Mindfulness is a type of meditation which focuses on the awareness of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment. It is free from interpretation and judgment of your own thoughts and feelings. Practicing mindfulness helps to relax the body and mind, as well helping to reduce stress levels. Today I am sharing with you a guided mindfulness activity. This was one of the very first things I did when I began studying for my Psychology degree, so it’s super beginner friendly if you haven’t tried mindfulness before. All you need for this activity is 5 minutes, 1 chocolate (or a raisin), and a pen and paper (or your phone will do).
The below activity was sourced from Duke Intergative Medicine. My personal choice for this exercise is a small Celebrations sized Malteser chocolate! Ready to begin? Find a comfortable and quiet spot and get your chocolate at the ready…
- First, unwrap the chocolate, take it out of it’s wrapper(if it has one), and hold it between your index finger and thumb. Focus solely on the chocolate and try to imagine that this is the very first time you have ever seen this food.
- Take some time to examine it carefully. Really look at it. Give it your full attention.
- Allow your eyes to wonder across the chocolate, focusing on it’s shape. Are there any different colours? What does it’s surface feel like?
- Examine it’s texture and note if there is any light shining on it, or if there are any shadows.
- Begin to turn the chocolate between your finger tips, and continue to focus on it’s texture.
- Apply a very small amount of pressure to the chocolate – is it soft or is it hard? Feel free to close your eyes if that allows you to really focus on how the chocolate feels between your fingers.
- Recognize this is as chocolate. What thoughts do you have about this chocolate, if any? Are there any specific memories that come to mind? Do you like or dislike them?
- Now hold the chocolate under your nose, and take a few natural breaths in. With each inhale, notice how the chocolate smells.
- Continue to breathe the chocolate in and out, but now turn your attention to the effect this has had on your mouth and your stomach.
- Slowly bring the chocolate close to your mouth. Notice if you have begun to salivate, as your body and mind prepares itself for eating.
- Next without chewing, place the chocolate gently into your mouth.
- Over the next 10 seconds or so, feel the chocolate with your tongue and become aware of the sensations of having it there.
- Take a moment to become aware of this deliberate pause. How does it feel to take some time before eating this piece of chocolate?
- When you are ready, prepare to chew. Take one or two bites into it without swallowing, and notice what happens when you do so. Bring your full attention to the chocolate’s taste and texture as you continue chewing. How does the chocolate’s taste and texture change in your mouth?
- When you feel ready to, swallow the rest of the chocolate, focusing as you do so as it travels down to your stomach.
How does your whole body feel after completing this exercise? Take a few moments to write down any reflections and answers you may have to the following questions:
- Was there anything that surprised you during this exercise?
- What did you notice about the chocolate in relation to sight, touch, sound, smell, and taste?
- Did you have any thoughts or memories that you recalled during this exercise? If so, what were they?
- What is one takeaway from this exercise that you will try to apply to your future eating habits?
I hope that you enjoyed this mindfulness eating exercise! Redoing this activity reminded me how I used to take a moment on my commute to practice mindfulness. This helped set me up for the day ahead, as well a block out any possible annoying commuters…! If anyone has any other activities that you find useful, please do share them in the comments with me.
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