If you're finding it difficult to savor the moment, ask yourself this: Do you find yourself mindlessly darting from one thing to another? Are you sometimes more consumed with conquering your “to do” list, than being present in the tasks at hand?
We live in a world where being “busy” is treated as an accolade. But as we get lost in the busyness of life, we lose our ability to be present. We forget to savor the moment. According to scientific research, our well-being is directly impacted by our ability to savor the moment. When we give ourselves permission to stop and take stock of the here and now, we experience greater positive emotion.
I understand life is chaotic. It isn’t always easy to draw ourselves into the moment. This article will outline why it is beneficial to savor the moment. It will also suggest 5 tips to help you do this.
- What does it mean to “savor the moment”?
- What are the benefits of savoring the moment?
- What's stopping you from savoring the moment?
- 5 tips on how you can savor the moment
- Wrapping up
What does it mean to “savor the moment”?
A definition of “savoring” is outlined in this article as:
The capacity to attend to, appreciate, and enhance the positive experiences in one’s life.
It refers to any event, experience, or interaction with another. We could consider savoring the moment as an interaction.
For instance, we take in information from our environment and process it internally, before reacting to it with an action. As such, the savoring part is applicable during our internal processing.
When we learn to savor the moment, we may find we have stronger:
This then influences any actions we may carry out.
What are the benefits of savoring the moment?
According to this article, the short-term impact of savoring the moment allows us to identify, focus on, and increase positive emotions. This leads to greater life satisfaction and a deeper sense of gratitude. It can also improve our coping mechanisms as well as our ability to limit any negative thinking.
The long-term impact of savoring is profound. This study set out to test the impact of savoring intervention in a sample group of 60-year-olds. Consistent with their hypothesis, they found a positive increase in levels of resilience and happiness and a decrease in depressive symptoms.
What's stopping you from savoring the moment?
Very often, life gets in the way of our ability to be present. The list of hassles that keep us from savoring the moment is endless.
Hassles come in all different guises. Here are some examples of what may constitute a hassle:
- Sleep through an alarm.
- Run out of breakfast cereal.
- Burst water pipe.
- Canceled appointments.
- Bike or car puncture.
- Irritating text or email.
- Road closures.
- Change of plans.
As you can see, hassles can be small or large. But they can all have a significant impact on the flow of the day.
In fact, this study discusses hassles and their impact. Hassles pop up regularly in our daily life. They distract us from simply being present and draw our attention elsewhere. This can lead to significantly reduced well-being, including anxiety and depression.
How we react to and deal with our hassles can have huge consequences on our wellbeing. By learning to savor the moment, we learn to control our reactions to our hassles.
5 tips on how you can savor the moment
However we choose to live our life, the one guarantee is that life will go on regardless. We can allow life to happen to us, or we can step behind the steering wheel and actually live it.
Here are 5 tips that will help you savor the moment every day.
1. Do an activity you love every day
All work and no play makes for a very dull life. Seriously, no matter how busy you are, it is vital to schedule at least one activity a day that makes you happy! No cheating, this must be done undisturbed. You must be fully present.
I used to answer emails via my mobile phone, whilst walking my dog. This is one sure way not to savor the moment. Whilst I thought I was being productive and winning at life. I was actually sacrificing one of my favorite times of the day. I was selling my dog short by not engaging fully with him. I was selling myself short by not switching off and savoring the moment.
Now, I leave my phone in the car and pay attention to my dog. I watch him play in the river and act like a goof with other dogs. I feel a flurry of love each time he looks back at me to check I’m still there.
I didn’t notice any of this with my head in my phone.
Whatever activity you schedule, make sure you are fully present. This could be as simple as enjoying your morning coffee in a peaceful spot in your house. Use this time to connect with yourself and engage with your senses and feelings.
2. Put down your phone or camera
We’ve all been part of an incredible experience that we are so desperate to hold on to forever. So desperate that we hide behind a video camera, instead of truly experiencing it then and there.
I had the privilege of watching dozens of whales frolic in the ocean. I gazed, transfixed by their magnificence, whilst others around me watched them from behind a camera. That is not savoring the moment. That is spending more energy in capturing a memory than actually creating a memory.
We are living in a time where videos and photos are taken more readily than vaccinations. But the image you take today will be old news tomorrow.
Please, put down your phone or camera and feel the magnificence of the experience.
3. Engage your senses
A really easy way to savor the moment is to engage with your senses. Linger over what you can smell, hear, taste, see and feel.
When we focus on how our environment impacts our senses, we are forced to be mindful and present. We are encouraged to focus on our environment and look around. Our senses help color our memories.
How many of you have experienced that beautiful nostalgia when we smell cut grass or a particular perfume from our past. We are immediately teleported back to a particular era. This type of nostalgia can improve our self-esteem and optimism. Music can also trigger a similar effect.
Savoring the moment through our senses is a wonderful way to embrace your environment and experience the positive impact on our mental health.
4. Keep a gratitude diary
An easy way to savor the moment is to complete an entry in your gratitude diary at the end of each day. Write down the things you feel most grateful for at that moment. Try to be creative and observant.
When we keep a gratitude diary on a regular basis, we teach our brain to seek out the positives in each circumstance. Gratitude diaries help us train our brain to ignore the negativity bias and focus on the positives.
Please note, that this does not give way to toxic positivity. It is a healthy practice to embrace more positive emotions in general.
5. Celebrate the ordinary
It is only when we have limited time left that we are willing to recognize the extraordinary in the ordinary.
Life is magical, and if you savor the moment, you'll notice that the magic is all around us!
- Waking up next to a loved one.
- Driving our child to school.
- Having the ability and health to go for a run.
- Spending the weekend hanging out with friends.
- Enjoying a BBQ with family.
Very often, it is the ordinary things that we miss if life changes.
My friend suffered the excruciating pain of losing both her children to different diseases. She doesn’t miss the grand events or experiences they shared. She misses the everyday. She cherishes her savored moments from their daily lives. The giggles of her daughter as she skipped to school and the cuddles from her son in the morning.
After all, our savored moments are a snapshot of all that is positive in our lives.
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When we savor the moment, we learn to be truly present and open to the positives all around us. It allows us to pay attention to our life with all our senses. There are many benefits of savoring moments, including the deeper sense of connection and well-being we feel as a result.
How do you make sure you savor every happy moment in your life? Is there a tip you would like to share? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!