Mindfulness is defined as “paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally”. By regularly engaging in mindfulness activities, you can reduce your stress levels, which can lead to better mental and physical health. However, the idea of engaging in mindfulness and meditation might seem daunting – where do you start? Well, if you have a raisin and five minutes, you can cultivate mindfulness right now!
Let’s Begin With Our Eyes
Okay, do you have your raisin? Good. I want you to take it and place it in the palm of your hand. I want you to look at it. I mean, really look at it. Pick out all of the details. Observe the color, where the light hits it, where there is shade. Look at the wrinkles and ridges, and where it might gleam. Look at the circumference, the edges, the middle.
Time to Touch
Once you’ve really taken it in with your eyes, I want you to close them. Now, feel the raisin in your palm. Take a finger from your opposite hand, and touch it. Feel its size, its texture, it’s ridges. Feel it’s softness or it’s hardness. Trace the edges of it.
Now, bring the raisin up to your nose and take a sniff. Inhale deeply, and concentrate on what you can smell. Is there sweetness or tartness? Has smelling it activated your taste buds? Good, because now, finally, you can eat it. Sort of.
Take a Taste
Put the raisin in your mouth carefully. But don’t chew it yet! Concentrate on the way it feels in your mouth, on your tongue. Once you’ve got a good sense of how it feels, take a few bites with your teeth. Does it feel different now that it is in smaller pieces? How does it taste, sweet, earthy, tart?
Hear with Your Ears
As you chew the raisin, listen to the sounds that your teeth, jaw, and mouth are making. Once you feel ready, swallow the raisin, and feel it as it goes down your throat and into your stomach. Now, take in how your whole body feels. When you feel ready, you can open your eyes.
Do you feel more mindful? Practicing this for five minutes each day can help you to live more in the moment, and with better attention and purpose. You can even practice some of this during meal or snack time, and really appreciate your food. Your brain will thank you for it!
Written by guest Emma Mathias and edited by GUADS staff member Kate with contributions from axahealth.co.uk