#MindfulMarch Day 29 // Be Mindful of Conditioned Eating Behaviours

Ever heard of conditioned behaviour? They are learned behaviours. Many of us have behaviours around foods that we learn from a very young age. Perhaps you couldn’t leave the table until your plate was squeaky clean, or you had older siblings who’d eat all the good stuff at dinner if you didn’t scarf it down first! This mindful moment is meant to guide you as you explore conditioned eating behaviours.

mindful moment  ::  be mindful of conditioned eating behaviours

Most habit patterns we create in childhood are harmless & fade away. Ideally as we mature we become more flexible & better able to recognize conditioned patterns of behaviour & free ourselves from them. However, many reactive patterns are deeply held — they’re hidden & constrain us. There are several cues that can help us determine if old conditioned eating patterns are sticking around.

  1. Idiosyncratic eating  ::  For example, the order people eat foods. If you were the youngest in a large family, research shows you’ll eat your favourite food first. Only children tend to eat their favourite food last & are more relaxed.
  2. Anger around food  ::  Anxiety & anger may come up in you when waiting for food.
  3. Overwhelming desire for food  ::  Many have desire for chocolate. Certain foods can call you when you’re upset & you’ll eat more of it than you maybe should, & faster than usual. If this happens, you’ll often feel ashamed after.
  4. Going unconscious while eating  ::  You may go unconscious & eat to forget painful emotions, fear, loneliness & feeling you’re failing.

How can you break old eating patterns? You can do that by being aware of them & not moving. Being aware & not moving means not speaking or doing anything with your body.

30 day mindfulness challenge recap  //

We’re doing a 30 day mindfulness challenge, dubbed #MindfulMarch. Why? because it’s been shown you have to do a desired task or behaviour 20-30 days in a row in order to make it a ‘daily habit’. All month we’ll give you daily mindfulness exercises to do & we invite you to share your mindfulness journey with us on social media!

can’t get enough mindfulness?  

Looking for more mindful moments? Stay tuned, as we’ll be doling them out daily for the month of March. If you’re looking for more mindfulness or psychology services, contact our Psychologist Sally at sally@wholistichealthyyc.com.