Imagine an amazing lightening storm. Picture an inspiring warm ocean or beach front that you’ve been too, or dream of. Oh yeah, that’s the one. Maybe watch a majestic animal and be in awe of its peaceful presence. Awesome, yes?
That mixed feeling of reverence and almost fearful wonder resides in our own imagination for whenever we want, or need it. Few of us remember to use the majestic powers that Awe contains in it, on a daily basis.
Yes, its a quick easy 30 second mental vacation, but its so much more.
- Did you know Awe also increases your bodies production of Oxytocin, the “hugging-love-bonding drug”. Awe can “send the signal to move closer, and that clears the way for altruism, generosity, and acts of kindness.” according to researcher Johnathan Haidt, PhD.
- In a separate study, “Three experiments showed that participants who felt Awe, relative to other emotions, felt they had more time available (Experiments 1, 3) and were less impatient (Experiment 2). Participants who experienced Awe were also more willing to volunteer their time to help others.” from Rudd, Vohs and Aaker study in Psychological Science 2012.
- Michelle Shiota, PhD, at Arizona State University says either doing, or reading Awe inspiring events one can help “a person reflect on how an upsetting event fits into their philosophy of life, or how their personal experience unites them with humanity.”
That’s an amazing list of side effects of Just Being in the present moment enough to thoroughly enjoy Beauty. Be Captivated. Be Inspired. It’s as close as your favorite videos on YouTube, or your favorite photos. Feel for it everyday, in your own way.
So, the next time your boss catches you day-dreaming about something Awesome -educate them on the benefits of experiencing Awe as often as possible.
(But, beware the power of AWE! Your boss may hold you to #2, “willingness to volunteer” your time, which might not be so “Awesome!”)
(image from oompa123.deviantart.com)