Day 32 - Cravings

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Marsha Hudnell, MS, RDN, CD

Marsha is the President of Green Mountain at Fox Run, and an Executive Board Member at The Center for Mindful Eating. She is an expert in eating disorders, and is the author of six books, including the recent Disordered Eating in Active and Sedentary Individuals.

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Craving leads to suffering - it is entwined with obsessive, addictive mental and physical behaviors. But desire is the root of craving, and we don’t want to be free of the pleasures of our senses - the taste of delicious food, the sound of music, gossip, a good joke. Insight meditation helps us differentiate and manage these impulses effectively.

Mindfulness encourages us to “see” cravings and desires objectively, as they arise - to understand that they are impermanent - that they can be objectively controlled - and to help us create the space between the stimuli itself, and our automatic reaction to it. There’s nothing inherently wrong with cravings - it’s the behaviors they lead to, in a state of mindless automaticity, that can be de destructive.   

A craving may be triggered by boredom, or sadness, or loneliness, or any of a score of other emotions. Mindfulness trains us to “notice” that it is unconsciously taking hold - and gives us the mental capability to pause and consciously choose the way forward. 

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