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What is Awe? A Definition And 3 Ways To Live An 'Awesome' Life

Awe-inducing stimuli

Feelings of awe have historically been recorded when individuals encounter contact with a "higher" power.

In modern times, the main triggers of awe are philosophical ones such as literature, music, paintings, and nature. Examples include natural wonders or events such as childbirth.

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What is Awe? A Definition And 3 Ways To Live An 'Awesome' Life

What is Awe? A Definition And 3 Ways To Live An 'Awesome' Life

https://positivepsychology.com/what-is-awe-definition/

positivepsychology.com

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Key Ideas

Awe brings perspective

Each of us is the protagonist of our own life. Our goals feel like the most important thing in our world.

But every now and then, a moment of awe challenges our understanding of the world. We feel insignificant yet connected to the whole world, which helps us to step back and gain a better perspective.

Defining Awe

Awe is an emotional response to being in the presence of something greater than yourself, and that exceeds current knowledge structures.

Awe is a positive emotion and has a broadening effect on our thoughts and actions.

Awe-inducing stimuli

Feelings of awe have historically been recorded when individuals encounter contact with a "higher" power.

In modern times, the main triggers of awe are philosophical ones such as literature, music, paintings, and nature. Examples include natural wonders or events such as childbirth.

Two Aspects of Awe

  • Vastness. It refers to the feeling of something perceived to be much bigger than yourself, which leads to a diminished sense of self.
  • Accommodation. When we experience awe, we have to accommodate what we have just experienced. It can be terrifying when we fail to understand and enlightening when we succeed.

Benefits of awe

  • Individuals experiencing awe are more likely to show generosity, helpfulness, and decreased entitlement.
  • People who experienced awe are more willing to give time by volunteering than people experiencing other emotions.
  • People who experienced awe are more likely to prefer experiences over material goods.
  • Awe has been found to tend to bring people into the present moment.
  • Experiencing awe can increase one’s level of happiness over time and make life feel more satisfying.

Living an AWE-some Life

  • Walk in nature whenever you can. Take in the air, the sounds, and the surroundings. Look out for the small things that can captivate your attention.
  • Make the most of every travel experience. Get up early to witness the dawn. Take in the beauty around you.
  • Leave your comfort zone once a day. The effort combined with the novelty of the situation increases the likelihood of being aware of your surroundings.

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