Sense of awe makes us happier, healthier — and more humble, researchers say

We feel awe when we encounter something with qualities so extraordinary it seems incomprehensible.

We feel awe when we encounter something with qualities so extraordinary it seems incomprehensible. | stock.adobe.com

Awe has been shown to make us happier and contribute to greater life satisfaction, to make us care more about others and make us humbler.

We think of awe as an emotion reserved for the most extraordinary moments — summiting a mountain, the birth of a child, an exquisite live performance.

But researchers who study awe say the emotion shouldn’t only be associated with rare events. Daily experiences of awe, they argue, should be a regular part of the way we engage with the world.

“Big moments that people have in their lives are going to produce awe, but what a lot of recent research is showing is that even those more everyday experiences of awe — just briefly noticing the beauty of nature in our neighborhood or in our backyard — those can have a positive effect on our well-being,” said Craig Anderson, a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis who has studied awe in nature.

We feel awe when we encounter something with qualities so extraordinary it seems incomprehensible. Jennifer Stellar, a psychology professor at the University of Toronto whose research focuses on how individuals and social groups thrive, said we can think about the things that produce awe as being perceptually vast — very large or powerful — and demanding a need for accommodation — meaning it doesn’t fit neatly into an existing category in our mind.

But we don’t need the Taj Mahal to stimulate this. An incredible piece of art or even a breathtaking YouTube video can do the trick.

  PwC chairman Bob Moritz on the importance of being an agile leader

Researchers say awe has a range of emotional, social and physiological health benefits. Awe is shown to make us happier and contribute to greater life …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *