When hunger arises, a small, healthy snack can be quite satisfying. Something as simple as a handful of mixed nuts can be enough to tide you over, helping you approach your next meal without feeling the urge to overeat.
But often we turn to snacking not out of physical, but emotional hunger. Cravings arise out of anxiety and stress, and boredom has us staring into our cupboards and refrigerator. In these cases, food may provide a temporary distraction from our feelings, though it will not truly bring us peace or satisfaction. So how do we transform this autopilot response?
As Thich Nhat Hanh says in his bite-size book How to Eat, try snacking on mindfulness instead:
“A mindful breath is a good way for your body to ‘snack’ on some mindfulness and recognize and embrace strong feelings that may be there. After a mindful breath, you may have less desire to go and fill up with a snack to distract yourself. Your body is nourished by your breath.”
So the next time you feel those familiar cravings arise, take a moment to check-in with yourself. Are you actually, physically hungry? If not, breathe, and transform your response into a snack of a different kind:
Breathing in, I feel nourished and satisfied by my in-breath.
Breathing out, I release my cravings.
Photo Credit: Flickr User, marquette