Who else can give us tips on how to savor every moment and experience other than Fred Bryant, psychology professor of Loyola university of Chicago, and Joseph Veroff, also a psychology professor of the university of Michigan? If you want to increase your happiness levels and in turn boost your overall well-being, knowing how to savor every moment can definitely help you. Living is this fast paced world, we sometimes take for granted the little moments that create big impacts in our lives. We go through life meeting deadlines, trying to catch the next bus, getting to a meeting on time, so busy that we tend to look past beautiful, fleeting experiences. Here are some tips on how to savor every moment.
1. Focus on the Here and Now
One way how to savor every moment is to be in the moment. Get totally absorbed with the present. Let go of your conscious thoughts and try focus more on the positive feelings you are experiencing. Do your best not be distracted by technology, so turn off your cellular phone, turn off your computer, get away from technology and just be in the here and now! Studies in positive psychology say that at people enjoy themselves most when they are totally absorbed in a task or moment; losing their sense of time and place.
2. Share Your Experience with Others
When you experience something amazing, or if you feel good, share it with others as if you just got good news. When you feel great about something, may it be eating really good food, passing by a beautiful scenery or hearing a funny joke, tell another person about it. In fact, studies show that individuals who share positive feelings with others are happier overall compared to those who do not. What’s more amazing? Research shows that just thinking of telling someone about a good experience already boosts your happiness level.
3. Congratulate Yourself
According to studies, individuals who celebrate their success are more likely to enjoy the outcome. Some cultures though, do not encourage self-congratulation; this usually moves the individual to downplay their achievements. But whenever you can, as how Fred Bryant would say: pat yourself on the back, and don’t be ashamed of taking the credit for all your hard work. You can congratulate yourself by rewarding yourself with a lovely dinner, a really pretty purse, and maybe extra minutes of sleep? Just remember that you deserve it and to keep up to great work. Celebrate!
4. Take Mental Photographs
Take a moment to stop, and focus on the details you want to remember. When I say focus, I mean really focus. Don’t just pause and shrug it off, make sure you immerse yourself to that particular moment and take a snapshot in your head; may it be the feeling of seeing an old friend, the sound of your mother’s laugh, or a heart-warming moment among friends and family members. Of course, taking actual photographs could help you remember beautiful experiences but studies say that taking photos can actually hinder you from making memories. According to Linda Henkel, a researcher in the department of psychology at Fairfield University in Connecticut, "People just pull out their cameras… They just don't pay attention to what they're even looking at, like just capturing the photo is more important than actually being there."
5. Announce It to World
When something good happens to you, according to Fred Bryant, laugh out loud, jump up and down, and shout for joy! You can just settle with sharing your experience with people know, but why not go the extra mile and tell it to the whole world. Post it on your Facebook, on your blog, dance, skip and hop, smile the whole day, tell the world! Studies report that people who express their feelings while watching a funny video enjoyed themselves more than those who suppressed their feelings. When you outwardly express your positive feelings, your mind gets a signal that something good has happened, therefore, the good feeling that you’re experiencing tend to feel extra good.
6. Avoid Kill Joy Thinking
Kill-joy thinking means considering the current experience to be not as good as it could be. When you are experiencing something beautiful, try to focus on the aspects that make it beautiful. Do not focus on the negative. If you are having a rough day, think about the little things that made your day bearable; after all, you have not given up which means something must be going your way. Studies show that that the more negative thoughts people have after a personal achievement, the less likely they are to enjoy it. "People who savor the positive sides to every situation are happier at the end of the day," Fred Bryant says.
7. Be Thankful
This is my favourite technique on savouring, and personally, the most effective. Express gratitude. Tell the people you love how grateful you are for having them around. Thank the universe for conspiring to get you that well-deserved promotion. Take time to appreciate and realize how blessed you are for being able to partake in a delicious, healthy meal. Research show that saying "thank you" out loud affirms our positive feeling, making us happier.
Savouring is basically noticing and appreciating the positives. So try to savor every moment; live in the here and now. Remember happiness is within us. What is your savoring techinique? Share it us by posting it on the comments section below.
References: Bryant, F. B., Veroff, J. (2006). Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience. Psychology Press, Kintanar, N. (2012). Happiness Here and Now. Retrieved on February 23, 2014 from teachingpsychology.files.wordpress.com, and Landau, E. (2013, December 10). Eyes are better at mental snapshots than cameras, study suggests.