Living in the present is often elusive. We’re often racing from one task to the next or anticipating what’s ahead. This can contribute to depression and anxiety, which negatively impacts relationships. Stopping to savor small moments can help.
Research suggests that people are happier when they’re focused on doing one task at a time and unhappy when multi-tasking, distracted or not engaged in what they are doing. According to Fred Bryant, a social psychologist and professor at Loyola University in Chicago, “savoring” is the ability to deliberately take in the pleasures we experience in our lives, moment by moment. When mastered, it gives us the ability to deeply feel, integrate, appreciate and even prolong good moments.
Practice savoring with these six strategies:
1. Make pleasurable experiences last as long as possible. Reflect on one or two positive experiences for two or three minutes per day. Be conscious of deliberately remembering as many details of the positive experience.
2. Share positive moments with others. Call, text, post on social media, or send an email.
3. Develop memory building. Take mental photographs and/or a physical souvenir and write about the experience in a journal.
4. Appreciate time. Good moments will pass quickly. Work on deliberately relishing each one.
5. Do one task at a time. Catch yourself when hurrying through things. Doing things slower helps with deepening our ability for appreciation.
6. Recognize flow. This occurs when you’re absorbed in a moment that makes you lose a sense of time and place. Make a conscious effort to carve out time to do things that put you in the flow.