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No time for mantras, sound baths or hot yoga, but need a relaxing moment in your chaotic daily life? Here’s a new fast, fun method to try. Floral mindfulness, as we’ve nicknamed it, is a technique taught by Megan Montenaro of Relax, It’s Flowers. The L.A.-based florist teaches elements of cognitive therapy and 12-step recovery along with floral know-how (she’s done flowers for the Jane Club and Kendra Scott). Her next class, on wreath making, is December 15.Here, Montenaro tells us how to use simple supermarket flowers in a five-minute self-care practice.

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flower market
Twenty20

Step 1: Buy $10 flowers as a moment of self-love

Montenaro reminds her floral students that “you can’t pour from an empty cup,” meaning we need to nourish ourselves before we can tend to the needs of our family, friends, work and home. Even a humble bouquet reminds us to cultivate beauty and habits of self-care in our lives.

peonies arranging
Twenty20

Step 2: Experience the flowers for the first time

As you’re placing the flowers in a vase, try this exercise: Describe the blooms as though you have never seen a flower before and concentrate on really seeing what’s in front of you, using very basic terms (e.g., it’s red, scratchy and smells like the outdoors). 

rustic wreath
Twenty20

Step 3: As you arrange them, try this half-smile exercise

Now take a moment to inhale deeply. As you exhale, relax your face and smile slightly (not a giant grin—think Mona Lisa). Voilà, you’re more relaxed and serene. How does this work? According to Montenaro, studies have shown that changing your facial expression affects howyou feel. That’s because our facial muscles communicate with the part of our brain that controls emotions. Relish this moment and recall it the next time you’re sitting in traffic.

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