Mental Help Net
Wellness and Personal Development
Basic InformationLatest NewsBlog EntriesVideosLinksBook Reviews
Therapist Search
Find a Therapist:
 (USA/CAN only)

Use our Advanced Search to locate a therapist outside of North America.

Related Topics

Anger Management
Stress Reduction and Management
Weight Loss
Emotional Resilience

Elisa Goldstein, Ph.D.Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.
A blog about mindfulness, stress-reduction, psychotherapy and mental health.

The Most Important Way to Start Your Day

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. Updated: Jun 8th 2010

appleThere's been many leading nutritionists who have said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Some say that children who eat breakfast do better in school and adults perform better at work. I want to put a different spin on this.

This morning when I woke up and had my breakfast in my hand, I chose a different way to make it the most important meal of the day with mindful eating. Here's my theory and experience, starting off the day with mindful eating allows your mind to be more aware of the present moment throughout the day. The fact is how we pay attention and what we pay attention to has a dramatic effect on our day. So if we start the day with mindfulness, we have a better chance of being mindful more spontaneously through the day leading us to be more grounded and effective.

You might have heard of mindful eating before and if so, allow this to be a reminder to move from ideas into action. 

Allow me to share my experience:

First, you don't have to be silent to be mindful of eating. In my house in the morning with a little boy running around, it's hardly possible to do such a thing. However, I took a moment to reflect on all the work it took to get this meal to me today. In my breakfast there were bananas, strawberries, yogurt and cereal. I thought about where the bananas came from and all the workers who farmed the area. I thought of the trucks and airplanes the bananas travelled on and the workers who transported them to the grocery stores and then those workers who stocked them. From there my mind considered my own work that allowed me to purchase this food.

This may seem like a lot of reflection, but really it happened in a matter of 10-15 seconds.

From there, I already had more appreciation for this food. After looking at it, I closed my eyes and put the first bite in my mouth. It's amazing what a little mindfulness can do to the taste of your food. It was far more delicious than the times I am not mindful. This pleasant experience no doubt is a seed for resiliency throughout the day.

Ofcourse in between bites I interacted with my son and wife and what happened was my intention to be more mindful of my breakfast set me in a more present space to be with my family. I guess we could say that's a trickledown effect. This experience of connection is known to be one of the seeds of mental health.

So, you may be reading this before or after breakfast, but if it's after breakfast, perhaps choose to do this at lunch time or dinner. Or maybe set yourself a note for the morning to remember to do it then. You'll likely need some sort of reminder, because in the morning, it's easy for the mind to fall into its habitual way of doing things.

Take a moment right now to consider if you would be willing to try this out. If so, do this without expecting any miracles, just being aware of whatever your experience is. It would be great if you did have space to be quiet with your food for a short time, but as you can tell with my story, it does not need to be a prerequisite.

As always, please share your thoughts, questions and stories below. Your interaction provides a living wisdom for us all to benefit from.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in West Los Angeles and is author of the upcoming book The Now Effect, co-author of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of the Mindful Solutions audio series, and the Mindfulness at Work™ program currently being adopted in multiple multinational corporations.

Check out Dr. Goldstein's acclaimed CD's on Mindful Solutions for Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, Mindful Solutions for Addiction and RelapsePrevention, and Mindful Solutions for Success and Stress Reduction at Work. -- "They are so relevant, I have marked them as one of my favorites on a handout I give to all new clients" ~ Psychiatrist.

If you're wanting to integrate more mindfulness into your daily life, sign up for his Mindful Living Twitter Feed. Dr. Goldstein is also available for private psychotherapy.

Reader Comments
Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

Follow us on Twitter!

Find us on Facebook!

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.

Powered by CenterSite.Net