At the top of the highest of mountain peaks that you’ve ever visited, you feel like you are at the edge of the world. And the emotion that takes over then is Awe.
Plus, it doesn’t have to be looking at the most magnificent supermom, a mere act of kindness such as giving up a seat to a stranger on a crowded bus can leave you in awe.
Being in awe is not just an emotion; according to scientists, it can boost your happiness, health, and other social interactions. They say that it may have long played a role in how humans interact and start to like each other even before we knew it.
Jennifer Stellar, Psychology Department at the University of Toronto tells NBC News BETTER that, “People feeling awe focus more of their attention outward and value others more in social interactions.”
Scientists define awe as the emotion we experience when an unexpected but acceptable event occurs. The event we witness in awe is often successful in defying our frame of mind and gives us a new perception of people and situations.
Experiencing awe bears on our well being too.
When we are in awe of something, we are not surprised or excited, but a sense of “self-diminishment” empowers us, which, according to scientists, is good for us.
It helps us come out of self-centered confinement and shows us that we are a speck in this vast universe. Gradually, we go out of selfish tendencies like entitlement, arrogance, and narcissism. Awe leaves us humbled and grateful to what we have received from the world, both- good and bad.
The study conducted by scientists Stellar and Gordon shows that individuals who experience awe more often are more humble and friendly. The subjects were shown awe-inspiring videos as a part of the research, and the behavioral changes were recorded. They were now able to acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses of others in a more balanced way.
Scientist Gordon says, “The idea is that awe makes us more likely to go along with what [we] need to do to maintain social harmony.”
So, what are you waiting for? Tread into nature, look up to others, and get out of your comfort zone to experience more awe and live a humbling life!
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