• Use mindful eating techniques to discover a healthy relationship with food says Laura Dawn

  • If you are struggling with any issues around food, you can find a therapist here

At the core of mindful eating is an exploration of your relationship with food, allowing you to gain awareness and insight into how this relationship with food is affecting you, your health and ultimately, your life. 

The practice of mindful eating allows you to see food as something that you're connected to, sustained by and in relationship with, something that supports the totality of your health, including your mind, body and spirit. Now for the big question: is this relationship one that is supportive of your health and wellbeing? Or is it hindering your ability to blossom and flourish as the beautiful being that you are and preventing you from living the life you really want to live? 

Essentially, one of the core intentions of exploring mindful eating is so that you can develop a healthy relationship with food. A relationship that is:

- Balanced

- Grateful

- Harmonious

- Inspiring

- Joyful

- Nourishing

- Pleasurable

- Satisfying

- Supportive

Does this sound like the kind of relationship with food you'd like to have? Is this noticeably different than the relationship with food you currently have? Through starting to eat mindfully, you can become aware of the places within your relationship with food that are out of alignment. You can then take the necessary steps to restore the balance and joy to your relationship with food that is not only incredibly rewarding but is also your birthright to experience.

Something to try:

Think about yourself, your food and your eating habits in terms of a relationship. In the same way that your relationships with people can be highly complex, so too can be your relationship with food. What is your relationship with eating? On a piece of paper, contemplate your relationship with food and eating by asking yourself the following questions: 

Does this relationship bring you pleasure? Does it cause you pain? Is it an abusive relationship? Is it a source of hardship and struggle or do you find it very easy to navigate what, how much and when to eat? Does this relationship cause you anxiety and stress? In general, does this relationship leave you feeling satisfied and nourished or usually wanting more? Is this a trusting relationship? Do you have confidence in this relationship? If you had to describe your relationship with food in one word, what would that word be? 

Further reading

The 10 principles of intuitive eating

Social eating helps connect communities

The benefits of mindful eating

How to address emotional comfort eating