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The Forgotten Key to Happiness

Episode #11

In this episode, we are exploring the forgotten key to happiness… savoring! In our modern world, there is both excess and inequity, a recipe that has distracted us from the art of noticing and appreciating the good things around us. We discuss the relationship between dopamine, pleasure, addiction, motivation, and in the midst of those, the superpower of savoring. Listen in for the powerful benefits of savoring and how it can unlock greater happiness in your life.


In This Episode:


  • [00:55] What does it mean to savor? 
  • [06:27] Excess vs Deficiency and the Dopamine system
  • [11:24] Aimee’s ridiculous RV trip: Unmet expectations and missed savoring
  • [15:23] Our complicated relationship with pleasure
  • [17:08] The science behind savoring
  • [22:15] Savoring vs Mindfulness: A quiet forest walk


Key Takeaways:


  • Savoring requires us to fully notice and enjoy something, to get real pleasure from it, to appreciate its goodness, and even play a role in enhancing that appreciation, making the experience even more fantastic.
  • Dopamine and pleasure are also closely tied to motivation. As far as our bodies are concerned, the more pleasure (AKA the more dopamine), the better. And in this case, our nature can get us into trouble because in a sense, we are insatiable.
  • There's solid evidence that savoring can be used to address things like anxiety and depression, reducing opioid misuse risk, and reduced suicide risk. This simple practice of savoring is a superpower.
  • Find things to savor in your daily life. Choose one thing to enjoy and to enhance those good feelings. When that thing rolls around the next day or later, it can offer an automatic positive boost–without you doing a thing.


Resources & Links Mentioned:


  • Bryant, F. B. (2021). Current Progress and Future Directions for Theory and Research on Savoring. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.771698.
  • Parker-Pope, T. (January 3, 2022). Diets Make You Feel Bad. Try Training Your Brain Instead. The New York Times.
  • Wilson, K. A., & MacNamara, A. (2021). Savor the moment: Willful increase in positive emotion and the persistence of this effect across time. Psychophysiology, 58. doi: 10.1111/psyp.13754
  • Joan Chittister: http://sisterjoanchittister.net
  • www.joylab.coach