Most people associate nourishment with food. Considering that food has nutrition, that makes perfect sense.
But did you ever consider that nourishment comes from other places as well? We nourish our hearts when we spend time with people we love. We nourish our souls when we are at peace. Sometimes, when we have a craving to eat, or to overeat, it’s not our bellies that need filling, but our hearts and souls.
So, for times when food is calling your name and you know you’re not physically hungry, it’s good to have some ideas about how to nourish your deeper self… without food. Here are three avenues to explore.
A lot of people, when they start thinking about gratitude, focus on the big stuff – a roof over your head, healthy children, a loving spouse. And those are certainly important. But once you start focusing on all the things for which you’re grateful, you’ll realize that there are a hundred or more small things worthy of being grateful for every day.
You can start small. Each night before you go to sleep, try listing ten things for which you are grateful: the heat that works in your home, the parking spot you got, the conversation with a friend, the YouTube video you watched that made you tear up, the last goal your team scored in a big game. List whatever small or large moments you experienced during the day that just passed that gave you pleasure or made your life more enjoyable.
With practice, you’ll be able to stop at any moment and answer the question, “What am I grateful for right now?”
It took me awhile to try the adult coloring books that are popular now. Once I did, I was hooked. It’s both mindless and mindful at the same time. It takes me out of my tendency to over think, so that all I’m thinking about is what color pencil I’m going to pick up next and what shape I’m going to color in. It’s meditative. What creative pursuits get you into a different head space? Next time you need to get your mind off of food, get into your creative side.
Another way to think about nourishment is as self-care. What rituals do you have, or can you adopt, that help you feel good about taking care of yourself? For example, can you start your day with therapeutic oils or with burning sweet-smelling incense so your day begins with gratifying smells? Could making your bed or washing dishes after meals feel like self-care rituals? Can you treat yourself to a skin care cream whose texture and smell you love?
The idea is to bring more pleasure into your life in non-food ways. Once you start thinking in these terms, the possibilities are endless. You’ll find ways to take care of yourself, heart and soul, that don’t require snacks or unhealthy foods.
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org.