I like to mindfully drink a cup of coffee in the morning. What does this mean? It means essentially being present with every aspect of making and drinking the cup of coffee. As I move around the kitchen I am aware of my movements, aware of every step, the pressure of my feet on the floor, the sounds of the espresso machine, the smell of the coffee as the water seeps through into the cup, the visual of the coffee against the white cup, some of that dark brown nectar splashing on the sides of the cup. I watch as the cup fills, relishing the smell, hearing the sounds, feeling the warmth of the cup in my fingers, aware of my body position as I do this.

When the cup is filled I feel the cool, plastic dial between my fingers as I turn off the machine. The smell is delicious and the warmth between my fingers gives me a tingling sensation in the cold morning. I like my coffee with cream so I pour in a dollop, again feeling the cold cream in my hand and the warm cup in the other, watching as it fills and smelling the aroma, it’s pleasing, nice.

The first taste is wonderful, the hot temperature of the coffee on my lips, the bitterness and creaminess of the texture, the feeling on my tongue and sensation in my throat as I swallow, it all happens so quickly but I allow myself to be aware of every moment. Then the feeling in my throat and stomach as the warm drink travels down and settles. I’m aware of my body and the feelings present, where and how I’m sitting and anything around me. Noticing the increase in alertness as the effects of the caffeine bind to the receptors in my brain, a new found clarity sets in, a visual acuity, a feeling that everything is right in the world.

This activity can be applied to everything you do. Whether you are doing the dishes, washing the car, eating a meal, going for a walk, at work, at home, relaxing, meditating or exercising. The list is endless. By using all of our five senses (sight, sound, touch, smell, and hearing) we can reconnect to where we are, who we are and how we feel at any time.

Mindfulness allows us to pay attention without judgment to what is happening physically, mentally and emotionally in the present moment. When the mind is racing with reoccurring unhelpful thoughts focused on the past or the future, mindfulness helps us to stay present with what is happening right now. Mindfulness training in the form of sitting meditation is the most effective way to develop mindfulness skills, however, we can practice being mindful in everyday life by observing what is happening around and within us.

When we observe our thoughts, sensations, and emotions we can gain greater clarity and a clearer perspective about the way things really are rather than how we perceive them. With regular practice, mindfulness contributes to feeling more able to cope with life’s challenges.

About the author:

Andrew Derbyshire is a Remedial Massage Therapist, passionate about helping people optimize their bodies function, reduce pain, stiffness and movement restrictions to assist people to live their lives to the fullest.

Andrew shares his time at a busy Medical ward as a clinical nurse.

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