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A close-up of a newly opened delphinium flower (Summer 2013).

Monday, June 6, 2011

Savoring Life

Savor life's tiny delights - a crackling fire, 
a glorious sunset, a hug from a child, 
a walk with a loved one, 
a kiss behind the ear. 

~ John Anthony

Is life like a blur for you or is it something you savor every moment? Do you bathe yourself in feelings of anger, anxiety, guilt, and fear or do you find amazing moments here and there?

The way you experience life can be anything from boredom to ecstasy. Studies show that resilient and happy people look for and focus on the positive aspects of a situation (read Alicia Salzer's Back to Life, 2011).  

There are four elements to savoring life, according to Fred B. Bryant and Joseph Veroff (see Savoring: A New Model of Positive Experience). I will summarize them below:

Basking. Sometimes you are too self-conscious in accepting admiration. Yet to savor life, you need to bask at people's congratulations and admiration when something good happens in your life (e.g., graduating from MBA, having a baby on the way, getting a promotion). Soak up the glory and relish being in the limelight once in a while. It is good for your self-esteem and for your happiness quotient.

Thanksgiving. Communicate your gratitude to others by a simple, "Thank You". Only two words but they are a powerful way to acknowledge and appreciate gifts and blessings. Delight in what others have given you, whether it is great or small, material or spiritual. Acknowledge that you have arrived at this point in life because of the contributions you have received from others.

Marveling. Be amazed with life and its wonders, from a child's tiny fingers to the earth's magnificence. Be filled with awe and wonder at the morning sunrise, the smell of coffee, the light rain, the newly-opened flower, the beauty of the human body, the grandeur of the universe, and your being here to experience all these. 

Luxuriating. Derive pleasure from sensory experience--the smell of perfume, the sound of your favorite music, the sensual touch of your partner's hand, the taste of mango, the warmth of summer afternoons, the colors of a rainbow. Indulge in some healthy (and ethical) gratification you can afford (e.g.. a spa, a trip to the beauty saloon, a body massage). 

Savoring can lead to some great emotions like profound gratitude, passionate tenderness, serenity,  contentment. It can be used as a survival skill, a coping mechanism, and an antidote to unhappiness.

To savor, anticipate the good things coming your way, lose yourself in the moment, relax and enjoy the experience.

Learn to be a habitual savorer and squeeze more juice out of pleasurable events.


Hello, my dear readers! I hope you have learned something good from my article this week that will translate nicely into your life.

As always, don't forget to leave your message below.

Carpe diem!

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