/person that cannot be dominated.
A mindful perspective sees control and domination as universal problems all humans share. The mind always want to feel pleasant sensations and never wants to feel anything unpleasant. Wanting unpleasant feelings to go away immediately gives rise to bad habits and addictions.
HOW TO FIGHT FOOD ADDICTION WITH MINDFULNESS
Food addiction is when we eat because we like the food and the pleasurable feelings we experience after a meal. You think about the chocolate ice cream in the freezer. The mind finds it difficult to resist a moment of pleasure. You know you don’t need it. You know it might even be bad for you. In a moment of mindfulness, being aware of what’s happening in your body is essential. Pining over the ice cream is a solution for disaster. The good news? These thoughts and feelings are temporary. The moment of temptations will cease.
To avoid detrimental, useless things for the body, try a few simple techniques:
- Observe your body, become very mindful of what’s happening. Stay away from the thoughts and just observe your jaw, your salivation, your hands, your guts. Observe any part of the body that is transformed by that thought of ice cream.
- You’ll see that the thought will come back but it will come back less intensely. When it does return, simply connect again with your body.
- Do it for two minutes. Delay the moment of response (going to the freezer).
- If in two minutes, if it still there, go get a glass of water or something small and healthy.
- If after ten minutes you still desire ice cream, go for it without guilt. But simply become aware that you can change this habitual pattern by applying the technique. When practiced each time you desire foods harmful to the body, you will see a change in your relationship with food. You will emphasize less on food and more on the feelings that food creates in you. You will realize that these feelings are more neutral than we think and they are impermanent.
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About the Author
Pierre Gagnon practised concentration and insight meditation intensively from 2010 to 2012, then went on to study meditation at Wat Suan Mokkh with the venerable Ajahn Po from 2013 to 2015. As well as his own practice, he has coordinated meditation retreats in the south of Thailand which were attended by more than 1,000 people.
Having a great passion in the field of neuroscience, he likes to integrate these concepts into meditation practice. He believes that much of our life is lived resisting and defending against internal and external experiences that people perceive as threats. Through the development of concentration and meditation, we can insightfully see that all experiences are harmless and there is no need to defend of contract around them. Pierre has experience coordinating concentration and insight meditation retreats, teaching the relationship that exists between Buddhism and neuroscience.