This sweetheart season, use candy to be more mindful.
Make a date this Valentine’s Day to savor the gift of cocoa. Mindful eating encourages us to fully experience our food—its aroma, flavor, texture—and how it makes us feel. Eating chocolate is proven to calm nerves and promote happiness (it releases dopamine), and when we practice mindfulness as we consume it, we’re offered a window into our mind and its long-held associations with this food. With practice, mindful eating can help you be more present in other areas of your life—making you better equipped to handle anything that comes your way, whether sour or sweet.
- Observe – Hold the chocolate in your hand. Mindfully take in what you see: What color is the wrapper? Is light reflecting off of it? Can you smell the candy? Feel its texture and its weight in your hand. Study it with curiosity.
- Unwrap – Listen as you remove the candy from its wrapper. What sounds does it make? Do you smell anything? Keep focusing on shape, color, and texture. Does it feel soft or hard? Smooth or rough?
scan Bring the chocolate toward your mouth, but don’t bite into it yet. How does your body react? Are you salivating? Can you feel anticipation arising elsewhere for the bite you’re about to take? What thoughts can you identify? Do you feel excited? Impatient? Hesitant? Observe your thoughts and feelings as though you’re watching them move through your mind like clouds in the sky.
- Taste – Now, take a small bite, and let it linger on your tongue, slowly rolling the creamy morsel around in your mouth. Is it sweet? Salty? Bitter? Fruity? Nutty? Try not to judge the flavor or categorize it as good or bad—simply experience it. Slowly begin to chew, keeping mindful