Happiness Expert REVEALS The Common Habits DECREASING Your Lifespan!
When was the last time you felt awe? Perhaps It’s an emotion you notice often, evoked by the trees, clouds, or people around you. Or maybe it’s something you associate with more dramatic, less frequent experiences.
Dr Dacher Keltner, has written a sublime book on the subject of awe. It’s called Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life and in it he proposes that awe is an emotion that’s all around us, waiting to be discovered – and in doing so, we can transform our health and lives for the better.
Dacher is one of the world’s foremost emotion scientists and Professor of Psychology at the University of California. He’s also Director of the Greater Good Science Center, which studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of happiness and wellbeing. He has spent decades studying the science of happiness and believes that across the world, we are collectively having a moment of reflection and looking for more meaning.
In this conversation, Dacher defines awe as our response to powerful things that are obscure, vast, and mysterious. They’re beyond our frame of reference, making us feel small and filling us with wonder. But you don’t have to go to the Grand Canyon or see the Northern Lights to find them. Having studied people’s understanding and experience of awe in 26 different countries, he’s found eight types which are common – and easily available – to us all.
They include nature, music, moral beauty (noticing others’ kindness), birth and death, and one of my favourites, ‘collective effervescence’. This is that feeling of coming together with others, moving as one, and sharing the same consciousness – and you may have experienced it in a sports stadium, at a music concert, on a dancefloor, in worship, in a choir, or even at parkrun.
As to the benefits of awe, from calming inflammation to activating the Vagus nerve; deactivating our brain’s stress centre, to reducing pain perception, these awe experiences are buffers for many modern health conditions that we can’t afford to miss.
We spoke in depth about how birth and death are strong triggers for awe, sharing our own painful yet precious experiences of watching close relatives die. We also considered how awe reduces the ego and makes you humble. And how having a regular practice of contemplation, like meditation or breathwork, can open us up to easily noticing and benefitting from everyday awe.
I truly believe that Dacher’s work can help all of us find greater meaning and greater health. He’s done a fantastic job of finding the science to support his words, but I think we also know intuitively that what he’s saying makes perfect sense. This was a wonderful and deeply profound conversation that contains science, storytelling, raw emotion and so much more. I hope you enjoy listening
How to Find Ways to Give the Body and Mind Awe Moments
Awe is a powerful emotion that can inspire us, motivate us, and make us feel more connected to ourselves and others. Awe is the feeling of wonder and amazement that we experience when we encounter something that transcends our expectations or understanding. Awe can be triggered by natural beauty, human achievements, art, music, spirituality, or anything else that challenges our perception of reality.
But how often do we experience awe in our daily lives? And why does it matter?
Research has shown that awe has many benefits for our physical and mental health. Awe can reduce stress, boost immune system function, lower inflammation, enhance creativity, increase happiness, improve memory, foster empathy, and promote prosocial behavior. Awe can also help us cope with difficult situations by expanding our sense of time and perspective.
However, awe is not something that we can easily manufacture or control. It depends on our openness to new experiences and our willingness to be surprised by the world. Awe also requires us to pay attention to the present moment and appreciate the details of what we see, hear, feel, or think.
So how can we find more ways to give our body and mind awe moments? Here are some suggestions:
– Explore nature. Nature is one of the most common sources of awe for many people. Whether it’s a majestic mountain range, a stunning sunset, a colorful rainbow, or a delicate flower, nature can fill us with wonder and gratitude. Try to spend some time outdoors every day and notice the beauty around you. You can also plan trips to visit natural wonders or national parks that you have never seen before.
– Learn something new. Another way to experience awe is to expand your knowledge and skills. Learning something new can challenge your assumptions and stimulate your curiosity. You can take an online course on a topic that interests you or sign up for a workshop on a hobby that you want to try out. You can also read books or watch documentaries about fascinating subjects or inspiring people.
– Engage with art. Art is another powerful trigger of awe for many people. Art can express emotions and ideas that words cannot capture. Art can also evoke feelings of admiration and appreciation for the creativity and talent of the artists who created it. You can visit museums or galleries in your area or online and immerse yourself in different forms of art such as paintings, sculptures.
When I was younger one of my favourite words was awesome, with no use of synonyms, just AWESOME.
Now I am older I study T’ai Chi and this I find so awesome and it brings me to a contented state of mind-body of which I have learned to hold onto when needed in my daily life.