This weekly blog series offers a collection of diverse and effective coping techniques that can reduce stress, improve mental and emotional well-being, and perhaps make you even more effective in achieving your individual goals. Check back every Monday morning for the newest skill of the week.

Courtney Klein“This exercise is about using observation and centering yourself as you eat. Mindful eating is a simple way to reduce stress and help yourself to calm and focus your body and mind. It can be used with any food, and will only take a few minutes.” ~ Dr. Courtney Klein

Mindful Eating

First find a small piece of food, such as a raisin, a piece of fruit, or a square of cheese, anything can work with this technique.

Begin with your eyes and explore the piece of food by looking at it from various angles. Notice the color, shape, and texture. Next use your sense of touch, close your eyes, and explore the food with your fingertips. Notice what the food feels like. Is it hard or soft? Sticky? Moist or dry?

Next, notice the food’s scent. Now slowly take your first bite, noticing the sensations of the food in your mouth as you taste and then chew. Notice the texture of the food and how it feels on your tongue. Notice the flavor of the food and how it might change. Maintain your awareness of these sensations, taking at least 20 seconds to finish this first bite of food. Then take your second bite. Continue to notice the various sensations such as the taste, feel of the food in your mouth, changing of flavors, and the sensations of swallowing. Do this throughout your meal for a deep, and relaxing experience.