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Knowing now that what we take in through our senses affects the way we see and feel about life, now is our chance to become more aware and intentionally pay attention to what we are ingesting. Instead of thinking of all the things we need to do today, take a moment to deliberately choose to hold that warm cup and attend to how it makes your hands feel and the thoughts and emotions that arise alongside it.


Whether you are a coffee or tea drinker or not, this study invites us to consider how our senses may affect our mood and outlook on life. While this study focused on the feeling of warmth, I would argue that the various sensations we take in day in and day out all have an effect on how we feel. However, we often lose sight of our senses as we go through our day with our minds one step ahead of us thinking of what we need to do next. We're actually hardly ever present to what we are sensing as life becomes routine and we lose that sense of wonder we had as a child. Children can be great teachers of really being with whatever they are paying attention to.
Researchers out of Yale University recently conducted a study to find out the simple answer to the question: How does holding something warm affect the way we see life? They split undergraduate participants into two groups with one group hold a cup of hot coffee and the other holding a cold cup of coffee. They then asked each group to say what they thought of a fictitious person. Drum roll....they found that those who held the warm cup actually saw the person as happier, friendlier, and generous.
Millions of people look forward to that hot cup of coffee or tea in the morning. There's something about it that just seems to feel comfortable and even the thought of it may make us feel good. Can it help alleviate stress, anxiety and depression?

 



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