Binge and Breath

By Darla Breckenridge
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Binging or mindlessly eating leads us to self loathing and not tasting our food in the moment. The more mindless we are, the more shallowly we breathe.

At Green Mountain , women’s weight loss program, we practice remembering to breathe by taking 3 deep breaths every time we go to the bathroom. In this way we can add breathing deeply in a predictable way.

A simple concentration meditation can also help us to connect with ourselves, including our hungers, hurts and frustrations. 

Rick Hanson, Phd.  author of  teaches Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time teaches this meditation using breath.

“Basic instructions for doing a concentration meditation:
• Eyes open or closed
• Focus on a specific body sensation – typically the sensations of the breath around the upper lip and nostrils – and keep returning to that no matter what else arises in awareness.• Try to apply attention to the beginning of each inhalation and exhalation and then sustain attention all the way to the end of the breath.
• Try to be even aware of the brief pause after inhaling and before exhaling, and the pause after exhalation before inhaling.
• It can help to count the breaths; a complete breath is 1. If you lose track, just start over. You can either count up – 1-2-3 . .  or down: 10-9-8-7  .”

Breathing is something you have with you all the time.  Even remembering to connect with your breath in the midst of binging or emotional eating can offer you a moment of respite.

When was the last time you breathed deeply?

One Response (Add Yours)

  • We all need to breathe more deeply and more often. I think that would do wonders for our stress. But I like your idea of deep breathing every time you go to the bathroom because that provides a structure and pattern that you can habituate. Great idea; simple, but great.

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