Savoring: The art of reducing stress and increasing joy

Recently I was with a colleague, and they said to me, “I just want to stop and savor this for a minute. I would not have thought to do that. I am not sure about you but I have not been very good at savoring the big and small moments of my life. There have been many of these moments to be sure, but there is pressure to move on to the next moment. I will admit that the pressure is often of my own making. To savor a moment is to simply pause and reflect upon all the goodness of that moment. It requires a long enough pause, combined with purposeful reflection, to extract the excellence of that time. What is hard is that it is not always easy to identify those moments. I have found myself waiting for the “big”
moments as the place to try to savor. Most of life is made of small moments that are worthy of our attention.
I was once at a training and as a form of meditation, the leader asked us to take a blueberry and just
hold it in our mouth. He instructed us not to eat it, but instead to notice as much about it as we could.
At the end of the exercise, we all ate our blueberries. I was struck by two things: how physically relaxed I
felt and how much more positive an “experience” of eating that blueberry was than normal. The
difference was taking time to savor it. That was a “small” moment, but it had a noticeable impact. The
wonderful thing about savoring is that we don’t have to identify the moments to savor because we can
savor elements of almost any moment.
In the Bible, God tells us to “taste and see” that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8). That is descriptive,
metaphorical language instructing us to take time to experience God. We are to savor our time with
Him. I often tell my clients to do the same thing in their earthly relationships as well. It is easy to focus
on what is wrong or tough about our relationships but so profitable to savor the elements that are good
and right. It takes more work, but the benefits are immensely powerful.
There are emotional/spiritual benefits to savoring but there are also physical benefits. Your nervous
system has a resting state and one of the paths from the sympathetic state (fight/flight) to the resting
state is to savor. This requires gratitude and intention to find the good in a moment or event. This is
exactly what I did to my nervous system during the blueberry exercise. The point is that savoring calms
and relaxes the body.
In the last year, I have more purposely taken time to savor the good things/moments in my life, and
there have been many. I would not have thought that a few years ago. The beauty of savoring is that the
more you do it, the more there is to savor.

Mike Vaughn

Stay Up to Date

Sign up below to receive post notifications & more!

Copyright © 2024 SureHope Counseling and Training Center · Theme by 17th Avenue