Mindfulness Activity #94

Mindfulness Activity #94

Today’s brief mindfulness involves using strong sensations to connect to present experience. Many people can’t wake up until that first cup of coffee. You have the first sip and feel…alive. The caffeine has not kicked in yet, so what is it? Well, if you have had coffee with caffeine in the past, your body knows what’s coming in 20 minutes. It is anticipating increased alertness. But, it is actually the intense smell and sight of the coffee, and its robust taste that grabs our attention and also functions as a sort of shortcut to a more alert state.

You can use almost any strong sensation for a very brief mindfulness practice. Noticing the sensation of a cold shower, or a hot shower. Noticing the sensation of intense minty toothpaste. The smell of a scented lotion as you rub it into your hands, the sight of a vivid picture of a bright flower, the taste, aroma, and temperature of hot tea—all these things can make for a quick, easy, pleasant mindfulness practice.

The trick is not to sort of notice all these things as you move about, it is to use your senses to connect fully with the sight, smell, sound, taste, or feel of an experience. Note that it does not have to be only one sense or experience.

If you are able today, practice outside. Perhaps, take 5 minutes to have a really hot cup of tea or coffee while sitting outside listening to birds and smelling wet grass. If you are pressed for time, just use your shower or brushing your teeth as your practice. The idea is to pick an activity that provides strong sense experience and throw yourself into it 100%. Breathe deeply to ensure you are fully taking in the experience. That’s it. That’s mindfulness.

These very brief micro-mindfulness experiences work especially well when you have regularly practiced for longer periods, noticing when you are bored and distracted and bringing yourself back to the moment over and over again. Then, your hot tea or your lavender oil function like a shortcut to your mindful state, just like coffee brings you to alertness well before the caffeine has kicked in.

Enjoy connecting to the world with your senses today!

Michele

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