If you’re one of the millions of people who start their morning with a cup of coffee, hooray; you’ve got an easy, already built-in time to practice mindfulness! Remember, we can make almost any activity a mindful one, just by bringing our attention and our awareness to what we’re doing in the moment. It’s the practice of this over and over that builds and strengthens our mindfulness “muscle.”
To turn your morning cup of coffee into an exercise in mindfulness, sip with curiosity, bringing all your attention and focus to the process of drinking your coffee.
Notice the steam rising, the shape it takes as it leaves the mug. Briefly hold your face or hand above the steam and notice the sensation, the temperature, and the dampness of the steam. As you hold the mug, notice the shape your hand and fingers take around the mug. Notice any ridges, curves, or texture on the mug’s surface. Feel the transition of heat and notice how this warms your hands. Slowly bring the mug to your lips, feeling the contact between your lips and the mug’s rim. As you take your first sip of coffee, notice the flavors, perhaps bold and bright or hints of caramel or chocolate. Pay attention to the coffee as you swallow, noticing the liquid move down your throat and through your body, finally resting in your stomach. Repeat slowly for the one to two more sips.
It may seem silly to make a simple sip of coffee into such an ordeal, but this is a great practice in mindfulness. I wouldn’t recommend drinking your entire cup of coffee this way (unless you have 20 minutes to spare), so focus on making the first two to three sips mindful ones.
Sip with curiosity, and work out your mindfulness muscle before you’ve even finished your breakfast!
PS: Want another simple way to practice mindfulness in the morning? See this post.
As always, sip safely and with common sense, as coffee is hot. Consider this my “side of the McDonalds cup” disclaimer.