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44. The Art of Savoring Your Past Without Getting Stuck There

In this episode, we're working on our element of Savoring. This element is a powerful antidote for chronic busyness and feelings of overwhelm. And maybe best of all... it's pretty easy to do. And offers quick benefits. We're talking about savoring the past in this episode, one of the three types of savoring (the others are savoring the present and future). We'll also address a few obstacles to this element of savoring (e.g., getting stuck in repetitive thoughts about the past or glory day living).

Watch this episode on YouTube.

Key Takeaways:

  • Savoring has been defined "as attending, appreciating, and enhancing positive experiences that occur in one’s life" (Bryant & Veroff). 

  • Change doesn't always have to be so hard. Savoring is a tool to help us unlock that pathway of change.
  • Practicing savoring can help us work with our dopamine system in really insightful ways. We can learn how to gain back some control and practice more nourishing skills that bring us pleasure.  
  • Three types of savoring were noted by Bryant and Veroff: Savoring the past (also called reminiscing in the research), savoring the present, and savoring the future (also called anticipation in the research). All of these are associated with positive shifts in mental and physical health. Choose your favorite(s)! 
  • Two commonly discussed emotional regulation strategies are cognitive reappraisal and effective suppression. We think savoring is another that should be discussed more as it works even earlier in an emotion timeline and requires less effort. 
  • We can savor the past without getting locked into it. 
  • Key strategy for savoring the past: Three good things. Here's how to do it:

    • Find a place where you can relax. When you're settled, ask yourself to remember 3 events that were really positive.
    • Write them down if you can and take some time to remember each of them.
    • Then, for each one, reflect on some more details...
      • Why did this happen?
      • What were the circumstances?
      • What was your role in it?
      • Who else was involved and what part did they play in making it happen?
    • End with some deep breaths as you savor any other positive feelings that rise up in your thoughts and in your body.


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