Meditate to Curb Cravings
A craving is an intense longing or overwhelming desire for something that produces a unique behavior. Cravings can happen after being exposed to a place where something has been used before, such as an illicit drug, alcohol, or smoking a cigarette.
According to recent studies, 100% of young women and 70% of young men experienced food cravings in the last year. With so many people struggling with cravings, it makes sense to look at ways to curb them.
Mindfulness meditation is a way to learn how to manage cravings. It can help liberate you from destructive patterns that don’t have a positive effect on your wellbeing. Whether you have occasional cravings or intense daily urges, meditation for cravings is a way to break the cycle.
Why Does Meditation Help Cravings?
During meditation, you are taught to watch your thoughts and let them go without judgment. You can acknowledge and tell yourself they will eventually pass. Other ways meditation helps cravings include:
- Calm stress and reduce anxiety. Food cravings often arise from an emotional need, like when we are sad or stressed. Carbohydrates boost serotonin, which has a calming effect and is why we often crave fat and sugar. Meditation helps to reduce stress, therefore will help to minimize cravings.
- Increase positive thinking. Meditation is known to enhance the feelings of positivity and happiness. When feeling optimistic, gives you more strength to change addictive patterns.
- Improve the mind-body connection. During meditation, you learn how to focus, listen to the body and relax which helps increase body awareness.
- Greater mental clarity. Meditation teaches you to calm racing thoughts which allows greater mental clarity and makes you more present.
- Boost metabolic function and well-being. Because meditation regulates blood pressure and boosts metabolic function, this can reduce sugar cravings.
How to Mindfully Manage Your Cravings with Meditation?
Meditation makes your mind aware of cravings and starts to see them for what they really are – emotionally charged thoughts. Meditate to curb cravings by following these steps:
- Sit comfortably on a cushion or chair.
- Close your eyes and start to notice your breaths. Pay attention to how your body feels on the floor and how your arms fall in your lap.
- Bring attention to your breath. Start to count each inhalation and exhalation until you reach 10. Then start over.
- When your mind starts to wander, notice any thoughts or cravings that arrive.
- Acknowledge and let these pass without judgment.
- Return your attention to your breathing.
- Each time you become distracted, be mindful, but don’t let yourself worry about how often your thoughts wander.
- After reaching the end of your meditation, gently open your eyes and start to notice the sights and sounds around you.
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