The practice of savoring is closely related to gratitude. Savoring refers to the conscious enjoyment of that which gives us pleasure; that is, lingering over delightful experiences, swishing them around in our awareness like a glass of good wine. We often think of savoring in terms of a sensual experience: noticing the subtle taste and aroma of our food rather than merely wolfing it down. Smelling, tasting, and caressing our lover's skin rather than merely 'doing the deed.' But savoring can be applied to all enjoyable experiences — reveling in the lovely sound of a friend's laughter, the beauty of a fallen leaf, the satisfying depth and complexity of a well-written novel.

When we savor an experience, we hold it in mindful awareness, paying conscious attention to the pleasant thoughts, sensations, and emotions arising in the present moment. We can also savor delightful memories, so that we relive joyous experiences and appreciate them all over again — like the day we met our life partner, or first held our newborn child, or took that romantic trip to Prague. Savoring is an intentional act designed to prolong and deepen pleasure, luxuriating in its beauty.

Kristin Neff, Self-Compassion