Love the mood boost you get when you’re enjoying something wonderful, such as delicious food or a great book? There’s a simple trick that makes what you’re enjoying even more mood-boosting: save some of it for later! Tune into this week’s episode to find out why researchers say this easy tactic is so effective. Then, find out my 7 suggestions for incorporating this easy tip into your life.
Check out the book that inspired this podcast, THE HAPPINESS UPGRADE: ONE SMALL STEP UP TO A HAPPIER LIFE (available at Amazon) at HappinessUpgradePress.com.
Learn more about the Happiness Upgrade Podcast at HappinessUpgradePress.com.
Follow @HappinessUpgrade on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Love the mood boost you get when you’re enjoying something wonderful, such as delicious food or a great book? There’s a simple trick that makes what you’re enjoying even more mood-boosting: save some for later!
Hello and welcome to another episode of the Happiness Upgrade Podcast. I’m your host, Gabrielle Lichterman, health journalist and author of the book The Happiness Upgrade: One Small Step Up to a Happier Life. Every week in this podcast, I share one easy study-backed method to improve your mood, plus my 7 suggestions for ways to try the technique during your week. And now for this week’s Happiness Upgrade tip….
At some point, you’ll be dining on a delicious food, sipping a refreshing beverage or doing a favorite activity. And as you do it, no doubt you’ll feel a surge in joy.
While this pleasurable experience is wonderful on its own, there’s actually a surprisingly easy way to give it a Happiness Upgrade that makes it even better.
Here it is: Instead of enjoying all of a food, beverage or activity at once, put some of it aside, then enjoy it at a separate time later.
So, what is it about saving some for later that makes the experience even more pleasurable?
Well, it comes down to recreating the best part of the food, beverage or activity you’re enjoying.
In a 2012 study out of the University of Michigan published in the journal Psychological Science, researchers found that our favorite part of a pleasurable experience is the last bit.
That’s because you’re aware that the experience is close to ending so you focus all your energy into savoring what’s left, which heightens your sensations, attention and appreciation.
This means that by simply dividing up what you’re doing or consuming, you get to relish the best part again and again.
What I also love about this tip is that you can look forward to enjoying something that’s guaranteed to bring you pleasure later on. No matter what happens in your day, you’ll know you have that wonderful experience to look forward to.
So, how can you use this tip to give yourself a Happiness Upgrade this week? Here are my 7 suggestions:
1. Instead of eating a full serving of a favorite food in one sitting, such as a big bowl of ice cream, separate it into at least two smaller servings to enjoy at different times. This is also a great tip when you’re at a restaurant and order a favorite meal. Ask for a doggy bag to take some home and you’ll be able to enjoy the special dish yet again.
2. Pour your daily coffee, tea, juice or other beverage into a smaller cup, then give yourself a refreshing refill. I have a great recipe for making cocoa from scratch. It includes cocoa powder and sugar, of course, but also salt, cinnamon and melted chocolate. It’s delicious and indulgent. I make one batch, then pour half into a small mug. When I get to the last sip, I always slow down and savor it—because I know I know this deliciousness is about to end. I save the second serving for later, and honestly, I actually get excited because I then look forward to experiencing that deliciousness all over again.
3. When reading a book for pleasure, try to hold off continuing into the next chapter until later—even if there’s a cliffhanger!
4. If you want to binge-watch a show, consider watching just two episodes at a time rather than the entire season. I’ve been doing this lately with Natasha Lyonne’s 2nd season of Russian Doll. I love this quirky show, but force myself to take breaks from watching. That’s because in the past I’ve blown through entire seasons of other shows really quickly and actually been let down after I reached the last episode because it meant the show was over. By slowing down and watching fewer episodes at a time, I get to savor the story, which makes me appreciate it even more.
5. Schedule a break in the middle of an enjoyable activity. For example, when at a museum or an amusement park, plan to take a break for lunch or a snack, then return to the fun.
6. Divide an activity that takes longer to do, such as visiting a nature preserve or new city, into more than one day. In the past, when taking on big experiences, like visiting Rome or Paris, I’ve tried to cram as much I could into a single day. I thought I was saving time. But, honestly, I realize now that I get so much more out of the experience when I slow down and take in a smaller amount spread out over several days.
7. When chatting with a friend or family member, instead of catching up all at once, plan two or more shorter chats. You may end up having even more to talk about, making your connection even stronger!
Those were my 7 suggestions for finding ways you can save some of an enjoyable experience for later. I hope you find them helpful.
Thank you for joining me for another episode of the Happiness Upgrade Podcast. I hope the mood-boosting tips that you heard today help you give yourself a Happiness Upgrade.
This podcast was inspired by my book, The Happiness Upgrade: One Small Step Up to a Happier Life. This book shows you how small, easy actions can halt an unwanted negative mood and lead to a rise in happiness. You can find my book, The Happiness Upgrade, at Amazon. It also introduces a simple method that helps turn any small act of self-care into a powerful tool to boost your mood. I think you’ll find it helpful!
If you enjoyed this episode of the Happiness Upgrade Podcast, please subscribe to it and share it with friends. There’s a new episode every week.
To learn more about the Happiness Upgrade Podcast, visit HappinessUpgrade.com. And follow me on TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by searching @happinessupgrade.
The Happiness Upgrade Podcast is written, edited and produced by me, Gabrielle Lichterman. If you like this show, please rate it. This helps other listeners find independently-created podcasts like mine.
I would love to connect with you and know how you give yourself a Happiness Upgrade. So, send me an email at Gabrielle@HappinessUpgradePress.com.
I hope your week is filled with happiness!