Pick up a raisin and hold it in the palm of your hand. Look at it. Examine it. Describe the raisin. What does it look like? What color is it? How would you describe the texture? Now, feel the raisin in the palm of your hand. What does it feel like against your skin? Pick it up with your other hand. What does it feel like in your fingers? Is it slimy? Rough? Smooth? Soft? Hard? Squeeze it softly. What do you feel? Smell the raisin. Describe how it smells. Put the raisin in your mouth, but do not eat it. What does it feel like on your tongue? What does the texture feel like now? How does it taste? How does the taste compare to the way it smelled? Move it around in your mouth and notice every aspect of the raisin. Bite the raisin and think about what you taste. Now how does the raisin feel in your mouth? Finish chewing and eat the raisin. How did it taste? Describe the experience of the raisin.
This exercise is about cultivating awareness and beginning to learn to focus on the here-and-now. It is about being in the present moment and not missing out on it. Sometimes, much of our anxiety or fear is a result of focusing our thoughts on the future - or the past - and forgetting to be present here in this moment. Right here, in this very moment, those things may not need or deserve our attention.
This exercise (or a variation of it) can be done with just about anything. Try a pretzel or a piece of fruit. It can also be done with just about any activity. What would it be like to notice every detail of something that we normally do automatically and without much thought? What would it be like to notice every aspect of brushing your teeth or putting on your shoes? Break the activity down into its most fundamental elements. Be right there in the moment. Notice everything. Be nowhere else. Don't miss right now.