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Savoring as a Mindfulness Practice

Melanie Bragg


  • Another mindfulness practice you can add to try is to enhance the art of savoring with just a touch of effort and awareness.
  • A mnemonic device to help you remember this mindfulness practice is SAVOR, which means Sight, Aroma, Volume, Order and Range.
  • A heightened focus of your attention on the practice of savoring will help you slow down and enjoy things you might be too busy to appreciate.
Savoring as a Mindfulness Practice
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The more mindfulness practices we can add to our roster, the more enjoyment we will derive from each day. This month we will explore the practice of savoring. Even if you cannot meditate for 20 minutes a day, you can enhance the art of savoring in your life with just a touch of effort and awareness. Savoring is my go-to “get rich quick” path to mindfulness and its accompanying benefit.

As a noun, “savor” is defined by Merriam-Webster as meaning “the taste or smell of something; a particular flavor or smell; a distinctive quality.” As a verb, it is defined by Merriam-Webster as meaning “to have the experience of; to taste or smell with pleasure; to delight in.”

Savoring is a cousin of gratitude and appreciation. A heightened focus of your attention on the practice of savoring will help you slow down and enjoy things that today you might be too busy to appreciate. Enjoying life on a moment-to-moment basis is an art form to master. Over time, the net effect is that you will calm down, your anxiety level will wane, and your overall feeling of well-being will be enhanced. This will help contribute to good sleep, better nutrition, and more exercise—the building blocks of a balanced life.

The Simplicity of the Practice

You know how I love mnemonic devices. Here is one for SAVOR to share with you. As with all things that may be new, take a moment to think about the quality of savoring as it relates to you and your life.


Savor the beauty of everything around you. Take a good look at the things you see every day and spend an extra moment noticing their characteristics. What emotions arise as you view the same scene with new eyes? Do you get a new sense of appreciation for the beauty of the object, its uniqueness, or its overall contribution to the rest of the room? What have you not noticed for a while?

When you are waiting at a stop light, is there a tree or some flowers to savor in a yard nearby? Is there a mother tending to her children at a park on the corner? Can you look around in your car and see something beautiful there? Savor what you can see in your environment, and before you know it, the light will be green, and you can go on your way with just a tingle of good feelings.


Smell is one of our main senses that we undervalue. What scents are you missing as you rush through your days with your head filled with agendas and tasks to be completed? Savor the aromas that greet you each day. I love to smell the summer air. When I stop and take in a deep breath of summer, I am transported back to when I was a young girl, riding around on my bike and exploring the neighborhood. Instantly, the smell takes me back to the carefree days of summer, and I have a moment of pure joy while walking to my car from my office.

Enjoying the aromas when cooking is a form of mindfulness. Many memories are hosted in our sense of smell. Taking the time to enjoy each bite of your food and to savor the totality of the experience will cause your digestion to slow and aid you in weight loss. The feeling of satiety kicks in, and you are satisfied. I know that eating on the run leaves little time for savoring, but it can still be done. Get creative in savoring the smells of your day.


We are hit with multiple sights and sensations each day. Some of them we don’t even notice anymore, but by savoring your experiences in a new way, you will have an increased awareness and appreciation of your circumstances. You don’t need to have a three-piece orchestra accompanying you with every period of savoring. Just notice the sounds around you and appreciate them. What memories do they invoke? The sound of crickets at night? A train in the distance? Work on savoring the sounds and amounts of input that comes your way each day.

The repeated instances of savoring will enhance the level of your satisfaction and produce more energy and productivity in your life. Try to add several instances of savoring each day. Keep a Savoring Journal and share your experiences of savoring things with a friend or loved one.


As you begin to find more things to savor each day, you will start to see the beauty in the order of life. Patterns will start to emerge as the things you took for granted and did not notice before will begin to look different to you with your new lens of experience. Try to see the beauty in the order of nature. Life has a rhythm full of eccentricities that make sense. Little things like how a parking lot is organized can have new meaning when you set out to fully appreciate it. I love to look at construction sites and watch them as they go from the foundation to the framework to the build-out. Each part of it is interesting, and it makes an orderly whole.


Practicing the art of savoring combined with appreciation and gratitude can fundamentally expand your range and capacity to experience life fully. As your range increases, so will your enjoyment of life. With more range and capacity to appreciate and empathize, you can help your clients problem-solve more effectively, too. It’s a win-win thing for both the lawyer and the client. (Staff might be happier with a more in-tune and appreciative boss, too!) Notice what you savor each day and contemplate the practice. I actually had no idea that the practice of savoring was such a big thing until I read about it in the book Time Smart: How to Reclaim Your Time and Live a Happier Life by Ashley Williams (Harvard Business Review Press, 2020). (I will have more to share with you about the themes and research in this book about time, a lawyer’s favorite obsession, but for this month, the concept of savoring is all we will cover.) There is actually a lot more in-depth information about this subject online if you just Google “savor.” I hope your curiosity is at least piqued.

Until next time . . . namaste. Please let me know if you have any tips, sources, or experiences with mindfulness you want to share at [email protected].

“You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”—Zen proverb