You know those times when you have hundreds of things swirling around in your head and so many things on your to-do list that you can’t even focus because you are so overwhelmed? You find yourself snapping at the people you love the most or mentally checking out and ignoring it all. At times like those, you need a reset to help you get back on track. Try this 15-minute happiness hack: enjoy a savoring walk.
What is a savoring walk?
A savoring walk is simple: Go outside and start walking. As you walk, actively look for positive things around you. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the feelings that bring you joy.
Maybe you notice the smell of teriyaki chicken from the neighbor’s backyard grill. Or the pine tree you are passing, or the lilac bushes or the smell of wet dirt as it begins to rain.
You see the beautiful flowers in the landscaping, the interesting architecture, the attractive paint colors on a nearby home or store. The interesting way the light and shadows fall across the sidewalk. The color of the sky and the shape of the leaves on the trees.
Or hear the satisfying crunch of the leaves beneath your feet, the tinkling of your dog’s collar as she trots along beside you, the sound of your breath going in and out, the laughter of children playing somewhere nearby.
Feel the cool breeze on your skin, or the sunshine on your face, the loosening of the tightness in your shoulders.
With or without kids:
You can take a savoring walk alone or with the kids. While you might have a more meditative experience without the kids, a savoring walk with them can help you both to notice and appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.
Children are masterful at noticing things that we as adults often no longer pay attention to. The fascinating movement of a caterpillar, the discovery of a hermit crab, the shape of a leaf, the presence of every rock. There is nothing quite like seeing the world become new again through the eyes of a child.
How it helps boost happiness:
A savoring walk is a mindfulness practice. It helps you turn off the mental chatter in your head and focus on the present moment. In doing so, you bring yourself back into awareness of the good and positive things that are occurring around you. It gets you moving, lifts your mood and makes it easier to focus. It inspires feelings of gratitude and appreciation for this moment right here and now.
A savoring walk is another way to train your brain to scan for the positive things that already surround you. It helps boost positive feelings by helping you notice and process the good things and not just rush past them or take them for granted.
Try this small thing today:
Enjoy a savoring walk. Go outside and walk for 15 minutes, noticing the positive sights, sounds, smells and sensations around you.
Learn more about the savoring walk on this podcast episode from the Greater Good Science Center.
Let me know if you try it. Did you enjoy it? What was one thing you noticed that you wouldn’t normally have? Tell us about it in the comments.
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Enjoying Small Things Over Time?
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