TOTAL HEALTH TRANSFORMATION SYSTEM
Slow Down for Attention
One secret to a lean and healthy body: Paying attention.
What’s going on right now?
In this moment,
- What are you doing?
- What are you thinking?
- How are you feeling?
- What’s around you?
Maybe it’s not clear.
Maybe you’re trying to answer an email while listening to music or talking on the phone, or driving (please, no). Maybe you’re trying to multi-task and juggle all the demands on your attention all at once.
The brain is constantly making decisions. Most of them are automatic and unconscious.
The upside is that we can put some patterns on auto-pilot—like driving, typing, tying shoelaces, and brushing teeth.
The downside is that we put other patterns on auto-pilot—like mindless snacking, using booze or junk food to de-stress, or grabbing another round of take-out for another rushed lunch break.
We don’t make unhealthy food decisions because we’re dumb or lazy. (If you’re still reading this, you’re probably smart and working to stay focused on progress.)
We make unhealthy food decisions because they’re automatic. Because we’re distracted. Because we’re rushing. Automatic choices, minus attention, plus rushed eating, often equals less-healthy outcomes.
Luckily, there’s a simple solution: Slow down.
If you’re on automatic autopilot, your body’s moving faster than your awareness can keep up.
When you slow down, you can pay more full attention to the present moment.
You know you’ve slowed down when you have the time to notice and name.
Noticing means pausing to pay attention.
“What’s going on right now? What am I doing?”
Naming means taking an extra moment to describe the situation to yourself, explicitly: “Oh, right, I’m feeling rushed, and that means I’m more likely to grab junk.”
How does that help me?
Slowing down, pausing, and paying attention puts the conscious, executive brain in charge instead of the unconscious, automatic brain.
We’re able to make more informed choices, like picking healthy food.
We feel more in control of actions.
We’re calmer. Kinder with ourselves.
We notice little things, like the way we’re doing an exercise. Or whether we’re rushing through a meal.
We place our attention on longer-term goals, rather than having it pulled by impulses in the moment. We can focus on moving towards those long-term goals.
And when we name the situation, we call it out. Hold ourselves accountable, without judgment. Just observation.
Hey, you’re doing that thing again.
OK, I’m taking a second to regroup.
Back on track.
Write In Your journal
Use your “5-Minute Action” to check in during one meal today.
What did you notice about that meal?
(e.g., Were you able to eat slowly? Did you feel good about your food choices? Where did you eat? etc.)