When we practice the art of savoring, do we get better at savoring?

Last week, we looked at how we can learn to savor the meaningful experiences in our lives.  We start by being 100% present with the experience.  We focus our attention as narrowly as possible on what is happening at this moment.  We deliberately choose not to multi-task and to let go of distracting thoughts and ongoing esteem or social concerns.  

Next, we deliberately cultivate feelings of openness.  We decide to see something we’ve seen before as if it was the first time, write Fred B. Bryant and Joseph Veroff in Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience.  

We can be intentional about being open to surprises.  “Preserving the joy of surprise may in some cases serve to prolong one’s savoring of positive events,” note Fred and Joe.

Other savoring strategies we might experiment with include adopting an inquiring mindset.  We take a journalist’s perspective and “report” the answers we find to ourselves.

Finally, we actively build memories.  We search for memorable details that we will remember.  “The more closely and completely [we] focus our attention on a particular positive experience, the clearer and more vivid will be our feelings and the greater our potential to savor the experience,” the authors write.

“A simple but potentially effective approach to savoring is merely to notice and explicitly acknowledge to oneself the things one finds pleasurable in one’s immediate environment,” Fred and Joe suggest.

In fact, research shows that our happiness increases when we make “a conscious effort to notice and explicitly acknowledge the various sources of joy around [us].”

According to Fred and Joe: “Practicing the art of savoring may actually help people become better at savoring.”

More next week!


Reflection: Do I spend enough time savoring the meaningful moments in my life?

Action: Slow down.  Pay attention.  Be grateful.

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