NOV 17

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21: NOV 17 - 7. Gratitude and Savoring

Assigned

  • Bryant, Fred, C8, “Enhancing Savoring” (27)

In-class

  • Bryant, Fred, C1, “Concepts of Savoring: An Introduction” (23)

Bryant, Chapter 8: Enhancing Savoring

  • Theoretical Issues:
  • How much can savoring do given set point theory? (Lykken 2000 - "trying to be happier...") "range" (Recall Emmons study results: effects 6 months later.)
  • Similar efforts: Fordyce's happiness intervention study: savoring a common feature 200
  • Savoring in a construct relationship with Coping
  • Factors Enhancing both Coping and Savoring:
  • Social Support (sharing feelings with others) -- note imp. of having people with whom to share good news. being such a person, as well. building elements of happy community.
  • Writing about life experiences, (gratitude journals would be a positive example, or log). Pennebaker mentioned here.
  • Downward hedonic contrast (neg. visualization, but also foregrounding and isolating the positive experience. Recovering a sense that the ordinary is a treat.) (odd effect of volunteering working in absolutely poor countries) --- counterfactual thinking: recalling good things about your circumstances that have slipped into the background; thinking about how a bad outcome could have been worse, how something good might not have happened.
  • Humor, - Can you cultivate a sense of humor about things? Can you make yourself laugh? (Laughter clubs)
  • Spirituality & Religion --
  • Awareness of Fleetingness of Experience -- note connection with buddhism. Could heightening our awareness of the fleetingness of life enhance our savoring of it?
  • Essential Pre-conditions for Savoring
  • Freedom from Social and Esteem Concerns: explicated largely in terms of mindfulness... (more advice here, 206) (cynical caveat: Unless that's what you're savoring!)?
  • Present Focus: goes back to what might seem odd about mindfulness as preparatory to savoring.
  • non-judgmental orientation
  • openness to seeing something new or as if for the first time.
  • Attentional Focus: avoid multi-tasking, imagine it's the last time (it usually is -- consider the perfect day. Consider today as having a kind of perfection. Can one extend the judgement to a cloudy day? ), attention to uniqueness of experience aids savoring. (Example of priming: “A perfect day.”
  • Enhancing Savoring
  • Taking “time out” from a routine. Slowing down time.
  • Vacation in Daily Life -- (in food studies, "slow culture" (from the slow food movement). Point is to have a proactive approach to savoring. “Happy Hour” could do this.
  • Life Review -- recalling pleasurable experience, "chaining" - connecting different experiences in a pattern. Example: In your mind go around campus and recall experiences from your time here.
  • Camera Exercise. (Cell phone cameras now.) Cameras can prime us to notice things that are otherwise in the background.

Additional Issues:

  • Savoring and wisdom — savoring meaningful experiences (not just “good feels”) can contribute to a sense of having a good life, reinforcing confidence that your life is going well.
  • Savoring and Connoisseur-ship: Does Savoring require (or is it enhanced by) connoisseur-ship? How does that square with Epicurean simplicity? Note how you might use a modified Epicureanism to include some insights about complex savoring.