You have to savor life, enjoy it on a slow fire, embrace the present moment with intensity, with your eyes wide open and your heart always receptive. In this way, we will make of these experiences vitamins of hope for tomorrow, fuel of positive emotions for difficult moments… Let us never forget that investing in quality time is winning in health reserve.
This simple reasoning seems without doubt a truism. We all know that if we were able to go a little slower, to appreciate the simplest things of our day to day, maybe, we would feel much better. However, as the essayist and researcher Nassim Taleb points out, people, in some way, are failing in what we call “common sense”.
We have forgotten how to taste life. Likewise, we find ourselves trapped in so many unique labyrinths, in so many pressures, fears, anxieties, objectives to fulfill and lack of certainty in which to place our attention that the task of situating the gaze in the present moment and appreciating it becomes complicated.
On the other hand, we can not forget that our brain is always aware of the possible threats and risks. He does not care that we are happy or not, he only wants us to survive. Therefore, it is up to us to focus our attention on the here and now and to learn to appreciate life a little more.
The conscious control of attention also creates a type of cognitive and emotional reserve that directly affects our health. An important fact that is worth considering…
The art of savoring life and autobiographical memory
We will all have done the following at some point. In an instant when we felt good, happy and full, we tried to take a “mental snapshot”. We have told ourselves that “I am going to keep this moment in my memory and the sensations that I am experiencing so that I will never forget them”.
Something so simple (and wonderful at the same time) serves for something more than to make sure that our memory will not subtract a shimmer from that exceptional experience. We carry out a voluntary cognitive and emotional act on the present moment so that it has a usefulness in the future. We hope, in some way, that today’s happiness will not continue to shine in the future.
It is an exercise based on mindfulness, a conscious mind imbued with positive emotions. The art of savoring life is precisely this: to be able to promote moments of well-being to integrate them into our memory and thus serve as pills of happiness for tomorrow.
The psychological exercise of savoring life and positive nostalgia
Marios Biskas, from the University of Southampton, in the United Kingdom, conducted a study in 2018 on nostalgia. In this work we discover a series of aspects that we should consider:
- Savoring life is more than just a phrase, something more than a positive message for personal growth. It is really a kind of very healthy psychological exercise for our brain.
- According to this study, the art of “savoring” is a deep attention activity. It is a deliberative mental act where we capture the present experience, we retain it and originate with it what is defined as “nostalgic memories”.
Dr. Biskas and his team demonstrated with an experimental group that generating this type of memory helps us in the future to recover these fragments to impregnate ourselves once more with positive emotions. It is an enriching nostalgia, it is to have a window to which we can peek from time to time to breathe, to wrap ourselves in pleasant sensations.
Building an autobiographical memory based on instants of balance, inner peace and well-being, in turn, reverts to our psychological equilibrium. It is an interesting aspect to take into account.
The importance of having a conscious control over our memory
To taste life, first, you have to create the moment. Often, we often tell ourselves that happiness comes and goes, that moments of well-being are casual and that they do not always depend on ourselves. Now, to think this is a mistake.
We must be promoters of good times and for that we must promote them. This means knowing how to slow down, establishing moments of rest, meeting with those we love most, moments of solitude where we can connect with ourselves.
No big events or expensive trips are needed. As best tastes life is with simplicity, with an attentive look, awake and humble while appreciating the most elementary things. Likewise, when this happens, when we are experiencing that moment of well-being, we would do well to activate the conscious control of our memory and tell us that “I am going to keep this moment in my mind”.
The more control, the greater the will to accumulate instants of balance and happiness, the more we will exercise our brain so that it is oriented towards the achievement of this objective and, in turn, to keep in our biographical memory all those mental photographs of well-being. It is a task that is worth trying and that will generate a good cognitive and emotional reserve for tomorrow.