The Raisin Experiment: cultivate mindfulness, reduce stress, and enjoy everyday pleasures

At our recent Open Day, campus was buzzing and we were welcoming over 300 guests to our Psychology building, we wanted to help you slow things down…

Our open days are always very busy occasions -we’re aware that you may have travelled a distance, you might have been rushing to get here on time for the talks and demonstrations and you and your parents may have had differing ideas of what you want to get out of the day!

So it was the perfect environment for us to try out this easy mindfulness experiment on you, intended to reduce stress and help you to enjoy everyday pleasures in the moment!

So we invited you to engage with The Raisin Experiment. If you would like to have a go, follow the steps below, and start your mindfulness journey here and now:

Steps 1 – 8:

  1. Hold: Take a raisin, place it in the palm of your hand or between your fingers and thumb.
  2. See: Focus on the individual raisin. Focus with your full attention and with care. Explore the entire raisin from end to end, focusing on its creases, how the light hits it and its unique features.
  3. Touch: Feel the texture of the raisin by turning it between your fingers. Do it first with your eyes shut, then open your eyes and repeat.
  4. Smell: Close your eyes and hold the raisin up to your nose. Take a deep controlled breath in, focus on the smell, any aroma or fragrance that may arise. Breathe out and repeat at least three times. Focus on your breathing and any interactions happening with your stomach.
  5. Place: Close your eyes and find the raisins way to your mouth. Notice how your arms and hand know exactly where to position the raisin. Gently place the raisin in your mouth, and without chewing, focus on the texture on your tongue.
  6. Taste: Once you feel you have explored enough of the smell, touch and position, start to chew. Focus on the way you chew, your chewing habits and the placement of the food. Focus on the taste over time, chew at least 15-20 times before swallowing. You should notice different styles of taste over the duration of your chewing.
  7. Swallow: After chewing 15-20 times, and when you feel ready. Swallow.
  8. The Journey: Once you have swallowed, focus on the raisins journey from mouth to stomach. Finally, focus on the journey you just took. Do you feel calmer? Do you feel you experienced eating in a different way?

You have completed the Raisin Mindfulness Experiment.

You can apply the same steps to everyday experiences, from eating to walking or even before you start your day.

Reconnect with yourself and your environment through mindfulness.