Spiritual experience of “Awe” improves health – NYT

“Consciously watching for small wonders in the world around you during an otherwise ordinary walk could amplify the mental health benefits of the stroll, according to an interesting new psychological study of what the study’s authors call “awe walks.”

“In the study, people who took a fresh look at the objects, moments and vistas that surrounded them during brief, weekly walks felt more upbeat and hopeful in general than walkers who did not… Feeling a sense of awe also seems to up our overall feelings of gladness and improve health.”

“A somewhat nebulous emotion, awe generally is defined as the sense that you are in the presence of something larger and more consequential than yourself and that this something is mysterious and ineffable. In past studies, people who reported feeling awe also tended to have less emotional stress and lower levels of substances related to body-wide inflammation… The researchers also suggested that the walkers pay attention to details along their walks, Dr. Sturm says, “looking at everything with fresh, childlike eyes.” They emphasized that the awesome can be anywhere and everywhere, she says, from a sweeping panorama of cliffs and sea to sunlight dappling a leaf.”

Awe and wonder are core spiritual experiences, and it’s great to see scientists prove that they have real world value in improving health and cultivating happiness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Get in touch

Give us a call or fill in the form below and we will contact you. We endeavor to answer all inquiries within 24 hours on business days.