Research is beginning to demonstrate that having a sense of awe and wonder is good for your mental health. Awe is the feeling we get in the presence of something vast that challenges our understanding of the world, like looking up at millions of stars in the night sky. Try taking an awe walk: go to a nature center or a-state or county park trail, or slowly explore an art gallery. While you’re on your walk allow yourself to closely observe and think about what you're seeing. Notice the small things and the details. Regular awe walks may make a big difference to your mental health.
A 2018 study found that stress levels were lowered for up to one week after those being studied had an experience of white-water rafting. Another study revealed that people who spent time in nature reported a greater sense of wellbeing. Nature, music, art, architecture, and religious experiences are some ways we experience awe. Go seek out inspiration. See what it does for your mental health.
-Jerry Strausbaugh, EdD, LPCCS, Executive Director