Savoring Walk

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 15 mins
(9 member ratings)

Time Required

20 minutes daily for at least one week.

How to Do It

Set aside 20 minutes to take a walk outside by yourself every day for a week. Try to stick to this schedule unless the weather is extremely bad. You can still do this exercise in a light rain—provided you have a decent umbrella and rain jacket.

As you walk, try to notice as many positive things around you as you can. These can be sights, sounds, smells, or other sensations. For example, you could focus on the breathtaking height of a tree you never really noticed before, the intricate architecture of a building on your block, the dance of sunshine off a window or puddle, the smell of grass or flowers, or the way other people look out for each other as they navigate crowded streets.

As you notice each of these positive things, acknowledge each one in your mind—don’t just let them slip past you. Pause for a moment as you hear or see each thing and make sure it registers with your conscious awareness, really take it in. Try to identify what it is about that thing that makes it pleasurable to you.

Try to walk a different route each day so you don’t become too accustomed to any of these things and start to take them for granted.

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 15 mins
(9 member ratings)

Why You Should Try It

In our daily lives, we don’t always notice or acknowledge the pleasant and positive things around us. We may be in a rush, distracted by other thoughts, or busy checking our phones. As a result, we miss opportunities for positive experiences and positive emotions—the building blocks of long-term happiness.

Research suggests that we can maximize the benefits of the good things around us by consciously savoring them rather than letting them pass us by or taking them for granted. This exercise offers one basic way to start savoring the bounty of goodness around us—not by going to some exotic destination but by paying more careful attention to the sights, smells, and sounds we often neglect.

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 15 mins
(9 member ratings)

Evidence That It Works

Bryant, F. & Veroff, J. (2007). Savoring: A new model of positive experience. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Participants who were encouraged to maintain a positive focus during daily walks for one week reported a greater increase in happiness at the end of the week, compared to participants who were encouraged to maintain a negative or neutral focus during their walks.  

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 15 mins
(9 member ratings)

Why It Works

Taking the time to “stop and smell the roses”—what researchers call “savoring”—can enhance happiness and boost feelings of appreciation and gratitude. Savoring helps us deepen the impact that positive events have on our emotional lives—rather than just slipping from our awareness, or failing to register in the first place, these events sink into our minds and stay with us long after they are over. By becoming more attuned to our surroundings, we may also be more likely to connect with the people around us, even if it’s just to share a smile

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 15 mins
(9 member ratings)

Sources

Fred Bryant, Ph.D., Loyola University

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 15 mins
(9 member ratings)

For More

Difficulty: Moderate | Frequency: 1x/day | Duration: 15 mins
(9 member ratings)

We often walk without seeing the sights and sounds around us, but a Savoring Walk invites us to pay attention to them. Are you attuned to the present moment? Take our Mindfulness quiz to find out:

Completion Status

Comments & Reviews

  1. Eli Dolza
    Eli Dolza
    November 4, 2017

    I have regained strength and emotional balance by walking frequently. Minute changes in the daily stroll have made me attuned to my surroundings and immersed in the precious time out-of-doors. With the dog is funner but alone is more conducive for meditating.

  2. vikalopez
    vikalopez
    July 4, 2017

    I do it walking with my dog or on the way to work. Another day I noticed and stopped to take a photo of a flowered tree, admired a bird and the rainbow (after the rain)

  3. jemedite
    jemedite
    April 5, 2017

    Great advice!

  4. jemedite
    jemedite
    April 5, 2017

    Meditation can also be helpful in becoming more grateful. http://meditationpracticessite.com/spiritual-benefits/can-make-you-more-grateful/

  5. Jason Smith
    Jason Smith
    June 3, 2015

    Savoring moments during a walk, such as the smell of a pine tree, reminds me of other moments in my life that that smell occurred!

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