Growing up in New York, one of our family favorites for special occasions was getting an S&S cheesecake. This is not an ordinary cheesecake; this thing was heaven in each delicious bite. I’m sure around the holidays, you will be eating many of your favorite sweets, too.
Don’t you wish those sugary bites of bliss would give you the long lasting stress-reducing benefits you actually need right now? Unfortunately, they won’t, but there is a scientifically-proven way this magical S&S cheesecake can. The alliteration of S&S will help you remember the exercise I am about to share with you. If you can remember the letters, you can remember the steps to this brain- and body-changing method of reducing your stress (and actually bringing more happiness into your life).
The first S is for SAVOR.
You know how you savor the taste of every bite of something you love to eat (like cheesecake). With this process, I want you to savor a moment. It’s like catching yourself in a moment of time where you notice you are feeling good. Now, I am not talking about the BIG moments, like during vacation or dancing at a friend’s wedding. I mean the small, everyday glimmers. Some examples may be: Saying hello to someone you have missed. Sitting on the couch with your teenager and having even a second of a kind, loving exchange. Enjoying the fragrance of a new soap. Holding a warm cup of coffee. Sliding your feet into a comfy pair of slippers.
It can be absolutely anything! The key here is that you NOTICE it is a moment where you say to yourself, “Hey, this is nice.”
The trick to this is to milk that experience. Savor as much of it as possible in the moment. Don’t rush through the moment. Bring all of your awareness there. You can even simply say to yourself, “This moment is really good.”
Don’t worry about what the next moment will bring. Focus on this one while you are in it.
Now for the second S – Stay with the feeling of it and state what that feeling actually is.
According to neuroscience, practiced states become lasting traits. That means the more often your brain and body think and feel in a particular way, the more they are being trained to revert to those thoughts and states again and again.
When you practice stress, you tend to get more of it. With this exercise, you are practicing states that support and produce “good feeling” emotions. The more you practice them, the quicker and more available you will be able to attain them again and again, rather than revert to those stressful states that end up sabotaging your happiness.
So remember S&S cheesecake – Savor the moment and State how it makes you feel.