Did you ever have the experience where you just didn’t want a moment to end? It felt so good, you felt so good? I’m willing to bet that even after that moment you felt good for a WHILE! You were savoring that moment, and studies show that the residual effects from savoring a moment last far beyond the moment, increasing your sense of well-being (Bryant 2003, Hurley and Kwon 2007).
Some folks are adept at savoring. Some not so much. Good news is, savoring is not only a trait that some come by naturally, but it is also a skill that can be learned relatively easily, and like all skills, is strengthened with practice.
So, what exactly is savoring? It means to focus on AND enjoy past, current, and future positive events. So you can savor something you are looking forward to (a girl trip with my sister), or remembering (sweet cuddles from my kids), or something that is happening now (a lovely meal I am enjoying, the sun on my shoulders on the first perfect spring day).
Here are some techniques for successful savoring (thanks, Bryant and Verhoff 2007):
- Express positive emotions while you are experiencing the memory or moment. Do this by smiling! Laughing!
- Share your good experiences with others. FYI, this is the very best use of Facebook.
- Focus on the moment! Let yourself become absorbed! You can do this by focusing on the sensory aspects of the moment: the sounds of the instruments in that song you are listening to, the texture and flavors of that delicious bite of chicken parmigiana, the warmth of the sun, the smell of the sea, etc.
- Committing the moment to memory, consciously and deliberately.
- Count your blessings. Name them one by one. More on this later!
Not only can savoring increase your feelings of well-being and happiness, but a recent study by Hurley and Kwon (2011) showed that savoring can DECREASE your feelings of depression. Think about it.
In conclusion! Make savoring a habit! Stop and smell the roses – breathe in that intoxicating scent, enjoy those beautiful colors and velvety texture. Be grateful that such a small thing can improve the world. Remember! Tell others about the beauty of that rose.
peace and love,