Savor life: don’t just
breathe it in, exhale the moment to intake the next. – K.C. Rhoads

Too often humans feel like human doings instead of human beings. We feel stuck in the busyness of life. We’re multi-tasking. Distracted. The opposite of present. When we’re eating, we’re checking emails, scrolling through social media, watching the latest Netflix series. When we’re walking, we’re focused on the number of steps on our fitness tracker. And rarely do we notice the quality of our breath unless it’s during the one hour we spend at yoga.

But what could we be missing out on, by speeding through life, not stopping to “smell the roses?”

When we take the time to appreciate the every day wonders in life, we experience more satisfaction and happiness in life according to The Journal of Personality and Individual Differences.

Try one of these 3 simple strategies to live more fully in the moment and bring more presence (thus satisfaction and happiness!) into your life:

1.Get outside… and soak in your surroundings.

How many times have you missed the every day miracles in nature? September is my favorite month in my hometown of Jackson Hole. I relish in the beauty of nature’s transition into fall.

  • Savor in the beauty of the sunrise or sunset. Have a seat and take it in. 
  • Go ahead, rake up a pile of leaves and JUMP IN! Be a kid again. Have fun! Laugh!
  • Forest bath. Go for a walk in the woods. Observe the details of your experience. Notice the leaves crunching under your feet, the smell of the pine trees, and feel the cool breeze of the crisp autumn air.

Photo: Noah Silliman Unplash

2. When you eat, just eat.

Practice creating a nourishing meal time ritual.

  • Set the tone: light a candle, put on your favorite music, buy fresh flowers for the table and use your best china and silverware tonight instead of waiting for a special occasion (that special occasion is now).
  • Slow down. Eating under the relaxation response creates an optimal digestive response. We absorb and assimilate our nutrients best when we bring awareness to our plate. Taste your food. Notice the smell, flavor and texture of your food.
  • Practice gratitude. Why wait for Thanksgiving to be thankful for your food and all of life’s blessings? Say “grace” at the table every night.
  • Disconnect to reconnect. Put down your devices and connect with food, your body and your dining companions.

We are nourished by far more than nutrition. Nourishment is the nutrients in the food, the taste, the aroma, the ambiance of the room, the conversation at the table, the love and inspiration in the cooking and the joy of the entire eating experience. 
– Marc David, author, The Slow Down Diet

3. Stop for a breath, come up for air.

I remember the day that I noticed that I was living like life was an emergency. I was in the supermarket parking lot walking like a mad-woman to get my errands down when I noticed my heart racing. Woahhh. I need to slow down I thought. It really struck me in that moment that I was barely breathing. I asked myself what would happen if I slowed down and took a couple extra minutes to myself, to breathe? My answer. Nothing on my to-do list was an emergency.

Take inventory of how you’re living your life. 

  • What are your top five priorities? YOU must be on this list. 
  • Do you normally rush out the door in the morning feeling frazzled? Try a new bedtime ritual and morning routine. Go to bed fifteen minutes earlier to wake earlier. Have “me-time.” Savor a cup of tea. Set a relaxed tone for your day. 
  • Practice saying no and being selective with your “yeses.” Create space to breathe and savor life’s simple pleasures. 

So why should we live in the moment? 

Because it’s in the pauses, in the savoring, where we really feel satisfied, happy and alive.