• Catherine Hansen

4 ways to start savouring

Savouring has been at the forefront of my mind for the past few months. Milisa Burns and I have been on an adventure with the EWC women—an adventure of pleasure & experiential practices that connect us with our 5 senses, as a way to open up to the pulse of life. Throughout the season, we have created tangible ways to tap into our senses and extend those practices into DAILY life in order to experience and enjoy the preciousness of day-to-day moments. What I didn't fully expect, was to gain was a deeper appreciation for savouring the ordinary moments of my own life. I am living my life completely differently now and I credit this summer with the Empowered Women's Circle for that transformation.

I've been reclaiming the little moments and giving myself permission to pause, reflect, read and write. I've even found rare opportunities to treat myself to pleasures that I would normally rush past or believe too frivolous to enjoy. Like the day I took myself on a solo field trip to Smiths Falls, Ontario to meander through some shops, explore a used book store, buy myself a couple novels and order a brownie sundae at a local café. Yum! What an incredible, sensual, experience!

Savour—to enjoy food or an experience slowly, in order to enjoy it as much as possible. Social psychologist Fred Bryant, considered the father of savouring research, says you can use the concept to increase happiness in both the short and long term. By being aware of your feelings during positive events and deliberately prolonging the experience, you can maximize the positive effects. Benefits to savouring can include:

  • stronger relationships

  • improved mental health

  • improved physical health

  • finding more creative solutions to problems

  • increased happiness

And while Fred Bryant and other researchers continue to study the concept of savouring, here are a few tangible ways you can practice it in your daily life:

  1. Treat good feelings the way you would good news—share it! When you're feeling appreciative, happy, or any other positive emotion, tell someone. You might increase their happiness too!

  2. Congratulate yourself—recognize your hard work & acknowledge your successes. Studies show you'll enjoy the outcome more if you do this. You could even congratulate yourself with a brownie sundae :)

  3. Flex your 5 senses—like the EWC has been doing this season, start using your five senses more intentionally. If you're eating a peach, be aware of the the juicy taste, notice the fruit's fuzziness and enjoy the sweet smell.

  4. Don't be afraid to express your positive emotions—jump for joy and laugh a little too loudly! Outwardly expressing your emotions gives the brain proof that something good has happened.

I hope you use 1 or 2 of these techniques to help flex your savouring muscle this summer and, believe me, a little ice cream, enjoyed slowly and with intention, can go a long way to making you realize how beautiful your life really is.