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Smelling the Roses: Better Living Through Savoring

"Stop and smell the roses," people often say. Then they smile ruefully, because everybody knows there isn't enough TIME to stop or, as my daughter says, to "chill."

This is the Conventional Wisdom ? and I'm here to tell you that the CW is simply WRONG. Researchers in Positive Psychology find that people actually get more done if they take time out to SAVOR their day. Not only that, but, over time, people who set aside a few hours every week are likely to be healthier, more relaxed, and better able to cope with the stresses of everyday life.

Why not try it? Give yourself the gift of Savoring. (Hey, stress is all you have to lose!)

To start, make a list of 10 things you REALLY enjoy doing, whether or not you've made time for them lately. I'm talking about stuff that gives you real pleasure. They may be things you do alone, or with one other person, or with a group. Look over the list, and see if one thing says "pick me." Choose one of those activities that you enjoy.

Now: Take out your calendar, and SOME TIME IN THE NEXT MONTH, block out at least a 2-hour period that is JUST FOR YOU. Half a day is better. A whole day is best of all. Do whatever is needed to make that time free. Ask a neighbor to baby-sit. Tell your spouse you'll be busy. Say "no" to the half-dozen requests that will almost certainly challenge your Savoring Time .

And when Your Day comes . . . GO FOR IT, whether you're making a picture, walking in the woods, going to a movie, or just sitting still. What matters is that you're doing something you really enjoy.

These tricks will help you get the most out of your day:

? Give yourself permission ? this is Your Day. It is absolutely 100% okay for you to be taking this time. Leave your cel phone at home, or at least turned off. When kill-joy thinking comes along (and it will), play with it. Pretend it's a stick floating in a stream, and just let it drift away.

? Keep the day alive ? collect a souvenir or take mental photographs to help you hold on to this special time.

? Focus ? as though you were taking a photograph, adjust the "depth of field." Focus on selected aspects of the experience and let the others go.

? Immerse Yourself ? Try not to analyze the experience, just be there. You're savoring, remember?

? Tell the story ? Share your experience with a friend or partner ? the joy that's shared multiples by ten.

? Write it down. Read it over as a reminder in a few days or weeks.

When your Savoring time is over, celebrate! Pat yourself on the back for challenging the Conventional Wisdom. And, while you're at it, why not take out your calendar and make another date for Savoring Your Day?

© 2004 Maureen Killoran

Maureen Killoran, MA, DMin, is a Life Coach and Unitarian minister, with a passion for helping people connect their strengths with their vision. Maureen offers dynamic individual and group coaching, work team empowerment training, teleclasses, and a free monthly e-zine, "Seeds of Change." http://www.spiritquestcoaching.com

In The News:

Hong Kong set for more protests despite extradition bill suspension
Sun, 16 Jun 2019 03:33:00 +0100
Hong Kong is preparing for more huge protests today over the controversial and unpopular extradition bill that has come under heavy criticism.

Appeasement in Hong Kong fails as divisions deepen
Sat, 15 Jun 2019 17:53:00 +0100
On a bridge by Hong Kong's government headquarters, messages to the authorities plaster the walls.

Let's hope the UK has a strategy to protect its tech from espionage and rivalry
Sun, 16 Jun 2019 05:37:00 +0100


Priests wear hard hats at first Notre Dame mass since fire
Sat, 15 Jun 2019 18:43:00 +0100
Notre Dame in Paris held its first Mass since the fire which caused enormous damage to the cathedral's roof and destroyed its spire.

India face Pakistan in 'mother of all matches' at Cricket World Cup
Sat, 15 Jun 2019 16:22:00 +0100
Billions of eyes will be fixed on one of the biggest sporting fixtures in the world as neighbouring countries and arch rivals, India and Pakistan, go head to head in what is expected to be a thrilling Cricket World Cup showdown in Manchester on Sunday. 



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