My daily to do list:
- Get out of bed, make it.
- Turn on coffee pot
- Inventory the day and create a to do list
- Stop, breathe and be thankful for a new day and coffee!
- Savor the quiet moment before a busy day starts
Savoring the moment
“In psychology, savoring the moment refers to intentionally focusing your attention on the positive aspects of an experience. When you savor, you notice the sensations, perceptions, emotions, actions, and thoughts that are linked to a particular moment, event,” or experience says Elizabeth Scott, PhD in her article ‘Learn How to Savor the Moment’- Verywell Mind”.
“Learning to savor the moment in life is a convenient, free, and effective way to increase your happiness and quality of life. It can also be a helpful way to reduce stress. Enjoying what you have can help you to appreciate what you’ve got rather than lamenting what you don’t have”, Scott adds. (“How to savor the small moments – The Spiritual World”).
Leonardo da Vinci noted that “An average human looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness, inhales without awareness of odor or fragrance, and talks without thinking.”
Don’t get stuck
I have gone through most of my life, like many of you, forgetting to stop and enjoy the little things. I have spent an entire day or week sometimes longer, either stuck in ruminations about the past or anxiety over the future. What this means is that I have never really seized the moment and noticed the pleasant things that are happening right now in the present. That means that I have missed out on so many important experiences.
Savoring the moment means to notice the little things that can make a day special, the beauty of a sunset, the smile of a friend, the quick routine hug from you’re partner. Savoring means to focus on your sensations. As you experience your day, notice, and memorize the details, especially the positive ones, of what’s going on around you. Create a memory of the experience. Notice the sounds you hear, like the sound of children’s laughter in the background. Notice the smells, like the scent of a fresh sea breeze. And how did the wind feel on your face?
Notice the details
“Noticing these sensory details”, states Scott, “helps you live fully in the moment and can help evoke pleasant memories when you hear music, smell aromas, or feel sensations you experience on the days you want to savor.” (“Learn How to Savor the Moment – Verywell Mind”)
Helen Keller who was a world-renowned author, lost her ability to see and hear due to a childhood illness. In spite of these limitations, Keller spent her days taking in the beauty and phenomena that surrounded her, exemplifying the skill of savoring.
“Three Days to See,” was Keller’s lamentation that “those who have never suffered impairment of sight or hearing seldom make the fullest use of these blessed faculties. Their eyes and ears take in all sights and sounds hazily, without concentration and with little appreciation” (Helen Keller’s Story,1933).
“At times my heart cries out with longing to see all these things. If I can get so much pleasure from mere touch, how much more beauty must be revealed by sight. Yet, those who have eyes apparently see little. The panorama of color and action which fills the world is taken for granted. It is human, perhaps, to appreciate little that which we have and to long for that which we have not, but it is a great pity that in the world of light the gift of sight is used only as a mere convenience rather than as a means of adding
fullness to life”.
How will you begin to savor your life?
Preconditions to savoring
The following elements should be present in order to develop and experience your savoring ability according to Bryant and Veroff (2007 “Savoring in Positive Psychology: 21 Tools to Appreciate Life”)
o Being able to connect to the present moment
o Freedom from urgent social responsibilities
o Basic physical and psychological needs are covered
o Presence of mindfulness and meta-awareness regarding positive experiences