Savouring life: The road to satisfaction and postivity

Savouring is a learnt habit, where one focuses on their positive experiences both external and internal, however small and intangible and allows oneself to experience happiness.
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

HYDERABAD: These days, I seem to meet many people who in their own words are ‘fed up’! No, these people are not depressed but are overwhelmed with living in a fast-paced world and being over-involved and deeply immersed in a deluge of information, largely focused on negative events. Also, the fact that many, over time, have developed negative attitudes and impressions about anything and everything.

Many of us try to cope with negativity by forcing positivity which it’s toxic and intimidating. Bryant and Veroff (2007) defined ‘savouring’ as a word that means appreciating and enhancing positive experiences that occur in one's life. The term itself denotes a process and represents the counterpart of coping. It entails active involvement in enhancing our positive deeds, emotions, thoughts, actions and emotions while acknowledging the interaction between the person and the environment.

Savouring is a learnt habit, where one focuses on their positive experiences both external and internal, however small and intangible and allows oneself to experience happiness another positive emotion associated with those thoughts actions and memories.

Bryant and Veroff identified three types of savouring:

  • Reminiscence or savouring the past
  • Savouring the present
  • Anticipation or savouring the future
  • The idea is to sift the positive away from the mundane or negative experiences while being aware of the intimidating and daunting experiences around you
  • Just as Mary Poppins sang ‘just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down’, a few drops of positive savouring makes it easier to cope with the storm and stress of life
  • Nobody ever said that life was easy which is why developing the subtle art of positive savouring is almost like a 7th sense.

To develop this skill of saving one must:

  • Free oneself from mobiles and gadgets
  • Try and care for your basic needs
  • Inculcate a healthy lifestyle
  • Make a list of your positive experiences however small
  • Find a quiet safe space for this experience
  • Practice deep breathing and relax your mind
  • Savour experiences immediate and past. Appreciate only the positive aspects, taste, sensation, smell, perception, emotions, thoughts and behaviours that can bring on that warm and fuzzy feeling of happiness
  • Practice gratitude and savour kindness and compassion from others
  • Build a safe space of happiness, trust, resilience and positive mindfulness for you and your loved ones

How savouring helps us:

  • Establishes a safe emotional space
  • Amplifies our happy experiences, it makes us understand how positive life can be without losing touch with reality
  • Savouring can counterbalance are negative experiences and emotions
  • It can boost a sense of well-being in people who are dealing with stressful events
  • Savouring can boost satisfaction, and contentment and help in increasing our positive emotional quotient
  • Helps in dealing with stress depression anxiety and negative thoughts
  • Can help mould and rethink relationships and social connections

Being positive in a constructive way and savouring our positive experiences can also help deal with the stress of a difficult job, a difficult relationship, physical health issues, difficult emotional states and many others.
So savour your lives, look for that tiny bit of positivity, that silver lining on an otherwise dark cloud, and help others seek constructive positivity in their lives creating a safe space emotionally for yourself.
Appreciate yourself and others truly and make sincere attempts to savour your life and help others savour their lives too.
And above all, count your blessings! Believe me, there’s so much more to life than we actually experience.
(The author is a mental health professional and psychotherapist at Dhrithi Wellness Clinic)

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The New Indian Express