Relationship to Food Drawing Exercise

Gratefully taken from training materials developed by Dr. James Gordon and The Center for Mind Body Medicine, Washington, D.C. Contributed by Anna Looney.

Experiential Exercise: Drawing a Picture of Your Relationship with Food and/or Mindful Eating

We have several techniques to explore our relationship with food. Drawings and imagery can help group members identify the emotional needs they bring to food so they can find other ways of comforting themselves when feeling anxious or depressed or lonely. Eating with meditative awareness gives us information about the food choices we are making and how they impact our health.

Draw your relationship with food.

You will have brought paper and colored markers or crayons with you to the group. Hand out a sheet of drawing paper to each group member. Then lead the exercise using words such as these:

Sit comfortably and breathe slowly for a few minutes. Allow images to come to you about the role of food in your life. When you are ready, draw your images. Write a description of what you see in your drawing and what it means to you.

Share the experience.

Invite each group member in turn to share his/her drawing and what he/she has learned from it. Guide the sharing with these questions and prompts:

  • Describe your drawings. The images that come to you describe how you feel about your food right now.
  • What role does food play in your life?
  • Have you drawn yourself alone or with family and friends?
  • What kinds of foods are important?
  • Does food add anything special to your life?
  • What in your past shaped your eating habits and emotional responses to food?
  • What emotions do you have with regard to food: Joy? Indifference? Cravings? Pleasure? Loneliness? Depression?
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