Arabella joined me recently to share her success around her tiny wellness habit that she put into place since we last saw each other at one of my workshops on performance chemistry.
Watch our video interview right here or scroll down to read her story.
Hi Arabella, welcome and thank you so much for being willing to share one of your tiny, easy steps that you’ve taken to enhance your wellbeing. Can I ask you to introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
I’m Arabella, and I’m a psychosomatic educator and coach. More specifically what that means is I work with people and I help them address with the thoughts and the emotions of the psychological side of their persistent ache pains and physical symptoms. So roughly in the wellbeing space. But I’m always working on myself too.
That’s so important. And the one thing I know and admire about you is that you’re an avid learner. And when I extended an invitation for you to attend one of my workshops on performance chemistry, you were absolutely there. So thank you for joining. In the session, as I always do, I get everybody to commit to one thing that they’re going to do differently in terms of their wellbeing. And you chose something really interesting that not many people choose and that was around mindful eating. Would you like to share what your one tiny habit was that you pledged?
So I decided that what I would do going forwards is every time I sat down to eat a meal, I would make sure that just the first mouthful is mindful. So instead of just telling myself that I needed to become a mindful eater (because my default is just to wolf things down and not even realize what I’ve eaten or how quickly I ate it), just to not put that pressure on myself, but just decide on one first mouthful to be mindful. And then the rest can be as unmindful as I want.
I really like that, because that fits into the formula for behavioral change in terms of neuroscience – make it as tiny and easy and doable as possible. And why did you choose that particular thing of all the things we discussed? Why that?
During the workshop we did an overview of our habits, our daily behaviors in our whole entire life. And I looked at the different areas and I realized that the one that had the most room for improvement and growth was eating. And in a way it felt scary to think, okay, that’s the most difficult thing and do something about it. But actually that was the best choice, because it’s given me the most benefit.
And what was easy about this?
In a way, the whole thing I find quite easy. I think it really ties into this thing of not putting pressure on myself to just be a mindful eater, but to just sit down and think, okay, the first forkful, I just notice what I’m eating, how it tastes, and that’s it. It’s so tiny that I’ve never not done it when I’ve remembered to do it.
Okay. So when you’ve remembered to do it, so there were times that you didn’t. So what kind of challenges did you face and what was difficult, even though it was such a simple, apparently easy tiny wellbeing step?
Challenge is too strong of a word, because every time I do it, I actually feel such pleasure from it that it just feels great. So it’s only when I haven’t been consistent. I don’t really remember when I’m not being consistent though. Because not eating mindfully doesn’t cause me problems or pain. It’s just I know in terms of who I want to be and how I want to live. I do want to be more mindful when I eat. So yes, consistency if anything, but I am able to do it in quite a lot of situations.
Have you experienced benefits from this?
Yes, the thing that happens is, if I set myself the task of first mindful mouthful, I’d say eight or nine times out of ten I end up deciding that I can keep going. I can do the second, I can do the third, and then I just have a mindful meal. Even if it’s my coffee or a snack, I then get to the end of the snack bar and I’m – wow, that was a mindful snack bar rather than a wolfing down snack bar. And I mean that’s a huge benefit in terms of how I want it. It gives me lots of pleasure, makes me feel like a human and how I want to be living my life.
Lots of pleasure makes you feel more like a human. That sound like big benefits to me.
Yes, pleasure and I’d also say there’s probably benefits for my digestion as well. I’m not worried about those, but that is probably been happening. It’s part of why I want to be doing it.
Well thanks for your honesty around that. So do you feel that this is now an embedded habit? Can you move on to the next thing and if so, what will they be?
I think it is becoming embedded. I was just thinking, yesterday I was under a lot of stress in London eating before I was meeting a friend in a busy environment, and I actually remembered to do it and it kind of really transformed the entire stressful environment into actually a pleasurable one. I was really enjoying food that I just bought. So yes, I think the next frontier for me is I have good movement practices but I want even more and I’m kind of feel the same resistance about food and about exercise. So that’s probably where I want to focus next.
That’s great. And what’s also great is that the success you felt around having a mindful mouthful can potentially help you ripple into other areas of your wellbeing life.
Yes, and this is the kind of thing that I thought I would need to work with therapists on, because I’ve got a difficult history and relationship with food. But actually just being able to make a decision for what I currently think I’m going to change, that has this huge impact as that’s priceless.
Yes, it absolutely is, priceless, mindful minute. Mindful mouthful. In effect, if we took a mindful minute before we did movement or eating, that could also be beneficial. That’s something that I’ve been trying to do is pause and then engage with food or an activity to allow for transition. But that’s taking us onto a new topic. So Arabella, thank you for sharing this and I look forward to hearing how the other aspects of your wellbeing benefit from this. Well done. Thank you. I celebrate you.
Please share this story with anyone else who you feel would benefit from reading about Arabella’s experience.
Do you have a story to share? I would love to hear about it. After all, we all feel more courageous when we are championed! Leave a comment or direct message me and I will be in touch.