Optimizing A Good Feeling Day
Wouldn’t it be nice to begin a day feeling good and continue to expand on this feeling? For most people feeling good can be fleeting and can change in an instant. It could be a simple look someone give us, an interaction with another person or recalling an argument with a partner that can instantly change feeling good. These small moments may seem insignificant, but in a day you may encounter 10 of these small moments. This can build as the day goes on and without recognizing it can dramatically turn a good day into a bad day. One way to practice feeling good is being more protective of these encounters. It takes being aware and deliberate about maintaining feeling good.
Being more tuned into how you are feeling or what coming up for you is important. It takes energy and focus to cultivate and maintain positive emotions. You might be running on autopilot and don’t think about the daily things that are influencing your mood. A lot of the times when you are on autopilot you aren’t savouring these moments. Rather, a hug from your partner or cooking dinner, or physical activity becomes routine and monotonous. However, when you are already in a good feeling place it becomes a lot easier to nurture and expand positive emotions.
In her book, Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression, Miriam Akhtar describes a technique from Positive Psychology of Savouring the Moment. Savouring is described as slowing, expanding and delighting in positive experiences It is about Indulging in positive emotions, and allowing feelings to continue to deepen and strengthen by drawing out the experience of these moments.
I love this technique because it is deepening the feel-good emotions and soaking in these feelings. This is about taking the simple pleasures, being active, and amplifying them. In her book, she discusses several techniques to Savour the Moment, here are my favorite ones:
Ignite the 5 senses—Engaging smell, touch, sight, taste and auditory provides a full body experience. For example, smelling certain aromatherapies help to boost the calmness, listening to music can calm the system or watching a scene in nature. These are simple ideas but reap powerful benefits in the body and brain.
Enjoy nature: Taking time to be in awe of the beauty and expansiveness of the planet that can instantly boost feeling good. Being close to trees, mountains or water can create a calming and grounding experience.
Cultivate your positive qualities and strengths: Notice how you use your positive qualities, and strengths throughout the day. Are there ways that you can integrate your strengths? For example, using your calm nature when there is a negative interaction or using problem solving skills to complete a project at work.
Creativity: Using your creativity to optimize your good day. This can be a ton of great ideas to facilitate creativity whether its playing music, using journals, memory books or treasure boxes. Using these tools as opportunities to bask in the positive emotions.
Reflecting on Positive Memories: Reliving positive memories from past experiences, interactions, or accomplishments. The purpose is to stimulate and continue positive emotions. For example, reliving a favorite vacation or playing a sport.
Optimizing feeling good is about slowing down enough to catch yourself when your mood starts to decease and being vigilant about making a choice to feel better. Again, practice on Savouring the Moment when you are already feeling good. What ideas can you integrate right now to begin the process of Savouring?
Akhatar,M.(2012). Positive Psychology for Overcoming Depression. London: Watkins Publishing
Crystal Hamill, MA, is experienced in the areas of mindfulness and interpersonal relationships, plus many more. For more information on Crystal and her work, click here to link to her full bio page.