Meditation for Weight Control
Meditation is relaxing. It increases self-awareness, so you're less likely to succumb to emotional eating when you're practicing meditation.
Meditation enables you to pay attention to what you are doing. You become mindful of your actions or its consequences, including eating. For example, when you pay attention to how your body reacts to having a steak or a cheeseburger, you'll find that you feel sleepy and sluggish and that your thinking gets fuzzy. As a result, you think of better choices.
When you meditate, you concentrate on your breathing while dismissing any distracting thoughts. This takes practice. After about 10 minutes a day of practice, you'l1 soon be able to get your mind off of food in any stressful situation.
There are typically four steps in a meditation process.
1. Set aside a special place you can go each day. This is your meditation spot where you won't be disturbed. A corner of your bedroom is often a good place to meditate.
2. Sit in your most comfortable place, either on the floor with your back supported or in a chair. If you like, you can lean against a wall, using a cushion for added support. There are special positions available such as lotus position for meditation. You can learn more about them in our Meditation Infocenter.
3. Initially, concentrate on just breathing, without trying to control or change your normal breathing pattern. Later we will add another things like adding a mantra etc.
4. Dismiss distractions. If you get distracted by passing thoughts, avoid delving into them. Tell yourself that you'll deal with them later. Then return to concentrating on your breathing. If you find that your thoughts keep racing, keep a pad and pencil nearby. Write down the worries, concerns, or problems that you're afraid will distract you from meditation and promise yourself that you'll deal with them when you're done.
Lawrence LeShan, Ph.D., author of " Meditating to Attain a Healthy Body Weight," suggests choosing a word such as “hungry,” “diet,” “thin,” “fat” or the name of your favorite binge food (such as “chocolate” or “Oreos”) as a mantra, a word to repeat over and over again during your meditation.
Re-repeat the word of your choice. Chant it. Focus on nothing else but the word. Let the sound of the word vibrate through your body. Let the word resonate up from your abdomen and let it go to your hands and your feet. Let your muscles move as you chant the word.
LeShan suggests that you focus your mind on that word until an association forms. For example, if you choose the word “hungry,” the first association that pops into your mind could be “full.”
Think about the connection between the two words for five or six seconds. Do not try to make emotional sense of the connection or to gain any deeper insights. These may be done outside the meditation. Return to your mantra and wait for the next association. Do this for 15 minutes a day, five times a week, for at least six weeks. It may help you understand and control your eating habits.
Combining Meditation and Imagery
One of the most powerful mind-body techniques involve combining meditation and imagery or visualization. For example, take a mental vacation while you are meditating. This is a great way to cope distractions that invariably cope up when we are meditating.
Close your eyes and concentrate on a soothing, tranquil place where you feel safe and calm. As distractions flutter through your mind, remind yourself that you'll deal with them
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