Today I attended the first of four weekly sessions on mindfulness.
A short course offered by my university for free I figured that it seemed worth giving a go.
I wasn’t disappointed.
We learnt about what mindfulness actually is first. It’s not about emptying your mind – which by the way, is basically impossible – but about acknowledging how busy your brain is and becoming able to focus on the here and now.
The first thing we did was the raisin exercise – which was supposed to use raisins but my instructor had left over Halloween candy so we used that instead – which was really quite interesting. We took our chosen sweet and just held it for a moment, taking in the way it looked and feeling its texture, before placing it in our mouths. We then held it there for a couple of minutes, just savouring the taste and everything else about the sweet, before finally eating it. In doing so we discovered new flavours and elements to food we had eaten before time and time again. We learnt that not only does this work as a weight loss technique – yay! – but more importantly it allows us to truly experience pleasure in what we’re eating.
So often we’ll eat our meals without even thinking about it, rushing through it’s consumption while watching TV or browsing social media on our phones; but in doing this we’re missing out on the real pleasure the act provides.
I tried this technique this evening and it actually worked. Not only did I feel fuller more quickly – thus stopping me from overeating – but I truly enjoyed the act itself (even if it was cold leftover pasta from the day before!)
So I suppose I would recommend mindfulness now; only one session in and I’m hooked on the small but impactful changes it can make in your day to day life.
Why don’t you give it a go. There’s nothing to lose.