Savoring – Fred B. Bryant and Joseph Veroff

thumbnail
Richard Zen, modified 6 Years ago.

Savoring – Fred B. Bryant and Joseph Veroff

Posts: 1631 Join Date: 5/18/10 Recent Posts
Savoring – Fred B. Bryant and Joseph Veroff
  • Paying attention with mindfulness of body sensations when enjoying something increases the pleasure more than being distracted by something else.
  • Meditation is different in that it involves enjoyment of a peaceful mind but savoring involves intentional reflection on pleasant experiences.
  • Positive daydreaming works better with people who have a low fear of failure. It works the opposite for those with a high fear of failure.
  • For emotional intelligence it shows that happy people tend to avoid things that would make them unhappy.
  • Savoring has a downside if a person lingers too long until they become unsafe. (ie. Don’t savour a sunset while in bumper to bumper traffic.)
  • Savouring is improved by slowing down and using thoughts to intensify the pleasure.
  • Positive emotions broadens what we may attend to and savour.
  • Aesthetic responses are often improved when more understanding of detail, and the context of the artwork.
  • Savouring can be involved in mastery and competence of skills in of themselves.
  • Czikszentmihalyi’s Flow is a form of savouring that happens when we have challenging tasks but we still feel efficacious going about them. The pleasure is often in recalling the experience.
  • Too much obsession with savouring can diminish it. Often simple presence is enough. Also keeping some mystery and surprise to the pleasant event can increase savoring as opposed to something predictable. To note, curiosity has to be satisfied at some point. (eg. A mystery novel is good if one knows there’s a resolution at the end.)
  • If one is exposed to a similar savoring experience it can lead to boredom. Variety and some gaps between enjoying is needed to prevent boredom.
  • If something is a virtue people need to intend to it.
  • When a stressful period ends and there’s savoring afterwards there can be an association with the pleasure that enhances it. (Eg. Hot chocolate after being outside in the cold. Some couples enjoy sexual responses after being in a fight.) 
  • Social and esteem needs can interfere with savoring. (Eg. A Chef serving delicious food to guests and worrying about their judgments. Then afterward enjoying left-overs the next day when there’s less to do.)
  • People sometimes want to savor something after seeing someone else savor it first.
  • Savoring with a group of people enhances bonding. “Misery loves company, but so does joy.” Mirroring enjoyment between people create reminders of the enjoyment you are having which keeps attention on the savored experience.
Going on Vacation example:

Thoughts and actions that made people happy:
  • I talked about the vacation with my companions
  • I took a lot of photographs
  • I bought gifts to bring back for other people
  • I thought about how much better it was than being at home.
  • I just went along with what was happening one day at a time.
  • I daydreamed to relive events of the day.
Killjoy thinking: Reminding oneself of other places one should be, other things one should be doing, or thinking of ways a positive event should be better.)
  • I got homesick
  • I worried about money
  • My heavy use of drugs by the end of the trip decreased my pleasure.
  • The trip wasn’t as good as I thought it would be.
  • I drank too much.
Examples of savoring:
  • Sharing with others – Vicarious enjoyment, seeing new angles of enjoyment from other’s perspectives, encouragement from others to savor, anticipation of retelling the event with others, people are more gregarious and enjoy laughter more often when others are around, storytelling after the event.
  • Memory building – recalling the highlights of life.
  • Self-congratulation – Enjoying personal achievements (especially if they are hard won or took a long time to happen.)
  • Sensory-perceptual sharpening – focusing on pleasurable details and blocking out distractions.
  • Comparing – This can help if things are improving but the opposite if there’s deprivation.
  • Absorption – Getting engrossed in an activity so that self-monitoring is abandoned for a period of time.
  • Behavioral expression – Outwardly expressing positive feelings can increase them.
  • Temporal awareness – Being aware of impermanence makes one appreciate the good things more.
  • Counting blessings – Reminding oneself of one’s own good fortune.
  • Chaining - Associating more positive details and events together.
  • Celebration – Prolongs the savoring of positive events.
  • Blocking out interfering stimuli - Planning things, reducing obstacles etc.
  • Planning and Anticipating – Planning improves the chances of experiences being worth savoring. Anticipating is about looking forward to a pleasant event.
  • Refocusing by comparison – Comparing a poor situation you are in to worse ones other’s might be in. “Things could be worse.”
  • Thanksgiving/Gratitude – Being thankful for good fortune.
  • Marveling - Being in awe and wonder. It could be art or an activity of somekind (eg. Hiking, Mountain Climbing).
  • Surrendering oneself to another person or group – supporting a cause beyond oneself that is important. These experiences can include serenity, equanimity, ecstasy or bliss.
  • Basking – Reflecting on accomplishments.
  • Luxuriating – Delighting in physical pleasure.
  • Romantic love – Sharing interests, self-disclosure to increase intimacy, being aware of your partner’s likes and dislikes, collaborating on tasks to increase bonding, mutual enjoying of sex.
  • Physical health – Savoring improves health by improving the immune system. Stress on the other hand attacks the immune system and speeds a person’s death if they have cancer.
  • Mental health – People who are able to savor more experiences are likely to experience less depression.
  • Creativity – Creativity and flow experiences are highly connected. If there’s internal interest the motivation was higher than motivation based on extrinsic rewards like money or recognition.
  • Spirituality – can increase sacredness and importance in life.
  • Meaning – By positing a meaning for an action those actions have more motivation.
  • Rejoicing – Another form of outwardly expressing positive feelings.
10 suggestions to enhance savoring:
  • Realize that enduring happiness doesn’t come from success.
  • Take control of your time.
  • Act happy.
  • Seek activities that engage your skills.
  • Become more physically active.
  • Get an adequate amount of sleep.
  • Give priority to close relationships.
  • Reach out to other people.
  • Give thanks each day for the positive aspects of your life.
  • Nurture your spirituality.
6 factors that enhance coping and savoring:
  • Social support.
  • Writing about life experiences.
  • Downward hedonic contrast (positive comparisons).
  • Humor.
  • Spirituality and religion.
  • Awareness of the fleetingness of experience.
Essential preconditions for savoring:
  • Becoming more free of social and esteem concerns.
  • Focusing on the present.
  • Enhancing attentional focus on positive experience.
 

Breadcrumb