How not thinking can help you reclaim your life from food
from The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal
...If you are wondering what the 'smallest dose of meditation' is, the author talks about a few weeks that were part of the research she discusses.
However, I believe - as an ex-card carrying mediation hater and now convert - that a couple of minutes to begin with every day built up to 10 minutes most days - is enough to get the benefits mentioned above.
Mediation allows your mind to calm down enough to change not only your behaviour, but beliefs and unconscious impulses around food. It prepares the ground for deeper understanding of your hidden beliefs and a conversation with your inner child, should you want to do that work.
The most immediate benefit I found was that I became less emotionally reactive. If you are less emotionally reactive, you have less need to use food to manage your state.
Try this guided 4 minute meditation to start changing your life now.
A Daily Practice
Here is a daily practice you can use that gives a little structure to your meditation
#1 Three box breaths or 4-7 breaths
#2 Think of one thing you are most grateful for today
#3 The guided meditation above
#Optional Non-guided meditation - just sit.
What if you can't just meditate?
This is what I did when I started non-guided meditating and got distracted by thinking:
When a thought happened I would see my mind as a big empty room with a door at either end - no furniture at all. I would see the thought or thoughts as a crowd of rowdy people coming in through one door. The other door opened and they would all rush out through it. Then I would focus on the lovely empty room again.
Another thing you can do is focus on one detail in your visual field just as the very top of a tree or a door handle.
Another idea: spend the whole of your meditation time doing box breaths. I frequently do this and it is my favourite way to keep on track.
IMPORTANT: Whatever you do, it will feel like failure. That is the point - if you want to gradually develop the ability to stop thinking, of course you will see your initial efforts as failure because you are so addicted to your thoughts.
This is how you WILL start. Everyone does!
So accept that fact and enjoy these ‘failures’
When it comes to meditation, failure equals success
The spirit you want to develop is
Do it badly, but just bloody do it.
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