May – June 2012

Savoring the Moment

Each year we look forward to spring with excitement, anticipation and delight. Flowers bloom, the days are longer and celebrations abound. For many, spring is a whirlwind; filled with so many events we can hardly remember what we did from weekend to weekend. For others it’s overkill. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, graduations, weddings…. Regardless of what camp you fall into, hiding within these special days are precious memories that brought us joy.  It’s remembering them that are the secret.

What is savoring?

Savoring is simply taking in a special moment – fully. This spring, (and whenever the spirit moves you) try to use all your senses to record the good times.  According to research by Bryant and Veroff (2007) savoring is a way to consciously recognize what is good in your life, which in turn leads to a more positive outlook.

Ways to savor include:

  • Slow down the moment. “Stop and smell the roses” – especially if you are the host.
  • Record a funny toast, or take a video of a your mom or dad smiling
  • Make prints of inspiring photos and actually post them around the house
  • Save invites, thank you cards, ticket stubs, and anything that you might want to put in a memory box or on a bulleting board.
  • Reminisce about the details of your good time with others
  • Send your hosts a thank you note with details of what you truly enjoyed

Savoring Heals

During a busy season, many of us fall into the trap of unnecessary fear and stress but the problem is our bodies react as if a Saber tooth tiger was about to pounce.

Calling up rich memories, that evoke emotions of love may prove to be the antidote.

At the recent Harvard Medical School conference on Coaching in Leadership and Healthcare, Eva Selhub, M.D. author of The Love Response® presented her cutting edge work on chronic, over-the-top stress reactions. The “fight or flight” response still has it’s place says Selhub but our health suffers when stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol are triggered on a regular basis.  While genetics is a factor, Selhub’s research shows the mind/body response to fear and stress can be reversed.

Selhub suggests a plan of attack that includes three steps:

1) Redirect your focus from worries or fear to the present moment. Consider:

  • Mindful and calming activities like taking a bath, or going for a walk
  • Exercise
  • Taking deep breaths
  • Meditation

2) Visualize images of loving, happy memories. This will induce a relaxation response and help signal the brain to release the hormone oxytocin, known to reduce anxiety and increase feelings of contentment.

*Begin by closing, your eyes, taking a few deep breaths and in as much detail as you can imagine one of the following:

  • The best hug you ever got
  • The first time you saw or held a baby
  • A scene from a movie that always leads to happy tears
  • The warm sun on sparkling water, a beautiful sunset or any vision that always makes you feel loved and happy

*As you exhale, feel the warmth and love surrounding you and the stress hormones retreating.

3) Reinforce self-compassion. Selhub led our group in a meditation to counteract fear by encouraging us to repeat the following words during a guided meditation.

The secret is to practice regularly:

  • I am enough
  • I have enough
  • I have what it takes – come what may
  • I am a miracle

The major health benefits says Selhub include a stronger immune system, improved cardiovascular and respiratory health, better metabolism and less gastrointestinal distress. The benefits of living in a more relaxed, open state extends way beyond the physical. “We become more social, attractive to others, self-confident and hopeful” says Selhub.

Savoring Love

This spring go out of your way to look for opportunities to recognize and savor moments that touch your heart.  When you catch yourself feeling goose bumps ask yourself, “what’s going on in my body right now”? Do I feel calm and content, open and hopeful? How can I remember this powerful feeling? Savor, celebrate and have a great spring!


Amy Tardio

For a complimentary coaching session, contact Amy.