Breathing Space May 2023

by Dan Comer

Savoring the Day

Imagine your day is like a river, a stream of events that carries you from one moment to the next.

As your day begins, you have some idea of the direction that the river will take you but no idea what it will be like along the way. It’s likely you’ll encounter some challenging moments, but you’ll also experience some beautiful ones too.

You’re good at responding to challenging moments. But what about the beautiful ones?

Fred Bryant, the leading researcher in savoring, has pointed out that the ability to cope with challenges is not the same skill needed to appreciate the beautiful moments. We need to learn how to savor the small, lovely moments in our lives.

The people who do this, paradoxically, become more resilient in the face of challenges. More obviously, it also boosts your mood, increases your optimism, and makes your days so much more enjoyable.

Here’s one of the best ways to savor: point out all of the beautiful, lovely things you see. It’s just like floating down a river, pointing out trees and animals and rocks and clouds.

“Look at that awesome person!”

“What a great contribution in that meeting.”

“This is a beautiful meal.”

“Wow, what a nice feeling.”

Enjoy the view!

Sources: Bryan, F. B. (2021). Current progress and future directions for theory and research on savoring. Frontiers in Psychology, 12; and Smith, J. L., & Bryant, F. B. (2017). Savoring and well-being: Mapping the cognitive-emotional terrain of the happy Mind. In Robinson, M., & Eid, M. (Eds.), The happy mind: Cognitive contributions to well-being. Springer.