Almost every technological advance in recent times-from the telephone to the Internet-has been about doing more and doing it faster. Savoring is the awareness of pleasure and of the deliberate conscious attention to the experience of pleasure.
Here are five techniques that promote savoring:
Sharing with Others: You can seek out others to share the experience and tell others how much you value the moment. This is the single strongest predictor of level of pleasure
Memory Building: Take mental photographs or even a physical souvenir of the event, and reminisce about it later with others.
Self-congratulation: Don’t be afraid of pride. Tell yourself how impressed others are, and remember how long you’ve waited for this to happen.
Sharpening perceptions: Focusing on certain elements and block out others.
Absorption: Let yourself get totally immersed and try not to think, just sense. Do not remind yourself of other things you should be doing, what comes next, or consider the ways in which event could be improved upon.
These techniques all support the four kinds of savoring: basking (receiving praise and congratulations), thanksgiving (expressing gratitude for blessings), marveling (losing the self in the wonder of the moment), and luxuriating (indulging the senses).
Mindful attention to the present occurs much more readily in a slow state of mind than when one is racing future mindedly through experience. The Eastern practice of meditation comes in many forms, but almost all of them, done regularly, slow down the speeding Western mind. (They almost all are well documented to dampen anxiety as well.)
Set aside a free day this month to indulge in your favorite pleasures. Pamper yourself. Design, in writing, what you will do from hour to hour. Use as many of the techniques above as you can. Do not let the bustle of life interfere, and carry out the plan.