Pleasure is healthy. Is reduces stress and improves brain function.
The three basic sources of pleasure are:
– Food and drinks – eating and drinking
– Socializing (probably with hugging and cuddling with dear persons as the most pleasurable activity)
If you want to eat and drink less, perhaps to loose weight, one pleasure strategy is to increase the two other basic pleasures, that is more plasurable hugging, cuddling and sex. This will indirectly reduce your cravings for excess foods and drinks.
And remember: Your desire for pleasure is by itself a sign of health. You just have to be conscious about how you satisfy your basic needs.
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Mindful eating is eating with conscious awareness of the hunger, sense impressions and pleasure of eating.
One of the key benefits of mindful eating is that you get a lot more pleasure out of the food you eat. And pleasure is healthy. Very healthy. Pleasure reduces stress, increases mental robustness and improves brain function. Pleasure prevents depression and other mental problems.
And just as the British band Depeche Mode sings – “Everybody’s looking for at reason to live / If you’re looking for at reason / I’ve a reason to give / Pleasure, little treasure” – pleasure is meaningful in itself. No matter how the pleasureful activity affects health. Everyday pleasure makes everyday life more meaningful. Mindful eating allows you to extract much more pleasure from the food you eat. Without changing the food you eat. You simply change the way you eat it. You consciously focus your attention on the pure sensing and enjoyment of the food while you are eating it. Withot letting your mind wander away with anything else. You just eat. And remember to be present with your awareness when the pleasure is high. And let go when the pleasure is down to a level where it is not worth eating anymore.
The best way to train mindful eating is to do eating meditations. You can do eating meditations on both main meals and snacks. It doesn’t matter what you eat. Eating meditation is a mental exercise in which you develop your ability to concentrate on eating. Without doing anything else. Without being anywhere else with your mind.
Click here to listen to one of my instructions in eating meditation for free. The meditation instructions last 16 minutes. Have some food ready to eat before you start the exercise.
In your everyday eating you then try to be as mindful as possible with as many mouthfuls as possible. You go on a mindful eating course in which you take small steps towards more mindful eating.
You can follow me on Twitter where I tweet about mindful eating and conscious health in general. My Twitter name is @pleasurehealth.
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Mindful eating is the new way to eat for health, weight regulation and pleasure maximization. Don’t let these five myths about mindful eating bring you down.
Myth #1: Mindful eating requires you to eat in silence
Fact: You can practice with as much noice around you as you want. Mindful eating is an inner practice about directing your awareness towards the sensing of your food and your body. Just let the noice be as it is.
Myth #2: Mindful eating is boring
Fact: Mindful awareness changes even the most simple experience so that it becomes interesting. Just try with one mouthful. Even your breath becomes interesting when you focus on that.
Myth #3: I don’t get the enjoyment of socializing while I’m eating
Fact: Eating while you are socializing actually makes you avoid quite a lot of both the social pleasure of being with people and the sensual pleasures of eating. When you socialize, socialize. When you eat, eat.
Myth #4: Mindful eating makes every food healthy and slimming
Fact: No, it does not. But mindful eating allows you to better transfer your knowledge about nutrition into your food choices in your everyday life. A donut still contains a lot of calories even if you eat it with mindfulness.
Myth #5: Mindful eating requires me to become a Buddhist and meditate a lot
Fact: No. Mindful eating can be a part of a “hardcore” buddhist meditation lifestyle. But it can also be a part of a lifestyle where you simply take inner small steps motivated by your primitive, animal craving for maximum pleasure.
Mindful Eating Awareness – Weight Loss With Wisdom by Uffe Damborg and Per Brændgaard
Inspired by a video on youtube with Ben Aaron about dance walking I started experiencing with this crazy kind of exercise myself. And I must say: It’s really fun! It’s a great way to combine walking for transportation with pleasureful dancing. It can also be used to increase the intensity of the physical activity and to use a much larger amount of muscles than regular walking.
I am still a beginner but succesful dance walking seems to require at least these elements:
- An open mind that doesn’t mind being perceived as strange and laughable.
- A playlist on the iPhone or whatever you are using that includes inspiring music with energy and a relatively fast rhythm.
- Start with very slow walking and increase the pace gradually as the music allows. It’s difficult to shift from regular walking to dance walking, but easier to shift from slow walking.
- Preparedness to move the whole body intuitively and variably to the beat.
The track that made me start dance walking was I Feel Loved by Depeche Mode. Maybe it will work for you too. The energy and speed is great. At least in my ears. 🙂
Dr. Susan Albers has written a great article about being mindful of mindless eating in Psychology Today.
Dr. Albers also has a good facebook page – Eat, Drink & Be Mindful – where she frequently posts news and tips about mindful eating. Check it out! 🙂