That feeling when you kick back, relax and contently take in everything that’s happening around you.
When you relish the taste of a piece of good chocolate or bask in the beauty of nature.
Savouring is the art of consciously enjoying wonderful moments. It’s about noticing and appreciating the good things in life, by consciously paying attention to pleasurable experiences. By being aware of what you feel, sense and see, you actively construct vivid memories and prolong good experiences.
According to Fred Bryant and Joseph Veroff, authors of Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience, savouring intensifies and lengthens positive emotions. Research suggests that those positive feelings elicited by savouring protect against the negative effects of poor health by reducing stress and increasing optimism. Practicing savouring also leads to more life satisfaction, stronger relationships and better performance.
And the good news is: you can easily enhance your wellbeing with savouring. Have a look at these 21 ideas to make the most of everyday moments.
21 Ideas for Savouring Everyday Moments
- Capture a typical day in pictures, to notice the beauty of everyday items and rituals.
- Wonder your city instead of purposely going from A to B. No using Google Maps!
- Wear a new perfume (sample) or a different body lotion.
- Really listen. To ‘silence’, the chirping birds or the rumble of city life. Pay close attention to what someone’s saying – out loud and reading between the lines.
- Explore the sensations of different touch and pressure with self-massage. From simply rubbing your feet and circling your temples to using a self-massage tool with oil for a deeply relaxing experience, self-massage is a good way to get in touch with your body.
- Prep your meal mindfully. Notice the aromas and textures of your ingredients.
- Literally stop and smell the roses.
- Work in the garden and engage all your senses. Feel your hands in the soil, the sun on your skin, a breeze through your hair. Smell the flowers and the earthiness.
- Sing, dance and get lost in the moment.
- Kiss with passion.
- Burn incense, a scented candle or diffuse essential oils. Take your time to create a calming atmosphere. That way, the simple act of lighting a candle, closing your eyes for a quick prayer or mantra and appreciate the warmth and smell becomes a meaningful practice.
- Grow aromatic herbs and spices, and use them in your cooking.
- Make a little ritual of drinking your cup of coffee or tea in the morning, like your own version of a Japanese tea ceremony.
- Don’t just turn on the radio as background noise, but really listen to the melodies and lyrics.
- Take a mental photograph of amazing experiences. Take in everything that’s happening around you, to make it a truly unforgettable moment.
- Be fully present when you hug your child or stroke your pet.
- Broaden your palate. Did you know there’s a fifth taste, called umami? It’s the savoury, meaty element in Parmesan cheese, miso and mushrooms. Eat your meals with attention to identify new, more complex flavours.
- Get creative. Paint with your fingers, try pottery or knitting, work with wood.
- Go forest bathing. The act of spending time in the woods using your five senses proves to be great for your physical, mental and emotional health. Make sure you leave your phone at home.
- Look with the curiosity and the bewonderment of a child.
- Have screen-free Sundays or no-tech nights. When there are no constant distractions around, it’s much easier to pay attention to your surroundings and the sensations you’re experiencing.
What’s your favourite way for savouring everyday moments?
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