This may seem like an obvious answer, but it’s called a practice for a reason. Mindfulness is a way of maintaining awareness in the present moment to thoughtfully acknowledge and accept current thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations, and surroundings. Using this technique while eating will give you a new way to connect to food, and to notice your cues of satisfaction, fullness, and hunger.
The more you practice this skill, the less likely you are to snack mindlessly. It’s okay if you aren’t perfect; that’s not the goal. Try to be mindful of your actions and your physical sensations of hunger and fullness throughout the day so that you can better determine if eating is how you want to respond to feelings of boredom.
You might be absentmindedly reaching for food because your body is operating at a caloric deficit (meaning you’re not eating enough). Your body responds to food restriction with urgent and consistent hunger. You may experience a biological drive to eat that quietly whispers behind the loud voices of daily life. If you follow a strict diet, don’t eat to fullness, or routinely skip meals, this may be a reality in your body.
Try increasing how much you eat and see how this affects your behavior. You might find that the next time you’re bored, you don’t feel hungry enough to eat.
This is a good way to address the root of your behavior – and it’s an opportunity to find hobbies that bring new layers of substance to your life. You’re never too old to try new things and there’s no shortage of options, regardless of what interests you. You might even find immense reward in volunteering your time for a worthy cause of your choice.
Filling your time with engaging activities will help you reframe food as fuel for fun rather than a coping mechanism for boredom. You never know – maybe you’ll uncover a new talent!
Boredom, like many feelings, is a state of mind. If you only look to your environment for stimulation and entertainment, it’s bound to fall short from time to time. There’s only so much external entertainment you can get from TV, your cell phone, or from a book while you’re hanging out at home.
Contentment is a state of happiness and most importantly, of satisfaction. When you’re satisfied regardless of whether you have a lot to do or nothing to do, you won’t need the stimulation of food. This type of unconditional peace must come from within.
Some powerful tools for developing contentment include meditation, journaling, and a daily practice of gratitude. Focusing on the positives of your life will help you de-emphasize food-based rewards.
Beating yourself up for eating out of boredom is not going to help the situation. Feelings of guilt, shame, or regret will only fuel a destructive cycle that will probably lead you to cope with more food.
There is nothing wrong with eating, just as there is nothing wrong with breathing. If your body is asking for food, listen. What is it asking for – nourishment, comfort, or energy? Are any of these reasons really so bad? Forgive yourself for eating, first and foremost, and then question if or how you’d like to change your personal behaviors.
Eating out of boredom is a personal issue, and there are solutions that may work for you that don’t work for others. Consider what triggers your boredom, and question whether you’re meeting your body’s nutritional needs. Extend compassion to yourself as you explore any eating behaviors that you’d like to change. Self-awareness is vital to this process, and Savor is here to get you started. To begin now, download Savor today from the App Store or Google Play.