Tuesday, October 16, 2012

By Claudia Ricci

They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but can eating an apple also make you happy?

I discovered today at lunch that it can.

I walked in my office in one of those moods.

Tired of teaching. Tired of being tired of teaching.

I reached for a book on my shelf: THE MINDFUL WAY THROUGH DEPRESSION.

Thinking, this might be worth reading over lunch.

And this is what happened.

The book suggested that when a bad mood hits, don’t go down the road trying to think your way out of it. Don’t try to solve it, trace it, tackle it, track it, fix it, get to the bottom of it and by all means,

Don’t decide that because you are in a low mood right now, that you are destined to be depressed the rest of the day or the rest of your life.

Instead, slow wayyyyyyyyyy down. Embrace the moment.

The moment in this case happened to be

Me eating my sliced apple for lunch.

So I did with the apple what they suggest you do with a handful of raisins:

n  Hold the apple in your hand and “imagine that you’ve just dropped in from Mars and have never seen an object like this before in your life.”

n  See the apple, “take time to really see it”

n  Touch it between your fingers

n  Smell it

n  Place a small amount on your lip, then place it in your mouth, without chewing (hard to do!)

n  Spend a few moments just feeling the feeling of having it in your mouth

n  Now really taste and feel it: slightly cool, slightly sweet but with a little bit of tartness; the apple softens as it sits against my cheek

n  Leave it there a little longer, and say a prayer of gratitude that you have a fresh apple for lunch!

n  Now, with a little smile on your face, because you have been able to bring yourself to a place of happiness eating a slice of apple, be conscious of “the intention to swallow.” Be grateful that you have all the muscles in your mouth and throat to swallow!

n  “Sense how the body as a whole is feeling after completing this exercise in mindful eating.”

Lunch was over, and it was time to go to my next class. But when I left my office, I was smiling. And I was savoring a couple of chunks of apple in my mouth.

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