Savoring: A New Mindfulness Method

Research has shown there are many benefits to mindfulness.

It can decrease stress and improve overall mood and increase creativity and focus.  It improves your overall health and, specifically, your immune system.    Mindfulness can also slow aging and memory loss.  Honestly, the benefits of mindfulness almost seem too good to be true.  We should all sign up!  

However, sometimes mindfulness can start to feel like another one of the tasks on our to-do lists we need to complete in order to take better care of ourselves.  

  • Drink Water
  • Get Adequate Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Practice Mindfulness

Check, check, check and check!  I think this happens because mindfulness has become so closely associated with meditation (I blame the apps).  In reality, meditation is mindfulness but mindfulness isn’t only meditation.  But if meditation isn’t your thing, mindfulness (and all its benefits) can begin to feel like one more thing you “should” be doing every day.  

What if we could find a way to be fully present (mindful) and it feels as though we are getting to do something?  Guess what?  You can!  You can do this by intentionally looking for moments to savor throughout the day.

Savoring is when we attempt to fully feel, enjoy and extend a positive experience.

Savoring has been shown to have many of the same benefits of mindfulness including improving mood, leading to greater life satisfaction and increasing feelings of gratitude and appreciation.  People tend to think of savoring a piece of cake or that perfect cup of coffee but you can actually savor any experience that is positive or meaningful.  

Savoring can include sensory experiences such as the taste of a piece of cake, the sound of the ocean, the feel of the warm sun on your face after a long winter and the smell of fresh cut grass.  It can can also include physical experiences such as the feel of a good stretch first thing in the morning or the way your body feels after a great workout.  Savoring can also include accomplishments; that feeling when you finish a book or wrap a project at work.  You can savor social experiences, a great conversation with a friend or being at a concert.  You can savor memories, summer days spent with grandparents or upcoming events such as that vacation you are looking forward to.  

Savoring is a relatively new topic being studied so we don’t know as much about it as we do other activities but researchers believe that since we can savor past, present and future experiences it might allow us to experience a “flood of positivity” more often than mindfulness.  

Intentionally looking for moments to savor

 and tracking or documenting them helps you to reap the full benefits of savoring.  I decided to intentionally look for at least one moment to savor for seven days and then write it down.  Once I started, it was hard to stop.  Not only did I find myself noticing when I was savoring moments, I also found myself looking for more moments to savor.  It felt good to pause and really enjoy the moment and knowing the benefits of savoring, it felt like I was doing something “good” for my brain.  I  also found you can turn ordinary experiences into positive ones by simply savoring the moment.  Who knew brushing your teeth could feel so good?  

If you are struggling with finding moments to savor, we are here to help.  You can contact us here or at 217-203-2008 for more information.