Stress Management – The Chocolate Meditation

“HELP… I am STRESSED Out!!!”

*Chocolate Meditation: Don’t have time to meditate or even want to???  You might want to try this one on for size.  I often do this exercise in my Empowerment Workshops as well as Stress Management Workshops when working with large groups, agencies, or companies.

1.  Grab a small piece of chocolate – it could be a Hershey’s kiss or something small.  Don’t like chocolate, no problem you can use a mint, a sugar free hard candy, whatever you fancy.

2.  Sit in a quiet place – Give yourself the next 3 to 5 minutes.  You could sit in your car, shut your office door, lock yourself away from your spouse and/or kids.  Wherever you can get a few quiet moments, do it.

3.  Close your eyes, get comfortable, & relaxed

4.  With your eyes closed – unwrap the chocolate (mint, candy, etc) and just hold it in your hand.

5.  Place it – up to your nose and smell it, keep your eyes closed!  What scents do you smell?  What do you notice that you have not noticed before?  Explore the chocolate with your sense of smell.  Get curious about it.  Do you smell aromas of cinnamon? bitter chocolate? caramel?  Notice if any memories pop up, you might start to salivate anticipating the taste, just be patient and explore for a moment.

6.  Put it – in your mouth and just let it sit on your tongue.  Don’t move it around, don’t bite it, just let it sit there.  Notice your thoughts, notice how you feel… do you feel frustrated, eager, peaceful… just notice, what are you noticing?  It is important not to judge your thoughts, let them pass through like the wind – effortlessly.  Don’t get caught up on doing this “right”, it is for you and your enjoyment. Are you eyes still closed; they should be...

7.  Allow – the chocolate to melt on your tongue, move it around a bit letting it get all over the tongue and teeth.  What tastes do you notice?  Are you reminded of a special time or occasion?  Get present!

8.  Slowly – begin to bite and chew the chocolate, take your time.  If you are usually impatient just notice it and settle in to this moment, bring all your attention and awareness to your sense of taste.

9. Enjoy the moment.  YOU deserve it!  When you are ready presence yourself back into the room and take an inventory of how you feel, are you relaxed, feeling a little more at peace?  If so consider what it might be like to give yourself this undivided attention for 3 – 5 minutes everyday…

In our fast food, fast paced, technology driven society we have to “work at” decompressing, letting go, shutting down and getting centered.  At times it can feel like just “another thing to do” or “another task to add into our already busy schedules”, believe me I get it!  I have learned to take time out to quiet and still the mind as a daily practice.  It becomes a necessity, almost like an information detox – get present, get centered then go be productive.   Keep tuned in for more helpful tips and hints this month.  I you are interested in creating or scheduling a stress management workshop for a group, company or agency please feel free to contact us Katie@FamilyAndCouplesCounseling.com or via phone 954-401-9011

By Katie Lemieux

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