He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe
is as good as dead; his eyes are closed. ~Albert Einstein
What does a stunning sunset have to do with your blood pressure or that tough project you’re fretting over? Apparently a lot. Since Einstein made the above remark, researchers have found that experiences of awe can improve our health, prime us for solving problems, pull us off the worry-go-round, and even make us kinder.
Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku explains that such experiences of wonder shock us out of our default mode of self-absorption and open us to something much bigger. Science writer Carlin Flora says it simply: It is the realization that ‘it’s not all about me.’ I also believe that awareness is the key to resolving most of our troublesome feelings.
Here are a few tips that might help us live a more awesome life:
- Connect often with nature. Instead of awakening to the chatter of the morning show, start your day by greeting the sunrise. Instead of winding down with the ten o’clock news, step outside on a starry night.
- Our day is full of opportunities to experience awe if we just slow…down…and…notice your child’s face; beautiful music; the bloom of a flower; the loyalty of friends; the device on which you are reading this Reflection, and the mind-blowing global net that instantly delivered it.
- More wonders will loom before us if we think often of the words of the poet William Yeats, “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”