What is the emotion of “Awe” and how can this complex emotion enhance your life. Awe is said to be a positive emotion that is triggered by awareness of something that is vastly larger than oneself and not understandable. This post was inspired by the last trip recently to the mountains. I have always found such beauty, mystery and grounding when being outside and feel so privileged to have the Rocky Mountains so close to home.
A growing body of research indicates that experiences that create moments of “awe” can have so many benefits including happiness, critical thinking, humility and even generosity. Sometimes in our busy lives, it can sometimes take low priority to seek adventure and experiences that engage the power of complete mental, physical and emotional presence. Have you ever found yourself rushing through every day tasks, day in and day out? Do you take time to stop and notice things, to be curious and engaged with your surroundings?
Curiosity and engagement can create a sense of “Awe” increasing positive mood and adding to life satisfaction. Awe is intentional time being spent connecting with oneself and the nature around. Awe can push us out of our comfort zones, to be more flexible and more open to experiences. We can also refocus intentions, which can sometimes lower the need for materialism, increasing a sense of self and appreciation for experiences versus materials.
Adventure and Awe can also help to feel more connected to others, the people in our life but also to humanity as whole. In one study, it noted that awe can add to more kindness, generous and overall cooperation, focusing more on what is around us. Connection can be such a powerful tool in positive mental health. Engagement in our surroundings also increases mindfulness, also a powerful tool to decrease stress!
The wonder of life and space we hold to explore awe can have such a positive effect. We do not have to climb a high mountain to experience this. We can create a sense of awe every day by taking the time to notice things around us, the changing leaves, a happy dog running, and the joy of playing, laughing, and truly being present and engaged in what is around us. Opportunities for awe are everywhere, that walk around your community, music, art and even food! I hope to inspire you to seek adventures, to look for joy and most of all experience awe in your surroundings.
For more information about Awe, Jonah Paquette, Psy.D has several books including Awestruck.
Carrie-Lee, MACP specializes in the areas of stress management, personal growth, as well as many others. For more information on Carrie-Lee and her work, click here to link to her full bio page.