When I see or hear something that takes hold of me I feel that I am overwhelmed to just how small I am in the scheme of life. Feeling awe inspired is different for all. Even how often you feel this kind of awesomeness surrounding you is different for all. According to research, apparently the average person experiences awe 2.5 times a week. This is a time that I am very happy to not fall in the average category. I do believe that for myself, I am in awe at least 2.5 times a day. Also, where the heck does the .5 fall in to place? Let's just round that up to 3. (Notice that I did not go down to 2 - always thinking optimistically.)
The benefits of having this feeling of awe within yourself is totally amazing. I knew that I felt better, I just did not know specifically why. This is a research study that is rather new, as far as delving deep into the psyche. Having this feeling can do some of the following:
- it is one that will most definitely make you happier
- it also gives you the perceived feeling of having more time
- gives you hope by seeing the big picture
- seeing the big picture adds to your creativity
- can demonstrate that there may be something magical about every day life in general, a place of wonder, joy and gratitude
- connects to nature with a calming effect which lowers stress
- improves the immune system
I am sure that as you look over this list of bullets, you can see how they all connect in one way, shape or form. Call me the slow learner...all I was really aware of is that it made me feel better. So, if you do not believe that you are feeling awe inspired enough, or if you just want to experience more moments of being awe inspired, keep reading. Not all of us can afford to go out on special mind boggling trips like a safari in Africa or whale watching tours (now those would be awe inspiring, just not your every day kind that the average Joe/Jane will experience on a frequent basis.)
What can we do? As an old commercial used to say, try it, you'll like it...I just simply will share some of what resonates with me or was shared with me and maybe some will give you goosebumps, too:
- music, whatever kind inspires you (of course live music puts you in the driver's seat for goosebumps) but will work with earphones, loud or soft...my all time favorite is in the car singing along loudly
- sunrises or sunsets (better of course if you are on a balcony at the beach) anywhere will work and be able to have you feel that you are just a small part of a great big world
- kids playing, either by themselves or with others (no inhibitions, and if an adult is brought into the play such as to join a tea party you may witness a 250 pound man hold a little teacup with his pinky up in the air with no questions asked)
- babies smiling and giggling (have you ever watched babies when they laugh and you witness them laugh they do so with their whole bodies)
- just adding three more granddaughters to our family which now makes four, there is nothing in the world that gives me more goosebumps than to snuggle up with one of them
- someone actually told me that they were in awe when being at a political rally (no, I am not going to touch that one)
- unbelievable animal/nature pictures or videos (This can be major videos such as the BBC Planet Earth series or funny little Face Book clips on awesome unbelievable animals which is why they are so popular).
- while on the subject of social media and other devices, you can take a break from them and watch the clouds, stars, rain, rainbows, etc.
- take an Awe Walk - it could be on your usual path for a daily walk or jog, just take the time to smell the roses and notice what is all around you
- take advantage of nature around you such as the Super Moon that just occurred last night - the last time that happened was in 1947 and it will not come around again until 2052 - amazing!
To be able to allow awe inspiring moments will challenge us to what we think we already know. It should be uplifting. Even though researchers are just now starting to study this subject deeper, many years ago Albert Einstein stated, "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed." I rest my case!