⌛️ Happy Habit #3: Savor The Last Moment

• 2 min read

Savor a moment by imagining it is the last time you'll do what you're doing...

Research Overview

One of the most reliable ways to increase happiness is to savor positive moments in your life by thinking that they are coming to an end. [1]

A 2008 study showed that when students thought about their college experience ending soon, it significantly increased their current life satisfaction and subjective well-being compared to those who thought about graduation as being far away... [2]

"Happiness does not consist in things themselves but in the relish we have of them" — Rochefoucauld

Core Concept

Savoring is a simple, yet powerful happiness intervention. Unfortunately, most people don't really understand what savoring is, let alone how to make it a habit.

Savoring is when people 'up-regulate' their emotions by directing attention to positive feelings. When you experience joy, love, satisfaction, or compassion, you can amplify this by using one of many savoring techniques.

The impact is profound, especially when done regularly over several weeks or months. It's even more profound if you do this with someone you love and share your positive emotions with them.

One way to practice savoring is to imagine that this is the last time you'll do what you're doing.

It's a kind of hack for your brain. Once you perceive this moment as being scarce, it suddenly becomes valuable and worthy of all your attention.

Behavior Tips

You can practice this happiness intervention in the most mundane of experiences and routines. It doesn't have to be significant. It can be as simple as playing an instrument, drinking a cup of coffee, or going on a run.

Practicing this 'last time' technique while experiencing awe and joy with people you love can be incredibly powerful and cathartic, especially during challenging times.

Here are some tips to help make this easier to do:

  1. Set your intention to savor one moment today
  2. When a moment arises that you feel you'd like to savor, pause.
  3. Think "What if this is the last time I ever do this thing?"
  4. Notice whatever emotions and sensations arise.

You can celebrate whatever emotions surface by sharing them with someone else. You can write it down, or commemorate the moment with a photo.

You can write "What if this was the last time?" on a handful of sticky notes and place them in random parts of your home / work to remind you.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

Conclusion

If you practice savoring frequently it will become more and more automatic. Over time, you may find yourself enjoying life's simple experiences, being more present and wanting less.

These happiness interventions seem almost too simple to be effective, but there's nothing you can lose by giving it a try.

Be kind to yourself and have fun!

Citations

  1. Kurtz, J. L. (2018). Savoring: A positive emotion amplifier. In D. S. Dunn (Ed.), Positive psychology: Established and emerging issues (pp. 46–60).
  2. Kurtz, J.L (2008). Looking to the Future to Appreciate the Present: The Benefits of Perceived Temporal Scarcity
← 🎭 Happy Habit #4: Invest in experiences—not things...
🤔 Happy Habit #2: Three Good Things →

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