Life can be excruciatingly difficult and, at times, inconsistent. One minute, you’re flying high, and the next, you’re suffering, wondering about your circumstances and asking yourself, Why is this happening to me? Instead of realizing that low moments are equally part of life as well. That understanding of life’s ebbs and flows can enhance more positive emotions, as you’ll realize that happy moments can be fleeting, so it’s best to be present when experiencing joyful times. As mentioned, the micro-joys trend is a great way to slow down and intentionally find happiness in the little things in your life, even through severely difficult times.
I recently stumbled upon another technique psychologists use to build happiness and boost positivity: savoring. According to Psychology Today, Savoring means fully feeling, enjoying, and extending our positive experiences. The technique can be a great way to develop long-lasting positive thoughts and emotions outside of events, given their not always reliable enough to make you happier. However, to savor an experience, one must leverage mindfulness and openness. This technique can put you in a better mood and allow you to develop better sleep hygiene while deepening your most meaningful relationships; an offshoot of the savoring technique is called relational savoring.
Relational savoring is an attachment-based approach to promoting interpersonal flourishing. The technique includes appreciating moments of feeling safe and connected to others. The concept is based on attachment theory, which includes our early experiences in attachment relationships (e.g., with our parent/s or other caregivers) forming the foundation of our well-being.
Psychology Today points out:
- Savoring, deeply experiencing, and appreciating the moment increases happiness, gratitude, and well-being.
- The same approach can be applied to relationships via relational savoring.
- Savoring moments of safety and connection with others can improve mood, health, and relationships.
When savoring relationships, you should focus on the positive core memories you share with the other person. First, start with a memory you’d like to savor when you felt safe, close, protected, and connected with the other person. Once you have those memories in mind, dedicate a calm time to reflect deeply on the shared experience. Psychology Today’s experts, suggest the following mindfulness techniques foster relational savoring.
Sensory reflection: Think back to when the event occurred and where it happened. What could you hear, smell, taste, see, and touch?
Emotional reflection: Reflect on how you were feeling. Were you safe, joyful, grateful, loving, and supported? Try to focus on the positive emotions and try to feel them in your body now.
Cognitive reflection: What was your thought process at the time? “I’m lucky to be there for my supportive mom when she needs me the most.”
Future-oriented reflection: Focus on how close you felt to that person. How will this moment affect your relationship in the future? How do you want the relationship to be in the future?
Outside of the relational savoring technique, you can apply several types of savoring to your daily life.
Reminiscence: Savoring the past.
Savoring the moment: Savoring the present.
Anciptiaing the future: Savoring the future. For example, you can visualize the trip you have planned.