Unlocking the Magic of Ordinary Moments
How to embrace the beauty of life’s little pleasures
Jean Edelman: Great to be with you this week. This week I thought I would talk about the word savor to fully notice and appreciate. The practice of savoring is about being aware of something and getting pleasure from it. In our hectic day, it’s so hard to find time to do this, but we can savor in our micro moments, perhaps over a cup of tea or standing in the sun for a few moments. If you’ve taken a break, it could be sitting in the company of a friend.
The reason the practice of savoring is hard to do is that we are dopamine addicts and dopamine is one of the chemicals in our brain that regulates our mood. It’s known as the pleasure chemical. Whenever we experience pleasure, we get a dose of dopamine. It feels good. And we want more. Today we are surrounded by things that provide dopamine versus our ancestors. They had to create the moments.
But in today’s society, we are constantly bombarded. The greatest dispensary of dopamine is our mobile phone. Our social media and news feeds are constant doses of dopamine. So if our social media and our news feeds are giving us what we want, why bother with the moments in the sun and the moments sitting with the friend?
Because the latter is healthier. There’s research in neuropsychology that suggests that savoring a moment can create a lasting impact, where our social media is creating something that is so short lived that we need more of it.
So the action item of this week, this will probably be hard, is to pick one thing in our day that shows up that we can savor. It can be a beautiful flower on our walk. It could be a song we hear on the radio. It could be a cuddle with our pet. But when we personally create that moment, we are building a positive, lasting boost to our immune system and these moments will be activated the next day and the day after, just by seeing or being exposed to that again versus us being bombarded with the social media. Creating the savoring moments is how we make a wonderful life. We don’t have to change anything. All we have to do is appreciate and pay attention to what’s there.
So this challenge this week is to maybe segment your time on the phone, segment your time with your social media, and then create some personal moments where you can create these moments to savor.
So we’re going to create two and we have to pay attention because these are the ones that we create are going to be more meaningful, create a more wonderful day. These are just going to be constant bombardment of dopamine, which is just going to make us anxious and we’re just going to want more. I hope that makes sense. It’s about what we create versus more than what our phone and our social media create.
So the word of the week is SAVOR.
The S is to Stop. Get off our electronics. Look around us. Find something else to soak in. Other than this piece of electronics that’s always in our hand. Hold that in our heart. Hold that in our mind so that we can build this. I’ll call it the savor muscle, so we can build this muscle.
The A is for Attention. Pay attention to the little things in our life. Like I said, it could be a little flower on our walk or our goofy thing that our dog is doing or anything funny that we’re experiencing in our day. But we need to look for these moments and pay attention.
The V is for Value. Value everything in our day that isn’t provided by social media and our cell phones. Stop and notice this beautiful life around us. Don’t let our day be a blur here. Let the day be here. Find a few moments to anchor into something pleasant that we’re creating versus this electronic creation.
The O is to Observe. There’s so much to see when we’re not here on our phones and electronics. Open up to what’s around us. Practice on our walks. Look at the trees. Look at the bark. Look at the flowers and all the different colors. Look at the wildlife. Listen to the birds. They’re constantly talking. I’ll never forget one night I was taking a walk, and there must have been some insect that had just hatched because in this field were hundreds of dragonflies and these dragonflies were having a feast because of whatever it was that had just hatched. Now, if I had had my head in my cell phone instead of my head up and observing what I was seeing, I would have missed this amazing experience of this dragonfly feast. And that was a long time ago, but I’m still holding on to that because it was pretty cool. And so that’s what I’m talking about, finding these moments that just sit with us and that we just we savor. So find the moments.
The R is for Rich because our lives will be richer if we can fill it with these moments, these moments to savor.
We only get so many of these days. Don’t let them be empty with constant busyness and constant on our cell phones. Stop and look around. We’ll be surprised at what we see. And it will be wonderful. And it will stay with us and it will create a smile. Have a great week, everyone.