Putting Positive Psychology into Practice – Savoring

As I continue to actively put Positive Psychology into practice, I am exploring some of the practices in more depth. Today I wanted to think/write more about Savoring to see if it stimulated some new activity ideas.  Savoring is the #1 Positive Practice in my list of 11 (see blog link here).

When I first think about the term savor, I tend to think about food.  Maybe that is the foodie in me coming out!  But my exploration into Savoring has opened up my thinking:

  • Savor with all 5 senses aka Luxuriating.  Yes, there is savoring taste.  Taking the time while eating to enjoy the food versus eating mindlessly while doing something else.  (Huge issue for me!).  But there is also savoring what I am looking at.  For example: savoring the view from my back patio at various times of the day or watching a manatee feed on the sea grass were two examples last month of savoring what I was seeing. And there is savoring what I am hearing – the call of the osprey, the wind in the palms.  And savoring touch like the sand on the beach, the cool tile underfoot, or the soft bed as I get ready to sleep.  And stopping to notice the smell of the ocean or cooking.  Savoring with all five senses means slowing down to notice the moments. So, beyond the slow indulgent meals I love, I am going to think about choosing things I love to wearing (clothing for touch/feel & sight), lighting scented candles (scent), and turning on some music.
  • Savor the experiences – before, during and after. Since Invest in Experience (not things) is also a Positivity Practice, this one is an overlap.  But it fits savor as well as I think about:
    • Anticipate.  Plan and think about the upcoming positive experiences. Positive anticipation is often mentioned as a benefit of trip planning!  There might not be much big planning happening right now (2020 pandemic), but  I can use my not-quite-a-bullet journal to look ahead with positive expectation. My challenge here is to not set too high expectations for the experience.
    • Participate.  Take the time and allow the time for the full experience – yes, savor it!.  Tune out distractions and interruptions.  Marvel at what’s happening.   Bask in the feeling of accomplishment.  Do a happy dance of enjoyment.  Recently I saw a reference to doing 15-minute weekly “awe-walks”  (new Cool Tool!) where you just spend the time noticing what’s around you. I’m going to add those to my things to do this month.
    • Celebrate/Reminisce.  Look back at the experience and re-live it. Think about journaling about it or taking pictures to refer back to. Tell the story of the experience to others. Acknowledge how grateful you are for the experience.   I’ve noted in the past that something can feel anti-climatic when it’s finally been done, but this is a mindset shift to celebrate it.  I will be trying to focus on this mindset as we hit our next big-move milestone.
  • Savor with Gratitude.  While this is another duplicate (Practice #3), it also fits under savoring.  And a bit under reminisce (above) as well.   But gratitude is savoring life’s blessings.  Recently, a friend encouraged me to write down 25 things making me happy right now.  I was in a bit of a downward spiral (I’m sure many can relate to this right now!).  This New Tool (25 Things I am Happy about Today) really did shift my mindset.  While I do write down gratitude’s daily, sometimes a boost like this tool can also be helpful.

Savoring life’s rich experiences enhances the positive feeling of those experiences and boosts happiness.  Hopefully in the above you can find a new tool to use in putting Positive Psychology into practice for yourself.

What are you savoring today?

Picture credit: Me – savoring the view from my window!

19 thoughts on “Putting Positive Psychology into Practice – Savoring

  1. I agree with Leanne…savoring would be a great WOTY next year. This pandemic has forced me to slow down and contemplate things more. The books I am reading, the activities I am planning. But sometimes I overthink things, too. Awe walks sound like a gift you can give to yourself. Going to give that idea a try.

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    1. The pandemic has definitely caused me to slow down. My challenge is to accept the slow down… even luxuriate in it. As opposed to thinking about what I’m missing or what I hoping for the future. Savor the moments… the mid-afternoon nap in the sun, the late afternoon walk with hubby, making a new chili recipe. Not worry about filing every moment of the day with productivity. Read a book, do the Sunday crossword. That’s enough – savor those things. That’s my pep talk to myself tonight!

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  2. I love that word, Pat: luxuriating. Savoring experiences is something I am continually working on. Too often I’m looking ahead to the next task, the next activity, even the next meal. Meditation has helped– and mindful eating practices. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

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    1. Christie, Yes, isn’t luxuriating a great word? I’m also very much a “destination” girl… what comes next, are we there yet. So savoring is definitely a learning space. Even tonight, I rushed though dinner… and it was a really nice new chili recipe (OK, I liked it, hubby was so-so on it.) Mindful eating is something I really need to look into!

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  3. Hi Pat – I think savouring is a great word (note my Aussie spelling of it!) it would make a wonderful #WOTY too. I think as a lot of us have slowed our pace of living down, savouring has become part of our everyday lives – I sometimes stand in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil and pause to think how lovely my life is and how fortunate I am – stepping away from the hamster wheel of work has been such a godsend for me – and one I’m grateful for every day!

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    1. Leanne, I chuckled at the Aussie spelling comment. You do love your “u”s! And your comment also made me realize I have not thought about my WOTY for months. Ouch! I will definitely revisit mine this month. It’s crazy to think I should be contemplating one for next year already, but in fact, I jotted two down just the other day. One was from you… Vibrant. But first, revisit this year’s and see how it played out.

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    1. Tom, Going from my Florida view to my Ohio view took a bit in appreciating the difference. But, finally some sun, and the last of the leaf color. Even today with freezing temps, I am appreciating the sunny sky and falling leaves.

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  4. On trips, I’ve been known to say “let’s savor the moment”, especially when I was working and wanted my vacation to slow down. Now, whether I say it or not, I frequently pause and just think about the beauty around me. I think I’ve always been pretty good at letting things sink in and appreciating where I am at the moment. I may even say a little prayer of thanks. And watching my parents age has shown me I have to appreciate each and every day.

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    1. I’ve not always been good at savoring the moments…. I’ve been more a destination than journey girl. Hubby has given me plaques, bracelets, T-shirts, and stickers to remind me “it’s the journey, not the destination”. It’s wonderful you’ve learned early on to slow down and savor the moments. But, I’m learning it now.

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