Read my post here on an explanation about how mindfulness is easier for the ED (Easily Distracted) than meditation. Today I will walk you through a mindfulness technique that is deceptively simple. It is easy to set up, easy to do wherever you are, and extraordinarily effective. I learned it many years ago and it’s a quick go-to for me whenever I find myself getting stressed.
What you need:
A raisin (or substitute any item. Seriously, look in front of you. Is there a thing that you can pick up or lean close to? Use that.)
Optional: a timer. You can sit near a clock, but it’s much better to have a timer that you can set so you aren’t worried about the time.
For this write-up I’m assuming that you have decided to use a raisin or some other edible thing. If you have chosen something inedible, follow all instructions that do not involve putting the item in your mouth. Please avoid eating anything inedible.
First, get comfortable in a chair. Uncross your legs and either hold the raisin in your hands or place it on a table in front of you.
Next, take a few deep breaths. If you feel like it, you can set an intention such as, I am going to relax and focus on this exercise.
Now we are going to study the raisin.
Set the timer for 5 minutes and pick up the raisin. Hold it up in front of your eyes and study it.
Notice its shape, its size.
Look at the wrinkles.
Notice any blemishes.
What color is it?
Is it shiny?
Feel the raisin in your hand. Rub your fingers over it. Squish it a little.
What does it feel like?
If you are by yourself, you can even smell it or put it up to your ear and see if you hear anything. If you’re in a crowded room you may want to avoid smelling your raisin or looking like you’re using your raisin for a phone.
Now you get to eat it. But take it slow! This is going to sound very sexual, but whatever, get your mind out of the gutter.
First, put the raisin on your tongue. Feel the ridges of the raisin, and the shape.
Taste it. What does it taste like?
Suck on it.
Let the rest of the raisin dissolve in your mouth, and when you are done, swallow it.
If your timer hasn’t gone off yet, take the time to think about the origins of the raisin. Think about the raisin it was before it was dried, the vine it grew on and the farm that it came from. The farmer or worker who picked it from the raisin and the process it probably followed on its way to your hand. The truck that carried it with the other raisins to wherever it was dried, in the sun or in a dehydrator. The hands that moved it from place to place. The person who put the raisin into a plastic bag, then into a box, then the box to a store where someone shelved it before you purchased it. Think of all the details involved until the timer goes off.
Take the time to really look, feel, listen and taste the raisin and answer these questions. When you are done you should know your raisin so well that you could write a thesis on it.
Turn off the timer and take a couple more deep breaths. Feel how energizing this simple exercise is. Go about your day with a renewed sense of calm and vigor.
As said earlier this can be done with any object. Here’s a quick example. If I look up from the laptop I’m typing this on, I see a pen. I just grabbed it. I can look at it and notice details. It’s cold because of the A/C being on, it’s smooth. I can take the time to study the letters P-A-P-E-R-M-A-T-E- R- G-E-L. 0.7
There’s all kinds of details I can study about this pen. And while I’m studying this pen I’m not thinking about the rest of the stress in my life. For a few moments, I’m taking the time to calm myself, breathe, and relax.
So you can do this anywhere, any time! Enjoy!
Did you try it? How did it go? Drop a line below!