A recent study showed that people who frequently experience the emotion of awe had the lowest levels proinflammatory cytokines (fancy word for the good guys in your body that try to protect you during stress by creating inflammation).
People used to think that awe was something that you happened to you. It wasn’t an emotion you could conjure up. Or is it?
While you can’t will the emotion of awe the way you can gratitude or curiosity. You can create the conditions that enable it.
According to researcher, Kathleen Vohs, here are 6 pathways for getting more awe in your life:1. Take the scenic route
This can mean trying out a new route to get to work or spending time in places you haven’t been before. Take a moment to stop and savor what you see around you.
I frequently ask myself, “How would a child experience this? What would they notice?”
Try a new route today and see what you discover.2. Get immersed in a crowd
Wow! Talk about an instantaneous shot of awe when you feel tiny in a crowd of thousands of people.
Where have you experienced awe? Ever run a marathon? Attend a massive sporting event? See a concert? Participate in a parade or a rally?
In that brief moment time stands still.3. Go outside
It’s so simple. Yet profound. Notice the perfection, the beauty, the symmetries and asymmetries all around you.4. Turn your gaze upward
Whether your seeing pictures in the clouds, marveling at the moon or catching a shooting star. Look up more often. Think about just how far away those planets and stars are. Imagine all the things that exist out there that you just don’t know about!5. Get inspired
There are so many people doing remarkable and innovative things in the world. Watch a Ted talk. Read a person’s story of resilience. Learn something new. What inspires you?6. See a phenomenal performance
Whether you’re watching the olympics, a concert or an act of kindness, when you watch a phenomenal performance it’s likely to fill you with awe.
While you can’t induce awe on command the way you can gratitude, love, curiosity and hope, you can create the conditions for awe to happen using these 6 pathways.