One of the most important ingredients of happiness is to live in and savor the present moment or reminisce about the past. Empirical research has shown that savoring is related to intense and frequent happiness. People who tend to savor are more self-confident, extroverted and gratified, and less hopeless and neurotic. They are also less likely to experience depression, stress, guilt and shame.
This month’s Positivity Project exercise is to take a “Wonder Walk.” In preparation for this blog, I did my wonder walk a few weeks ago. It was a beautiful day and my husband and I drove to Silver Falls and hiked to the North Falls. What an amazing experience! All of my senses were engaged and tingling. From the lushness of the woods to the soothing sound of running water to the booming sound of the falls, I was very present with my surroundings. I felt alive. I felt energized. I felt happy. I enjoyed the feeling of connectedness I had with my husband. I was fully in the moment. I remember asking myself, “why don’t I do this more often?” I wanted to stop and capture moments by taking pictures. Not only was I able to savor life’s joy on my wonderful walk to the falls, now I can savor the memory of it and feel that joy and appreciation again.
The cherry blossom trees are starting to bloom and now is an amazing time to get out and experience your own wonder walk. Remember that the pleasure of the moment can be heightened with others. Invite a co-worker to come along with you on your wonder walk. Research (and personal experience) show that those who share an experience have more positive emotions like joy, accomplishment, amusement, contentment and pride.
For some additional savoring, follow me on my wonder walk to the North Falls. My husband created this video. The beauty of Oregon inspired him and I hope it inspires you as well.