Mindfulness Exercise - Eating a Raisin
Posted on June 22nd, 2012
For this exercise, you’ll need about 5 minutes and one raisin. A raisin is best, but you can substitute a grape, small piece of orange, or gummi bear.
There is one essential general instruction: whenever you find your mind wandering from the task at hand, just gently return your attention to the raisin and what you are doing with it. Read over the specific instructions that follow and then begin with the first instruction 1.
Begin by placing the raisin in the palm of your hand. Spend a few moments just looking at it. Really look at it with a sense of curiosity and awe, as if this were the first time you had looked at a raisin. (In fact, it is likely that this is the first time you are truly looking at a raisin.)
Gently pick up the raisin with your thumb and index finger and roll it between them. What does the raisin feel like? What are its textures? For this part of the exercise and the remaining parts, it is best to close your eyes because you will no longer be attending to visual sensations.
Rub the raisin across your lips, and notice what that feels like.
Gently place the raisin on your tongue. Just let it sit on your tongue for a few moments. Don’t chew it. Just leave it on your tongue and notice how the raisin feels.
When you’re ready, begin chewing. Bite the raisin very slowly and gently, extending the time it takes to bite through it as long as possible. What is that like? What does the raisin feel like between your teeth? What sensations, textures, tastes, and smells do you notice? If you feel the urge to swallow the raisin right away, just notice that urge, and slowly chew the raisin for a minute or so, without swallowing. Finally, go ahead and give in to the urge to swallow it.
Mindfully eating a raisin is an exercise that you can use to learn the skill of mindfulness. Once you have experienced what it means to be mindful through this and other exercises, you can start practice being mindful in your everyday life.
Mindfulness can be applied to any activity you are engaging in, from the mundane, boring tasks you do every day to those that are important or monumental. Being mindful of daily activities allows us to fully experience them and be truly alive in the moment. For people who are learning mindfulness to help prevent recurrence of major depression, the payoff is particularly high.
Photo courtesy of mag3737
Spiegler, M. D., & Guevremont, D. C. (2010). Contemporary behavior therapy (5th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. ↩
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