It’s getting more and more difficult in our fast-paced world to find time each day to relax a little and enjoy ourselves. It can be tough to even find brief pockets of time where we aren’t thinking about where we have to be, what we have to do next, and what we have to remember.
Everyone is rushed.
We move fast. We eat fast. We multitask.
Each night it seems as if the day has flown by. We remember very few moments of joy, simply because they were rushed or diminished because we were physically there, but mentally someplace else.
How do you stop the madness and bring more joy and ease into your life?
The first thing you must do is to make a conscious decision to actively look for the joy. Be proactive and decide that it is important to make room in your life for it.
Bringing awareness to this unmet need urges you to become more mindful. Being mindful is about being fully aware of yourself in the present moment. It’s about noticing your thoughts and responses, without judgment. Awareness is a hugely powerful tool and the absolute must-have first step when we want to make a healthy change in our lives.
When we are fully present we give ourselves the magical opportunity to make micro-choices that add up to big changes. One of my clients lost 25lbs just by practicing mindful eating!
In a mindful state, we maintain an open, curious, and receptive awareness that notices everything about the present moment. You may notice good feelings and thoughts, unpleasant sensations, or unexpected reflections to come through. Savoring has to do with lingering on a feeling or experience.
Savoring has many definitions but my favorite one I’ve come across is:
“Giving oneself to the enjoyment of the present moment.”
If you struggle with how to be mindful; simply try to savor your positive experiences, big and small.
1. Savor Your Food.
It takes 20 minutes for your brain to register fullness. Slowing down naturally puts you more in touch with your true hunger and strengthen the connection between mind and body.
Choose foods you love and that you are in the mood for. Experiment with spices and combine unexpected flavors. Chew thoroughly. Pay attention to the aroma, the texture, the temperature, and appearance. Practice honing in on one sense at a time. For example, closing your eyes as you take a bite helps you focus on the taste and notice hints of flavor you might not have otherwise recognized. Imagine the ways in which this meal is nourishing every cell and providing the fuel you need to be your best.
2. Savor Gratitude.
Soak in your gratitude by capturing your thoughts in a gratitude journal. Surprisingly, journaling 1-3 times per week is more effective than daily journaling. Writing your intentions and thoughts wires this message to your brain and helps you ingrain the positive associations. If you find yourself leaning towards the negative, starting a gratitude journal will assist you in seeing the gifts in your life and how life is always working for you.
3. Savor Your Surroundings.
Take in a beautiful sunset. Star-gaze. Watch the first snowfall. Realize that it is a gift to be able to see the amazing world you live in. Listen to the waves crash, hear the seagulls caw, and feel the warm breeze blow through your hair. Feel the warmth of the sun on your body and the sand beneath your feet. Being in nature often helps us to reflect on how lucky we are to be here and experience this beauty and awe that surrounds us each day.
4. Savor Your Natural Abilities.
I believe we all have a set of natural gifts and abilities and that when we find them and use them for the greatest good we experience fulfillment and joy. It’s up to us to be open to finding our passions and tapping into doing the things we love to do. It takes a lot of experience but when you discover your zone of genius, work feels a lot like play. You’re in
5. Savor The Many Ways You Make a Difference.
All human beings have a need to contribute and serve. Research demonstrates that volunteering leads to better health and that older volunteers are the most likely to receive physical and mental health benefits from their volunteer activities. But you don’t need to formally volunteer with an organization to fulfill your need to make a difference. You can find opportunities every day to make someone smile and lighten their load. Send a text to a friend, do a favor before it is asked, listen, ask questions, show concern and care.
Savoring your positive experiences extends the amount of time you feel pleasure and allows you the opportunity to appreciate that it is more than okay to feel pleasure. It does not need to be rushed! When you savor the space of time you are currently in you will begin to find clues to what really makes you happy (which leads to better health as well)!
How do you savor special moments? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear your savoring stories!