Though if you’re like me, sometimes these enjoyable activities lose their luster. It’s easy to end up seeking more and looking for something new. What used to give us pleasure and enjoyment starts to become mundane and dull.
When this happens, much of the positive emotion that was elicited from these experiences tends to diminish and we are left unfulfilled and dissatisfied.
So, one way to increase positive emotions and experience more enjoyment is to start savoring the small pleasures in life.
And not only savoring them, but planning out in our schedule when we are going to engage in these activities and consciously consuming the positive feelings that come along.
Here are some savoring techniques to help you fully experience the pleasures in life. These are adapted from the Therapist’s Guide to Positive Psychological Interventions by Jeana L. Magyar-Moe.
Share the experience with others
What good is having fun or accomplishing something if we can’t share it with others? To experience more joy and really get the full effect of a positive experience share the moment with others. By connecting with others we build on the positive experience by laughing together, sharing ideas and feeding off the positive emotions of others.
I imagine the most enjoyable and positive experiences in your life are very memorable. Getting the most out of a positive experience can come by taking them with us as a memory. This ensures we are focusing and engaged in the moment. Make effort to taking mental notes or mental pictures to be able to reminisce on the event. Or better yet, take real photos to capture the experience.
Sometimes a little appreciation can go a long way. Don’t take for granted any accomplishment or successful use of your skills. Take pride in what happened, and pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Think about how much more enjoyable reading or exercising can be if you give yourself praise and positive reinforcement for doing so.
Avoid Kill-joy thinking
Be careful not to take for granted the positive experiences in life. It can be easy to compare our situation to others and always want more. This type of thinking, called “Kill-joy thinking,” is when we start considering how the current experience is not as good as it could be. We focus on all the other things we could be doing, or what our friends and family are doing, instead of enjoying the moment.
This can happen naturally when we are doing something that is meaningful and challenges us. Though, consider how you can become more absorbed in what you do. To savor a pleasant experience be mindful of what you’re focusing one. Work to be totally engaged in what you’re doing, be in the moment, and don’t think so much.
We all need to experience pleasurable activities in life, so make sure to plan these in your schedule. Uncover where you get enjoyment and make these a daily priority if possible. Determine which savoring technique you’re going to use and when you’re going to use it.
Photo credit: P.E.N.