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  • Rae Gateley, LCSW

Let Yourself Be Awed


Think of a time when you felt awe. Perhaps you remember a rare and transporting experience - such as climbing a mountain to watch sunrise from the peak, or holding a newborn baby for the first time. Or, you might think of a more ordinary experience that struck you as wondrous in that moment, such as a "V" of honking geese passing overhead, or unexpectedly hearing beautiful music. Whether arising from a carefully-planned bucket list experience, or a moment of wonder in daily life, feelings of awe make us happier and healthier.

Awe can be described as a response to "vastness," whether literal (standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, for example) or theoretical (as when encountering immense ideas, skills, or beauty). When we are confronted with something bigger than ourselves, it pulls us away from self-focus, engaging us fully in sensations and thoughts that are outward-facing. Awe makes us feel more connected to other people and the natural world, less worried, and more adventurous. Let yourself feel awe today by remembering past experiences and seeking out new ones. Take time to notice, feel, and wonder.


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