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Endangered Species Chocolate*
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Mindfulness Practices are all the rage right now. It’s no wonder because these techniques have so many benefits. Here are 3 great reasons you should try them.

  1. Mindfulness Practices reduce stress and anxiety. These practices lower levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the bloodstream and relieve depression. Practicing mindfulness leads to a sense of well-being and happiness.
  2. Mindfulness Practices improve social relationships, communication, and relieves loneliness. Practicing mindfulness increases openness to experience, conscientiousness, and feeling of compassion and caring towards others.
  3. Mindfulness Practices improve your health. Those who practice these techniques regularly have fewer medical visits and recover from illness faster. Mindfulness boosts your immunity, psychologic responses, and reduces pain.

So what exactly is mindfulness? It is just being aware. Focusing on the present moment, your thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations. Observing and then calmly accepting everything as it is right now. There are many easy ways to cultivate mindfulness. Here are two of my favorite mindfulness meditations and they are fun to do.

Sipping: Slowly sip glass of lemon water, natural juice, or my favorite, a cup of herbal tea. Choose a beverage that is flavorful but decaffeinated. Avoid artificial substances like aspartame or sugary drinks like colas. Savor the taste and the wetness of the liquid on the tongue. If is a hot, feel the warmth and the steam on your face. If is a cold drink, luxuriate on the sensation of coolness as each sip glides down your throat. Notice the temperature of the glass on your hands. Enjoy the taste and the smell of the liquid. Pause between sips.

Mindfulness Meditation Sipping

 
The Chocolate Meditation: Mindfulness enhances the joys of daily life and makes small things become captivating. One of my absolute favorite mindfulness meditations is the Chocolate Meditation. Choose a healthy chocolate, like Endangered Species brand. Sometimes it’s fun to try a new flavor but this meditation even makes the familiar seem exquisite.Before you start, get into a comfortable seated position. First notice everything about the color, shape, and feel of the wrapper. Then slowly unwrap the chocolate, notice how it feels in your hand, smell the scent as the wrapper unfolds, pay attention to every part of the process of opening the chocolate. Next break off a piece of chocolate and hold it in your hand, observe its color, and drink in the smell. Then slowly bring the chocolate up to your mouth and place it on your tongue. Allow it to melt as you bring all your attentions to chocolate while you are eating it. Resist the urge to chew or wait till the last second to chew if there are nuts or berries in the bar. Really notice its texture, taste, and its smell as the chocolate melts. See if you can distinguish different flavors like sweet or bitter, or specific flavors contained in the bar that you’re eating. Notice the feeling of swallowing the delicious chocolate. Pay attention to everything. Repeat the process till your done. If your mind wanders at any point of your meditation, no worries, just gently bring your attention back to the chocolate and the present moment. What did you notice about this meditation? Did the chocolate taste better or worse than when you just wolf it down? How did this experience make you feel? If you like this meditation, share this post so everyone can enjoy mindfulness through the Chocolate Meditation.  🙂

*You can find Endangered Species Chocolate at Earth Fare or Online: http://chocolatebar.com

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