Interview with expert Dr Richard Chambers

by | Jan 28, 2015 | Experts

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Are you a comfort eater? High stress levels can be a key reason why many people turn to food. I interviewed Dr Richard Chambers, a psychologist who specialises in mindfulness to find out what he recommends for people struggling with stress. Here’s what he said…

Are you a comfort eater? High stress levels can be a key reason why many people turn to food. I interviewed Dr Richard Chambers, a psychologist who specialises in mindfulness to find out what he recommends for people struggling with stress. Here’s what he said…

1. What do you love about what you do as a mindfulness consultant?

I specialise in mindfulness in education. I work at Monash University, where I am spearheading a university-wide mindfulness initiative. Our vision is to get all students and staff practising and applying mindfulness to improve their health and performance. A growing number of schools and other universities are getting inspired by it also, and I regularly consult to them. And Smiling Mind, a free mindfulness app I helped develop, is doing great work getting mindfulness into education. We all share a vision to get mindfulness into the Australian school curriculum by 2020, which is just fantastic. It inspires me to think of young people getting taught how to be present and loving as part of their basic education. Imagine how the world will be when this happens!

2. Why is mindfulness so important to healthy eating?

Mindfulness helps us to tune in to ourselves and sense what is happening in the moment. Mindful eating involves engaging fully with the act of eating. This includes things like checking in with ourselves how hungry we are and what our body really needs in each moment. We can also really pay attention to the act of eating by paying attention to flavours, textures, etc. We can take a moment to reflect on what we are eating, where it came from and how it got to us. We can pause after eating and notice the effect different foods have on us. And we can learn to savour, filling ourselves up with the experience of eating, rather than trying to do it with food.

3. What other benefits can be gained from practising mindfulness?

People who practise mindfulness very quickly become less stressed, happier and better performing. They strengthen the prefrontal cortex, which is the control panel of the brain. They then are able to focus better and spend less time caught in negativity or away with the fairies. Mindfulness practice also helps us to experience life more fully, which is one of the major benefits to me. It is like the volume gets turned up on the senses, we start to notice things we had previously missed and begin having moments of joy for no good reason.

For more information visit Richard’s website: www.drrichardchambers.com

                  

Suite 1004, Level 10
1 Queens Road,
Melbourne Victoria 3004

                  

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