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“Awe is the feeling we get in the presence of something vast that challenges our understanding of the world, like looking up at a million stars in the night sky or marveling at the birth of a child.”–Greater Good
Awe and the Mind
The emotion of awe has a profound impact on the mind, often leaving us with a sense of wonder and amazement. This feeling of awe transcends the ordinary and encourages a broader perspective, promoting questions about the mysteries of existence. It stimulates curiosity, igniting a desire to explore and understand the world and the uniqueness of it. Awe serves as a mental catalyst, propelling young minds to delve into the unknown, fostering a lifelong love for learning.
Experiencing awe can also have positive effects on mental well-being. Whether it’s witnessing a breathtaking natural landscape or encountering an awe-inspiring piece of art, the mind is momentarily lifted from the routine and the mundane. This mental break allows for a reset, reducing stress and promoting a sense of calm. The feeling of awe acts as a mental rejuvenation, reminding individuals of the beauty and vastness of the world around them. Within the mind, awe can be a tool to cultivate resilience, expand cognitive horizons, and nurture a positive and inquisitive mindset.
Awe and the Body
The experience of awe is not limited to the mind; it also significantly impacts the way we connect with our bodies. Physical activities that we engage in, that push our limits, can elicit a sense of awe as we discover the remarkable capabilities of our bodies. Awe becomes a motivational force, to encourage individuals to embrace a healthy, active lifestyle.
Self-care is tied to awe and the body. Rejuvenating effects of a good night’s sleep, nourishment provided by a healthy meal, or the invigorating sensation of a brisk walk, are all simple awe-inspiring acts that contribute to the overall well-being of the body. Through this lens, everyone can develop a positive relationship with their bodies, understanding that regular exercise, balanced nutrition, and adequate rest are not just routines, but essential components of a fulfilling life.
Awe in Nature
We are blessed to live in a world filled with natural beauty which has an incredible ability to evoke awe within us. There are so many picturesque scenes we can witness or be a part of. In those moments, a deep connection to the environment is forged, stirring up feelings of humility and reverence. This connection we have, and can make with nature, awakens a sense of wonder and awe within us.
“The most common sources of awe are other people and nature, but awe can be elicited by many other experiences as well, such as music, art or architecture, religious experiences, the supernatural, or even one’s own accomplishments.” –Greater Good
There are a multitude of ways we can experience nature: exercising, hiking, fishing, camping, and so much more. What we see, and what we smell also contribute to the overall experience. Nature can easily be taken for granted, but when we take the time to appreciate it, and to go out of our way to experience it, we are encouraging the feeling of awe in our lives.
The Daily Dose of Awe
So I leave you with the same invitation I lived by while going through a challenging healing process after an injury a few years ago: do what you can to seek out a Daily Dose of Awe – you’ll be glad you did!
About Melanie Webb and WebbWell
Named “The person to call” by DEPARTURES Magazine, “a leader in the adventure travel industry” by Norie Quintos of National Geographic Traveler, and “one of the top trainers in the industry” by The Sports Club/LA (now Equinox), Melanie Webb is the founder and creator of WebbWell and the WebbWell wellness app. A sought-after industry and corporate retreat facilitator and speaker, her fitness course Mother Nature’s Gym Outdoor Fitness Guide is approved for 1.6 CEC’s from American Council on Exercise.
Special thanks to Sierra Bowers