Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New in Positive Psychology: Savoring

I am a member of the Professional Coaching Association of Harvard/McLean Medical School and one of the five pillars of the association is rooted in Positive Psychology.

Positive psychology is not pie in the sky thinking. Positive psychology is about connecting perceptions, experiences and motivations to what makes people happy, experience well-being and wholeness.

One of the newest research results of positive psychology is the loss of people's ability to savor.


I haven't heard that word in literally years.

So much so I had to look up the definition to make sure I was clear on its meeting:

Savor Defined: taste or enjoy something completely

The point of positive psychology stating that people are losing their ability to savor has to do with a few things:
* we are all constantly in a hurry
* we are living in an age of instant gratification and a low tolerance for patience (aka patiently experiencing life's greatest pleasures)
* we are anxious to capture events or activities for social media more than practicing "being present"
* we have an endless and bountiful ability to experience more things than our ancestors ever thought possible, thus, we don't have to make deliberate choices for what will make us the MOST happiest

You get the idea.

The problem with not being able to savor is that our sense of fulfilment and utter contentment is connected to having moments to savor.

Ask yourself: based on the definition of savor, when was the last time you savored food or savored a moment?

Don't cheat...I'm asking you about when you savored it completely, not just when's the last time you tasted something delightful or had a fun experience.

When was the last time you savored?

And remember, savoring is not about frequency, it's about connecting it to something authentic and meaningful to you!

Do me a favor, make a conscientious choice sometime this week to savor something that you haven't done in a long while but that you know will give you complete and utter joy.

FYI: for me, one of those things is singing my favorite gospel song at the top of my lungs as if no one can hear me...even if I'm off-key. It makes me feel free! I will take a pause to savor the moment.

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