I first tried Mindfulness to help with my attention issues, which I documented here . Yet, Mindfulness can be applied to nearly any aspect of daily life. Here’s a simple exercise you can try:
Do you recall the last time you truly savored a piece of food? And no, I don’t mean devouring a mouth-watering morsel, but instead, actually truly recognizing each component…each ingredient…each texture…each burst of flavor. Now, start by making an M&M (or Skittle if you’re not a huge chocolate fan like me) last in your mouth for about 2 minutes (or as long as you can) and be aware of every single sensation you experience in relation to that one piece of candy. Be aware of its texture. Notice your increase in salivation. Feel how it changes from smooth to slightly bumpy. Place it against the roof of your mouth with your tongue. Sense its temperature change from cool to warm. Recognize details of its flavor – sweet, rich, fruity, slightly bitter, etc. Feel the breaking of its shell as it splits into little pieces. Recall your sweet childhood memories of happily walking through the candy store, carefully selecting each yummy treat, sharing them with friends, or keeping it all to yourself.
Now apply this simple exercise to everyday life. Instead of stressing about the next minute, hour, or upcoming events, savor what you experience in the present time. Be aware of each moment. Focus on one thing. Let go of distractions.
Exercise derived from my residency’s associated Clinical Psychology Professor. Image via flickr.