Thursday, November 24, 2011

Food and Happiness

In December 2010, Psychology Today posted “Top 10 Psychology Studies of 2010” written by Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson. The article describes psychology study findings that could improve your life: i.e. breaking bad habits, making things seem easier, time management, gaining willpower, etc. One of the tips, “how to be happier,” validated something I’ve always known. That being a foodie improves my life.

Beyond the usual reasons of eating better or being more mindful of the food I eat, the study, entitled “Money Giveth, Money Taketh Away,” said that the secret to being happier is learning to savor life. Halvorson phrases it that “Savoring is a way of increasing and prolonging our positive experiences.” When you eat a great meal, enjoy it. If you see a beautiful sunset, take a picture. Instead of waiting for great things to happen, you rejoice in what you have.

Savoring life is why being a foodie enriches my life. Even the word “savor” rings so strongly with the rhetoric of the foodie world. Being a foodie means rejoicing in a unique beer from a microbrewery, a new twist on a classic dish, and a vivid plate with texture and depth.

In this line of thought, even being a food blogger enhances and enlivens the every day. Having a food blog encourages me to take the time to write about the meals I’ve eaten, the dishes I’ve made, and relive those meal, turning each bite into each word and savoring the experience. To make my write-ups accurate, I have to eat slowly, thoughtfully, so I can take notes about what I taste, smell, experience. Plus, the blog creates an archive of meals worth reliving through the act of being read and re-read.

When you sit down to dinner this Thanksgiving, take the time to really savor it. It just might improve your life.
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