As human beings we have an inbuilt mechanism to keep us safe. It is our negativity bias. We are programmed to look for signs of danger and negativity everywhere. As cavemen and women this was vital. Being on the look out for a sabre tooth tiger would save our lives, whilst being alert to spotting a fluffy kitten would not. For some of us though, our negativity bias is over active. We are like teflon for positive experiences and velcro for the negative. Think back to your last performance review at work or your child’s school report. Amongst all the praise and positive feedback it is the negative comment that you remember and ruminate over.
If our brain is sensing negative experiences, our body initiates the stress response. So an over active negativity bias increases our stress levels and reduces our resilience and well-being. Bring more balance into the system by taking the time to seek out and savour pleasant experiences.
Chose an everyday experience that you enjoy, this could be your first cup of tea in the morning, sitting in the garden, listening to music or eating a tasty snack. Now, stop anything else that you are doing and give your full attention to savouring that experience. Notice the finer details of the experience as well as any feelings or sensations that arise. Explore the tastes, sensations, aromas, sights and sounds associated with what you are savouring. Notice how you feel in your body during the time you spend savouring the experience. If your attention drifts away (which it will), just notice where it drifted too and gently come back to the savouring experience. Only carry on with this for as long as it is easy and enjoyable so that you end on a high.
Try introducing this savouring practice into your day and you will see how much pleasure you can experience from the simple things in life.