Mind Over Matter: Meditating Away Your Extra Weight
Eating healthy and exercising aren’t the only ways you can combat stress and support your weight loss goals. Many experts believe that meditation could be helpful as well.
Could it really be true? Could mental exercises really be an important part of your weight loss journey? If, like many of us, you struggle with emotional eating or binge eating, the answer could very well be yes.
That’s because meditation helps you to become more mindful of yourself, your surroundings, and your behaviors. Mindfulness practices like meditation help you “quiet” your inner monologue, and to consider why you’re having certain thoughts, instead of just accepting them out of hand.
For example, when you reach for a bag of cookies, you might be thinking “I deserve this after a hard day,” and it’s not until you’ve polished off three or four cookies that the guilt starts to creep in. But becoming more mindful of your thoughts and actions can make it easier to intercept behaviors you want to change.
The next time you think, “I deserve these cookies after a hard day,” you may be able to pause and think, “Or, I deserve a hot bath because my muscles are sore. That’s better than bingeing on cookies. I deserve better than that. I deserve to be healthy.”
How to Meditate
There are many different styles, traditions, and practices associated with meditation. You can learn to meditate by attending workshops and gatherings, but you don’t need that for simple, informal meditation.
Here’s what you need to begin:
- A peaceful place
- To be comfortable
- Something to focus on
That’s it! Your peaceful place might be your bedroom. It might be your local library. It might even be a walking trail—many people enjoy walking meditation.
In terms of being comfortable, you could choose walking at a comfortable pace, or sitting or lying down.
Your focus might be a word or phrase with positive connotations, or it could be your own breath. If you decide to try walking meditation, it could be the very steps you’re taking.
Concentrate on your focus. You’ll notice your thoughts begin to drift. Gently return your concentration to your focus. By doing this, you’re learning to recognize how your thought patterns work and gain better control over them.
One way to integrate meditation more fully into your lifestyle is to have it as part of your daily routine. You can even make it part of your evening ritual—a warm cup of tea made with Nuez de la India might be a perfect focus!