Can eating a raisin really help you relax?
Jon Kabat-Zinn introduced the Buddhist technique of mindful eating at a stress-reduction clinic many years ago. You will need a raisin and a timer. The goal is to spend three to five minutes eating one raisin. That’s right … one raisin. The point of this exercise is to notice details and be present.
How often do you eat and not really experience your food? Learning this technique can show you how to feel more satisfied with smaller amounts of food. For example, you will be able to eat just a couple M&Ms versus a whole bag.
First, pick up the raisin and look at it. Notice wrinkles, the color, the fragrance, how it feels between your fingers. When you have noticed everything there is to notice about this raisin, put it up to your lips, but not in your mouth yet.
Just touch the raisin to your lips and see what you notice. How does it feel? Notice the texture, the wrinkles, the firmness, and again, how it smells. Next, put the raisin in your mouth, but don’t bite it right away. Just roll it around on your tongue and see what you notice.
Keep rolling the raisin around in your mouth, noticing everything possible. It may change in texture, taste and become softer.
Remember the goal is to take three to five minutes to eat this one raisin. When you have noticed all you can about the raisin, and how it has changed since you started this exercise, you can bite into it. Don’t chew it all at once; just take a bite and let it squish between your teeth. Notice what it feels like, the flavor, the sweetness, the texture, the aroma. Continue to chew it slowly and enjoy its entire flavor.
The response I often get from people who try this exercise is that they never realized how much flavor there is in just one raisin. This exercise allows you to savor the eating experience.
When we don’t pay attention to what we are doing, we are not mindful and present. We don’t get the full experience. One bite can allow you to feel more satisfied than may have ever imagined.
Your action step is to try the raisin exercise. You will be amazed at how easy it can be to include mindful meditation in your everyday life. It can make a huge difference in your well-being.
Bonnie Groessl is a best-selling author, podcast host, holistic nurse practitioner and success coach. Her mission is to educate, empower and facilitate your well-being while nurturing the mind-body-spirit connection. You can find links to her books, guided meditation audios, blog and podcast at www.bonniegroessl.com