If you ever travel with me, viewing a sunset will probably be on the itinerary. I might take you to the top cliff of a canyon, or to a drum circle on the beach, but the activity will be linked to the time where the setting sun splashes pinks, purples, and oranges across the sky. What an incredible world we get to witness. The beauty inspires feelings of peace, contentment, quiet happiness, love, and awe. It never gets old.
Listening to the The 3-Day Effect on Audible, I learned the healing power of awe has actually been scientifically studied and it helped me further understand my sunset obsession. Awe can strengthen one’s sense of purpose, improve interactions with other people and, in very specific ways, improve physical health.
When we are in awe, our bodies produce lower levels of inflammation-producing cytokines. High levels of cytokines over a long period of time are linked to disorders such as heart disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, clinical depression, and even Alzheimer’s.
We can experience awe in many different ways. Listening to songs, exploring nature, looking at art, seeing an incredible performance…seek out that which will inspire awe for you. It can be as simple as admiring a flower and as extreme as climbing the tallest mountain you can find. It doesn’t really matter, it is all about the feeling. The more awe you seek out, the more AWEsome your life will be.
“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” -Albert Einstein