Savoring as a Happiness Tool

by | Dec 15, 2022 | Leadership Coaching, Personal Development

Life is so busy. Rush rush rush. We’re moving so fast and have so much on our plates.

We’re also well into the giving and holiday season when there’s lots to do, from cooking special meals to shopping for gifts to traveling to see family to supporting our year-end giving campaigns.

Amid this busyness, how can you slow down and savor good moments?

Savoring is taking time to enjoy the small pleasures of life, like a great latte, a beautiful sunset, or a nice walk. It’s often disregarded as a waste of time. 

We’re so busy finishing a task that we don’t spend a few moments savoring and living in the present.

Research shows that people who slow down and take time to savor positive experiences and moments in their lives enjoy more positivity and good feelings about daily life.

People who study happiness are exploring techniques we can employ to linger in positive experiences and feelings, like love, joy, gratitude, appreciation, peace, and serenity.

Savoring can help us counteract our tendency to focus more attention on negative things in our lives than on positive things.

Savoring can help us counteract our tendency to focus more attention on negative things in our lives than on positive things.

It multiplies our joy by diminishing the space in our minds devoted to negative thoughts and by amplifying the effects of positive thoughts and feelings.

Many of us fall into the trap of thinking that happiness is around the corner. When we do X, or when Y happens, we’ll be happy. 

Savoring allows us to notice and to enjoy the good things already present in our lives.

How can you incorporate savoring into your daily life, especially when you’re busy? It’s simple, and it doesn’t take much time. 

Savoring Suggestions

  1. Recall a positive experience. Maybe it’s the delicious lavender latte you enjoyed last week, those moments when you were reading a bedtime story to your child, a special vacation, or a beautiful orange and pink sunset. It can be something that happened last night, last week, or last year. There are no rules. Anything that’s positive or pleasurable can be savored. 
  2. Spend some time in that moment, recalling the thing, event, or place. There’s no rush. There’s no time limit.
  3. You might want to turn off the TV or put down your phone to increase your mindfulness in the moment. Sip that delicious coffee slowly. Is it the taste or the aroma that you enjoy most? How hot is the coffee? What does it smell like? 
  4. If you find it difficult to savor something, think back to a positive experience you had and try to relive it. You can even look at a physical reminder such as a picture, video, or memento from your experience to help trigger a savoring memory.
  5. Bring your focus to the positive details, and to the positive feelings you experienced at the time.
  6. Don’t analyze yourself or the savoring process. You don’t have to evaluate whether you’re doing this well or not. There is no judgment. This is a moment for you, without negativity or hesitation.

Savoring is intended to increase the duration and intensity of your positive emotions, not judge them or yourself. It’s a tool you can use most anywhere from your office to your car.

Try it and see if it brings you a few moments of joy, happiness, and peace despite the busyness of the season.