Meditation’s Role in Reducing Binge Eating
When you’re in recovery from binge eating, you tend to narrow your focus on one thing: getting better. And while this is important, the balance of incorporating a mindful practice in your daily life can be another form of support in this never-ending journey.
Mindfulness can mean many different things, from mindful meditation to mindful eating. When we are in tune with our minds, we are in tune with our bodies. And when we are in tune with our bodies, our intuition can flow seamlessly. Through this, our awareness grows and we become conscious of harmful energies and begin to clean up our lingering, stagnant, and outdated limiting beliefs, emotions, and judgments.
The benefits of living mindfully are ten-fold, from reducing emotional eating, increasing self-acceptance, to improving awareness of your body’s hunger cues. Let’s dig into these benefits a little more closely…
Reduce Emotional & Binge Eating
There are numerous scientific studies that have shown meditation as being a powerful tool for creating a positive relationship with food. A study confirms that mindfulness meditation can help in scaling down emotional eating and decreasing binge eating episodes. Meditation opens the opportunity for you to embrace whatever emotions are arising within you without using food (or anything else) as a way to get rid of it.
In many traditions, including the Buddhist tradition, mindfulness and awareness practices lead to knowing ourselves really well. Through this self-awareness, you begin to radically accept yourself just as you are and where you are. You grow in unconditional love for yourself and grant others the ability to also accept and love themselves. It’s like a ripple effect. Through meditation, you can see your own experiences with clear awareness and understanding and allow things to be just as they are – without changing or shifting them.
Improve Awareness of Your Body’s Hunger Cues
Meditation can also help you become aware of physical hunger and satisfaction cues to guide your decision to begin and stop eating. Through this, you access the ability to acknowledge that the degrees of awareness surrounding food are varied. Mindful eating is the acceptance that eating is unique to each individual as you recognize the moment-by-moment choice associated with food and body and not the distant outcome of that choice. In other words, meditation helps you pick up on the cues from your body as to whether you’re hungry physically, or emotionally.
Self-awareness makes it easier to understand yourself, your emotions, and your triggers. Emotions are here to guide you through life, helping you determine which way to go and which situations to steer clear of. Think of them as working with you, not against you. As you continually give yourself the space to develop your thoughts, you transform. Transformation is at the root of all transcendence, including the struggle with emotional and binge eating. Self-awareness is achieved through garnering a clear perception of your personality, strengths, weaknesses, emotions, and beliefs. When you apply self-awareness in your life, you awaken to compassionately understanding not only yourself but other people and things and how you respond to them in the moment.
Grow Your Intuition Around Your Binge Eating
Your relationship with your intuition is the most important relationship that you have. As you grow in self-awareness, you grow in your intuition, and as your intuition grows, you begin to have readily available the skill to turn your emotions on themselves and recognize what your body is truly trying to tell you. By becoming aware of your body’s cues, you begin to understand what they mean and how to approach the experience of each. Intuitive eating is a way of learning to trust your body, your hunger cues, and the messages your body is attempting to relay to you. As you continue to develop, you learn to trust that you intuitively understand, in each moment, how to handle urges such as binge eating.
Meditation’s Role in Your Life
Living mindfully versus unmindfully clearly has its positives. Through mindful meditation, you become aware of yourself, your body, your thoughts, and the ways in which you can approach each moment. Mindfulness enhances the ability to self-forgive and release, creating space within you to accept your body as it is and shift from being controlled by your emotions to being in control of your emotions. You get to choose how you want to feel and react to things in life. Meditation helps give you that choice.
While there are many hacks to happiness, meditation is based in truth. Self-awareness brings to you the ability to love your body – the ultimate key to happiness. When you’re recovering from binge eating, instead of narrowing your focus, expand it. Open your awareness and allow yourself to receive from developing a mindful relationship to yourself and food. Meditation as a way to reduce binge eating is just another way to support yourself through this journey.