I was sitting with my hubby (then boyfriend) on the grass at a folk festival. We were in undergrad! The sky was a clear bright blue, and we were listening to some exceptional live music. I could smell the grass and the patchouli of a passerby. I was in love, and the world was all right with me. I remember “making a memory” in my mind. I paid attention with all five senses, I captured that feel good moment and to this day, I pull it up whenever I need a pick me up. The key is to notice how you feel when you make your memory.
The technique as I later discovered is called “Savoring” - you know when you taste something extraordinary, and you close your eyes and pay full attention so that you can hold on to the joy of your taste buds dancing. Savoring counteracts your brain’s natural tendency to pay attention to, and remember negative experiences much more than positive ones.
Who’s Your Daddy?
This natural negativity bias is why you remember traumatic events first. FEAR is like a neon yellow highlighter for the brain. The brain sees its survival based on paying particular attention. Our ancestors could make two kinds of mistakes:
1. Thinking there was a tiger in the bushes when there was not one (so checking frequently, focusing on the bush, negatively predicting the future)
2. NOT thinking there was a tiger in the bushes when there was one.
Which one was more deadly? Yes, the second. So we evolved from the ancestors who made the 1st mistake a thousand times. We still make the 2nd one, but not as much, like gamblers who take significant risks. They tend not to perceive danger when it is there.
Naturally Negative Nellies
In general, the default of the brain when left on its own is to OVER estimate threats, and UNDER estimate resources for coping with our lives. There are even regions in the brain designed to prevent the unlearning of fear, especially from childhood. Who Knew? We are naturally negative Nellies! That is why it is imperative that you understand this concept and make all efforts to steer your brain in the direction of paying attention to good stuff.
Becoming a Connoisseur of Fine Memories
Is 'Making a Memory' or 'Savoring' simply being grateful or appreciating the moment? It is - but with an added layer of paying full attention to the moment with all five senses, and making a point of locking in the memory and the feeling. These days when you are accustomed to having your brain leap from thing to thing, you will have to keep bringing it back to your five senses, and the particular moment you are savoring. So that at the end of a day when you are asked; “How was it today?” you can pull back up those finer moments and hopefully override all of the naturally negative things that were present as well. The photo is from my savoring moment today, noticing the warmth of the sun on my skin, the sound of the robins, the smell of newly cut grass, the taste of good coffee, the sight of the buds on the fir and my feeling of “all is right with the world.”
Cheer! Happy Savoring!!
I would love to hear how your “Savoring” is going for you. Kindly comment below.
PS: Contact me if you are interested in more of this kind of Master Your Mind for Success work. I am currently creating an online program that teaches you to do more of this!
Until next time; be passionate!
I love what I do! Facilitating workshops, retreats, speaking, working with people and organizations to help them live lives of passion and engage in meaningful work makes me want to sing and dance.
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