In just a few months, I will begin my 10th year of my daily gratitude journaling practice.
I’ve never done anything else more consistently — other than breathe, eat and shower.
But the science of gratitude is powerful and its affects are what keep me coming back year after year to keep this practice going.
When I first began writing a my daily gratitude list, I often repeated the same few things. My lists were short and sweet.
Now, I could write for an hour. My list is often a page and sometimes continues onto the next.
Re-living the day, focusing on the beauty that unfolded is nourishing for me.
But what I love most is how those moments speak to me and bring a smile to my face as I remember how I took the time in my day to notice and really savor what was unfolding.
Keeping this practice truly helps me improve my connections with those I love, feel more content and appreciative of my life and brings me a flow of abundance by the sheer act of focusing on the beauty in my life.
But the science is clear.
It’s not just about feeling grateful.
We must savor these special moments and experiences as well. And we must have the radical presence to stay awake long enough to savor them rather than rush through to the next moment.
The act of savoring a moment, a connection, an experience IS what can turn an ordinary moment into an extraordinary one.
“Savoring is when you intentionally try to make positive emotions last longer or be stronger. Regularly engaging in savoring has been shown to contribute to improved well-being, so let’s practice savoring.” — Berkeley Well-Being Institute
Savoring has long been a practice for me. It’s in the title of my first book. And it’s a practice I’ve led women through for many years.
Here are a few Savoring Practices to use in your day:
Show it. Then Tell it. — One of my favorite morning mantras to say when I wake up is Good Morning! What a beautiful day. I’ve never seen this one before.
And its’ true. I haven’t seen this day before. Taking that moment to savor — often under the starry sky — is a way to savor being alive.
Saying our appreciation or gratitude out loud is a simple way to soak in the goodness a bit more than we would otherwise.
And then … tell someone about it. Tell a friend. Or, as more commonly done these days, share on Instagram or in a text to a loved one. Sharing your moment with someone else only helps you to elevate it that much more.
Soak Up The Future — Ah, sweet, sweet anticipation. One of my strengths is being futuristic so this is, of course, pretty much my go-to way to savor life.
We all should have things that are placed in our future that we are looking forward to. These future events are worth savoring.
For instance, my family and I are going to the beach this weekend. Already I am savoring how it’s going to feel to put my feet in the sand, how it will feel to breathe in the saltwater, how it will feel to relax completely on the beach and do nothing — absolutely nothing — but watch the ebb and flow of the ocean’s beauty.
I’m not even there and I’m already feeling gratitude for the moments ahead. This is savoring.
Savoring A Favorite Moment from the Past — Taking time to truly breathe in a past experience that filled you up with goodness is a beautiful way to savor it and relive it and cherish it.
We can do a similar act of savoring for a moment from our past, as well. We can savor what it felt like to climb a peak of a mountain and to get to the crest and see the lookout and feel amazed at our hard work and what the payoff was. We can relish in the time a friend sent us a note that was so filled with gratitude and kindness that it truly gave us the strength to keep going in our lives.
However you choose to savor, may it give you a much needed boost of energy and happiness today.