Fritz Perls, who developed Gestalt Therapy, encouraged us to understand the way we eat as a metaphor for the way we live.
At your next meal, watch yourself eat. Do it without judgment and without trying to change anything, just watch. It can be enlightening to draw some parallels around how you eat and how you live.
Do you take in all of your food at once without smelling it, tasting it, chewing it? Do you do that with life? Is that overwhelming?
Do you avoid food? Do you avoid your feelings?
Do you eat foods that you don’t like? Do you allow other people’s negative thoughts to invade the way you feel about yourself?
Do you think constantly about what you’re going to eat next rather than focusing what you’re currently eating and enjoying it? Is life overwhelming because you’re always nervous about what might or might not happen in the future? Anticipating the next thing?
When you serve yourself a meal, pay attention to what’s on your plate. Try not to anticipate what’s coming next or how much you should or should not eat. Just go ahead and begin to look what’s on your plate and to allow yourself to eat that. When you pay attention to your food and to your body and what it needs, you will find that at your next meal, you are able to make better choices about what you need. Your digestion will be a little easier as will your feelings of peace around food. In life, it’s the same thing. What’s on your plate? When you begin to worry and obsess about “what ifs” and the future, you can become overwhelmed. Pay attention to what’s in front of you. You will metabolize your experience more efficiently and be able to move through life with less worry, less anxiety, and with more of a sense of peace, knowing that you are clear and focused on what’s in front of you rather than what’s behind or ahead.