Slow down and soak in the experience of the moment
Our modern day, fast-paced culture places a high demand on productivity. Doing more seems to be the way of life for most people. Unfortunately, always living life on-the-go can be a recipe for adrenal fatigue, which certainly is not a satisfying, or healthy, way to live. By intentionally slowing down and soaking in the experience of the moment you're in, you will derive more pleasure in your everyday life.
My top tip for slowing down is to regularly include electronic breaks throughout your day. Also consider turning your phone on silent when you are having an electronic break. By doing so, your system will not be bombarded with continually incoming alerts and notifications that can impede your ability to be present in the moment. Other strategies can include driving just at (or under!) the speed limit in the "slow lane", intentionally walking slower than normal, or using your non-dominant hand throughout the day, especially when eating.
1. Notice the various qualities of the food you're eating or beverage you're drinking, such as the:
- Flavor - spicy, sweet, savory, salty, bitter, tart, sour, neutral, bland
- Temperature - hot, tepid, neutral, cool, icy
- Mouthfeel, Texture or Consistency - effervescent/bubbly, crunchy, smooth, crispy, hard, firm, soft, sponge-like, gelatinous/jelly-like, slippery, lumpy, grainy, nutty, dense, light, tender, chewy, sticky, thick, thin, creamy, etc.
- Pausing to pray before eating,
- Intentionally chewing your food until it becomes liquid in your mouth before swallowing (this will aid with better digestion too),
- Engaging in pleasurable conversation with the people you may be sharing a meal with,
- Setting down your fork or spoon in between bites,
- Savoring every bite of food (implement tip #1 here).
Assess your appetite level before starting your meal or snack. Do you feel neutral, a hint of hunger, hunger awareness, significant hunger, extreme hunger, or do you feel famished?
Allow yourself to pause in the middle of your meal to reassess your appetite level. Do you feel comfortably full, satisfied, neutral, slight hunger, or noticeable hunger? If you aren't sure of your appetite level, it's ok. It takes time to reestablish in-tune hunger/fullness signals if you are used to rushing while eating or eating by the clock. You can give yourself permission to take a 5 or 10-minute "time out" from eating, and then reassess. The purpose of this activity is to condition your brain and your digestive organs to work in harmony, so you can better assess your nutritional needs which will result in a more satisfying eating experience.
Open your eyes to the charm around you, and you will feel more pleasure in the moment. For example, notice the yellow dandelions or colorful flower-weeds in the sidewalk cracks, the puffiness of the clouds, or a soaring bird in the sky. Hear the crickets chirping, birds singing, or the leaves rustling in the wind. Smell the fresh air. Feel the sunshine on your face or the breeze against your skin. Or, you can make your inside environment more appealing with a small potted plant on your office desk or kitchen table. Notice the color of the petals and the fragrance the flower emits. For a more pleasurable meal experience, you can use decorative placemats or tablecloths, new dish ware, light a candle during mealtime, or listen to calming music. This needn't be expensive. You can visit a yard sale or your local ReStore for budget-friendly additions.