Get students thinking about the importance of savouring by starting a conversation based on the following questions:
- Do you ever feel like you are so busy and lost in your thoughts that you can’t appreciate the moment? What consequences might be associated with this?
- How much time do you spend (either in the moment, reminiscing the past, or anticipating the future) in positive experiences compared to negative experiences? How does the time you spend thinking about positive and negative experiences influence your overall mood?
- Has anyone ever told you to savour an experience? If so, when, and what do you think this means?
- When something good happens, do you pause and take the time to congratulate yourself? Do you share your excitement with others? Why or why not?
Let students know that for positive feelings to stem from positive events, they need to be aware of, attend to, and appreciate these positive events. Explain that the term “savouring” is used to describe this conscious act of attending to positive events and that students can savour something by stretching their experience of time. For example, if students have ever been allowed to have a really special treat, like a piece of cake or fancy chocolate, they might have eaten more slowly to enjoy it as much as possible. Mention that you will revisit how to savour food later on.
Continue by explaining that it’s possible to savour a wide variety of positive experiences, such as accomplishments, sensory experiences, nature, family traditions, or moments with friends. Let students know that it’s also possible to savour across three different dimensions of time: They can savour the past by recalling positive memories, savour the future by anticipating or imagining positive events, or savour the present by staying in the moment.
Then, split the class into small groups of 3-4 and ask each group to brainstorm at least one way to savour a positive experience for each of the three time orientations (past, present, and future). After 5-6 minutes, bring the class back together and use a whiteboard or a large poster paper to start a list of the student’s ideas.
Throughout this discussion, contribute your own suggestions, making sure that all of the 10 steps to savouring good things in life (from the READY section) have been covered.