How many times, when viewing some magnificent natural element like the Grand Canyon, have we suddenly felt insignificant? That’s the power of awe.
In a 2015 study (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) , researchers discovered that awe brought on “a reduced sense of self-importance relative to something larger and more powerful that they felt connected to,” and that “a naturalistic induction of awe in which participants stood in a grove of towering trees enhanced prosocial helping behavior and decreased entitlement compared to participants in a control condition.”
Open the gate to a walk in awe—a walk in nature, or a walk in a part of the city not previously seen, or a walk through an art gallery, museum, botanical park, or a walk along historical monuments or ruins.
Half of the planet’s population lives in an urban setting. Futurists predict the expansion of megacities—cities with over 10 million population. To put our feet onto the naked soil, to inhale the fragrance of the living blood (sap) of overhead trees, to savor the brilliance of a flower, to gaze at the sky, to harbor gratitude to the elements of Earth that creates the structures of an urban center—the wood, the steel, the iron, the concrete, the water, the glass, and even the asphalt roads—may ease the disconnect from nature’s relevance in our lives.
More Samples of Awe to be Found