Recently, I came across an article that discussed a concept called, the “awe” effect. The article was a very interesting read and aimed towards explaining how individuals view the world and how we become influenced by things in our environment. It made me think of my own experiences and how if they had not have happened, I may have ended up having completely different perspectives towards life and how I live it. So, what is the awe effect? In this blog, I’ll try my best to explain what it is and how it can be used to enlighten and change your mindset for the better!
To start, imagine that you’re in a room surrounded by cement walls. What comes to mind? You probably would start to feel stressed, upset/angry, and very anxious. Now, imagine you’re standing on a cliff with a vast view of a mountain range in the distance. What would your feelings be like then? Most likely, you’d be overcome with a sense of freedom, you’d feel happy, and may even find yourself astonished at how large and amazing the universe is. Either way, it’s a lot more inviting to be out in nature than staring at a cement wall all day long.
Reports and studies demonstrated that if you put yourself out in nature more and find moments in life that create “awe” that this helps to boost endorphins (a euphoric chemical release in the brain) and produce feelings of satisfaction among individuals. Whether it’s being outside, watching a baby be born, or witnessing some type of phenomenon in the world, it will end up having a more positive effect on your overall well being. Studies have also shown that people who spent more time creating “awe” moments in their life also took time to slow things down, were less stressed, more patient, had a willingness to help people, and even have a decrease in their blood pressure. Those, however, that did not experience “awe” moments and spent most of their time in an office or at home were found to have higher blood pressure, less satisfaction in life, appeared more anxious, and had higher chances of developing depressive/anxious patterns.
Life gets hectic, I get it, but if you can take some time and find the opportunity to get out in the world more, do it! Travel, take a walk, watch the sunset, and find ways to incorporate “awe” moments into your life. You may find it will change your perspective in more ways than one. Life moves fast, so take time to appreciate the moments you have, make memories, and slow it down! 🙂