THE ACT OF SAVOURING: HOW TO LIVE A MORE MEANINGFUL LIFE
In the busyness of life, we often feel overwhelmed and anxious. There is pressure to constantly be achieving and striving for more. We are always “on the go” and we rarely appreciate the moments that make up our day. Therefore, it is so important that we allow ourselves moments of grace – moments each day where we reflect, we are present, and we fully enjoy ourselves. These are known as savouring moments.
What is Savouring?
Savouring is the act of stepping outside of an experience to review and really appreciate it. Savouring can boost your mood, relieve anxiety, keep you present in the moment and it allows you to practice gratitude. Many of us feel this pressure to constantly be productive and fill our days, but it is also equally important to allow time for rest and reflection. The act of savouring is such a powerful concept that allows you to appreciate the positive things in your lives. It is the conscious decision to enjoy moments in your life. This could be something as simple as watching a sunset, having a bath or meditating. It could be having a conversation with a loved one or accomplishing that handstand you’ve been practicing.
Whatever it is, it is important that you acknowledge the emotion it presents and let yourself be fully present. The act of savouring is an opportunity to take a moment to truly enjoy what you are doing; acknowledge the emotions you are feeling and be aware of what the moment brings you.
Benefits of Savouring:
- Highlights the positives in your life.
- Allows you to appreciate the small things.
- Boosts happiness – when you experience positive feelings, your body produces serotonin and dopamine which reduce stress and calm our nervous systems.
- Makes you feel more grateful and appreciative.
- Allows you to be present and achieve more from your day.
- Relieves anxiety or stress.
Savouring is that idea of literally “stopping to smell the roses”. It is stopping ourselves from moving through life too quickly and allowing ourselves to notice all the positives. It is the act of bringing ourselves back to ourselves.
Ideas for Savouring:
- Have a bubble bath.
- Watch the sunset or sunrise.
- Read a book in the bath.
- Have dinner as a family around the table.
- Go for a walk on the beach.
- Eat something delicious.
- Stop and smell the roses.
- Wear a new scent e.g. body lotion, or perfume.
- Take a mental photograph of amazing experiences.
- Get creative e.g. baking, art, music
- Allow yourself to engage all your senses in an activity e.g. when you cook, really smell, see and taste the food.
- Outwardly express good feelings e.g. laugh out loud at a tv show or joke
- Ruminate on positive feelings and share these! Do not only share your negative thoughts and complaints.
The act of savouring is a mindfulness act. It is the conscious decision to pay attention to your happy situation. When you are experiencing a moment of pleasure, it is important to engage all your senses and fully embrace the moment. By being mindful of every detail, you appreciate the moment more and you engrain the memory in your brain. The bonus of this is that the memory can be recalled at a later stage, and the memory will evoke the same emotion as the experience previously did.
Savouring in your everyday life
As you can see, the simple act of being present in a moment can have significant positive effects on your mood, your day and your outlook. Next time you wake up, why not challenge yourself to make a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy it in bed, rather than scrolling through social media for 15 minutes and then rushing to get ready. Why not utilise your time in traffic wisely, by actively listening to a podcast or calling a friend to catch-up (if you have Bluetooth)? Why not greet the shop assistant and thank them for their service, instead of being oblivious to their presence? The power of consciously living is so powerful and can be so simple. Do not let life pass you by, savour the moments and reap the rewards.