Remember the last time you celebrated a success or enjoyed a slow walk in the sunshine? You were probably savouring – taking notice of, appreciating and celebrating enjoyable experiences.
Savouring is a great way to boost our experience of positive emotions. When we savour, we strengthen the experience of powerful emotions like joy, contentment, satisfaction, gratitude or hope. As well as making us feel good, positive emotions help us recover from stress and open up our thinking so we can be more efficient and creative.
Savouring can be spontaneous – we celebrate something at the time it happens. Or we can consciously choose to do something to create or continue a good experience, such as planning a celebration with friends or taking photographs to be able to treasure the moment later.
Bridget Grenville-Cleave is a leading researcher in this field and writes about savouring. She suggests what helps us savour is slowing down and focusing attention on all our senses (touch, taste, sight, hearing and smell). By being present, and keeping focused on what we are doing, this helps us to stretch out the experience, and notice our enjoyment.
Here’s someone describing a few moments slowing down and savouring in a garden.
I watched the birds peck bites in apples off a nearby tree; I enjoyed the feel of the sun on my skin, and noticed all the new buds coming through.
See if you can make a daily habit of some “being” time and to experience more savouring, and see what happens to your emotions and sense of wellbeing.