November 17, 2020
Here at Women Rise, Autumn is one of our favorite seasons. Maybe it’s the crisp air and much-needed rainfall or the seasonal favorites of specialty drinks along with the rich hues of golden yellow, red, and orange displaying earth’s beauty and gently bursting all around us. Although still a favorite, this year’s Fall has definitely been distinct. Many of us are familiar with the general tone of disdain for the year 2020. Maybe you’ve heard or said these statements “2020 is canceled” and “I can’t wait for this year to be over.” Or, “Dear 2020, What happened??” Plans have been ruined. Meaningful traditions have been interrupted. For some, connections have been difficult to maintain and nurture. Tragedy, loss, fear, and shared grief have deeply interwoven themselves within the fabric of our collective consciousness within the last several months. This is wholeheartedly true. And, moments in 2020 also have the potential to be sweet. We want to offer you today a special gift this holiday season. An opportunity to notice, enhance, and expand your happiness and joy in a rich, meaningful, and beautiful way. Does 2020 have to be a “waste” year? No, not necessarily. In fact, we beg to differ. Keep reading!
We Invite you to unwrap and cultivate the practice of Savoring. Savoring, in psychological research is the active practice and skill of intentionally noticing, appreciating, and enhancing your positive feelings associated with the positive events and experiences in your life. (Bryant, 2007). Fred Bryant, a known researcher of Savoring discusses in his 2007 book, Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience, how nurturing this practice has a host of benefits including increasing both short-term and long-term happiness, deepening relationships, increasing your capacity to solve problems, and enhancing your capacity to better enjoy love, beauty, community, God, sexuality, or any other values and goals important to you (Bryant, 2007). Below are some practical ways to cultivate this gift in your own life—even in 2020:
1. Be intentional: To be consciously aware of our positive experiences, it’s important to stop—and pay attention to them. Even if you have a lot of responsibilities and distractions, take a few seconds to take a step back and notice these feelings and experiences. Be absorbed fully in the moment, existing only in the present, and notice feelings such as joy, intimacy, fulfillment, gratitude, pleasure, connectedness, and gratitude.
2. Take a mental photograph: Imagine that your brain is the camera and snap away–capturing the details of the positive moment or experience. This allows you to enhance your experience in the moment as well as build and store your memory of the feeling and experience for future recall.
3. Sharpen your senses: Focus on pleasant sensations and notice what positive things you feel, see, hear, taste. In this process, try to block out distractions and let your awareness settle only on your experience.
4. Share the good news: Verbally sharing with others our positive experiences, moments, and feelings allows us to connect with others and savor the moment even more.
5. Count your blessings: When we experience difficulty and challenges, it can be difficult at times, to notice what we are grateful for. Try making a list of 5 things you are grateful for and sharing your appreciation with others. Reflecting and sharing allows us to savor these moments in a deeper way.
6. Remind yourself that the present moment is fleeting: Reflect on the positive moment that is about to end, and in doing so, allow yourself to feel a renewed sense of appreciation and perspective.
As we move toward the end of this distinguishing year, we encourage you to focus on life’s’ simple pleasures and experiences—-and elevate your happiness. You may not be able to go where you typically go for the holidays or be struggling with limited financial resources. You may not even be able to connect with loved ones. Can you still notice and cherish special moments in time? For you, it may be the experience of reading a good book, hearing the laughter of your children or sharing a warm cup of tea with a friend. Whatever it is, Be in it—- Fully in it. And Savor all its sweetness.
Bryant, F. B., & Veroff, J. (2007). Savoring: A new model of positive experience. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
*Please Note: The information provided on or through this website or blog is for educational and informational purposes only and solely as a self-help tool for your own use. Engaging with this material does not constitute a client/therapist relationship*