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The key to happiness? Simple, it's 'savoring'

Sunday - 6/22/2014, 4:09am  ET

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The old cliche "stop and smell the roses" gets a reboot, it's called "savoring" (Courtesy of Thinkstock)

Eric Barker on how to have an awesome life


WASHINGTON - Everyone wants to be happy but many of us don't know how.

Stopping to smell the roses still rings true. Researchers are coining a new term for that old cliché: savoring. That's according to Eric Barker, who writes the blog "Barking up the Wrong Tree", which offers tips on how to have an awesome life.

"What savoring is," explains Barker, "is taking a second while something good is happening to really enjoy it."

Barker says our lives are too hectic. The more we do, he says, the less we pay attention to any one of those things or enjoy them.

Barker suggests we try cutting down on the multitasking.

If you eat in front of the TV, you will enjoy your food less, he says. Or if you keep checking your texts while talking with a friend, you will enjoy that conversation less. "You only have so much attention at any point and the more you keep chopping it up, the less you're going to appreciate anything," says Barker.

He cites a Cornell University project, which asked seniors aged 65 and older what life lessons they would convey to younger generations about happiness. Their answer: Take a moment to appreciate the little things.

So how do we get everything we need to get done and still appreciate it?

"It's simple little things," says Barker. Take the time to spend with a friend, step back and appreciate the good job you have done at work, say grace at dinner with the family, or enjoy a good meal. Things like that act as a speed bump, they help you stop for a second, appreciate the moment, and the increase in happiness, says Barker.

"We can still get everything done and hustle around. But we can also take moments to boost happiness by savoring."

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