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How Mindful Drinking Can Change Your Life

By now, we've probably all heard about mindfulness - a type of meditation that focuses on what you're sensing and feeling in the moment. It often involves breathwork or guided imagery, and can reduce stress and overall improve the quality of our lives and our relationships - both with ourselves and others. 

Perhaps you've also heard of something called mindful eating, too. This is basically the practice of mindfulness applied to our daily activity of eating - you eat slowly, truly savoring your food. Phones are away, the TV's turned off, and your only "distraction" might be a conversation with your loved ones. 

Mindful drinking is just that - except instead of eating, you're drinking! And this doesn't have to be limited to happy hour, either! I love to practice mindful drinking because it happens at least eight times a day (if you're getting your recommended water intake, that is!). 

A great way to practice mindful drinking is to make every glass feel like a special occasion. I like to create a little ritual around making a drink. I take an intentional break from work - even just two minutes! - that I know increases my productivity and focus. 

Here's how it goes. I fill a glass with ice from the freezer, and add a tablespoon of my shrub-du-jour. I usually choose Ginger and Hawaiian Chili because it adds some extra digestive goodness! I take a moment to appreciate just how good it smells - a rich spicy aroma, with just a hint of sweetness. I fill up the glass with water, taking a moment to feel grateful that I have clean, cool water flowing from my kitchen sink. Sometimes I'll add a squeeze of lemon or head out to my garden and grab a mint leaf (even in the middle of winter! Those things are immortal!). 

I sip. I savor. I notice the feeling of the water on my tongue. I can taste not just the flavor, but the whole ginger root. The whole spice of the Hawaiian chilis transports me instantly to the tropical fields of Maui where they were grown. I can almost see the expanse of bright blue sky and hear the gentle waves of the Pacific Ocean.

If I'm drinking a Cascade flavor, it's easy to imagine the beautiful mountains that look out over the fields that grow the ingredients - I just look out the window! I think about the hands that have lovingly made this bottle of shrub from scratch. I can hear the music they listen to while they stir a new batch. 

I usually end up smiling just because it tastes so good. I finish the glass and head back to work. 

I feel inspired, hydrated, and energized - ready to take on anything the day might hold. And it took two or three minutes at most! 

Repeat as often as needed : )

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