Starting on a mindfulness practice can seem like such a drag. You have to download multiple apps, find time in your busy schedule to sit down, and/or pay money to meditate in a boutique 'meditation' studio. Phew. It wouldn't be surprising if you came out the other side feeling even more frazzled than you already were. Luckily, there's a life hack you could make use of. You could practice mindfulness without having to hunt for free spots on your cluttered time planner – or spending an additional cent. And it's none other than practising mindfulness with your morning coffee. Here’s how you do it.
Steer clear of electronic devices
The basic idea underlying mindfulness is simple. It’s ultimately about being actively aware of what’s going on in the present moment by observing your thoughts and feelings, with distance and without judgement. In other words: being focused and engaged in the here and now – not distracted or mentally absent. So, how can you apply these principles to your morning brew?
Easy. The first step is to resist the temptation of scrolling through social media or tuning in to whatever program's playing on the TV. Instead, allow yourself the luxury of clocking in some offline me-time while you enjoy the caffeine hit. Take your cup of coffee and sit somewhere quiet. No phone, iPad, book, or TV. Just you and your coffee.
Pay attention to everything you see
Now, notice the ridges, curves, and textures on your mug's surface. Here's a warning: if rushing through your morning coffee is your modus operandi, you may find yourself noticing the cup you're using (and all its stains) for the first time. Then, watch the steam rising – what shape does it take as it leaves the surface of your coffee?
Hold the mug near your face; how does the warmth feel against your skin? You don’t have to sit and stare at your coffee for 20 minutes. Just notice everything going on with your cup for, say, a few seconds, at least.
Focus on all the sensations you feel
It's (finally!) time to drink your coffee. As you take your first sip, notice the flavours. Is it bold and bright, or dark and chocolatey? Then swallow. Tune in to how the warmth travels down your throat – and into your belly. Repeat that for every mouthful of coffee you drink. At this point, your mind is going to start to wander. Or maybe it already has! But that's ok. Each time you find your mind wandering off, all you need to do is come back to your coffee. Take another sip and notice that.
If it makes it a little easier for you: you can think of the process of getting lost in thought, noticing that your mind is wandering, then bringing yourself back to the present moment as 1 rep (like in the gym). The more reps you do, the more powerful your 'mindfulness muscles' get.
Mindfulness is a skill – and you’ll get better over time
In line with that concept, you can think of mindfulness as a skill. The more you choose to practice mindfulness with your morning coffee, the better you’re going to get. Do it for long enough – and you’ll start to experience this awareness arise of its own accord; you’ll spend more of your waking hours aware of your thoughts. Isn’t that amazing? And all just because of a simple tweak to your coffee routine?
Psst: the next time you run out of coffee, consider grabbing Lean Blend’s Superfood-Infused ESPRESSO and LATTE. Practice mindfulness with your cup of coffee, and bam! You'd have levelled up your morning coffee routine in 3 ways:
1) the caffeine kickstarts your day,
2) you get the chance to practice mindfulness, and
Honestly, what could be better?