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Research on Moments of Awe

May 23, 2024 | Daily Trek, Unleash

Research on Moments of Awe - Radical Trekking - Ayelet Baron

Research on moments of awe finds that awe enriches our wellbeing. It boosts our mood, cuts down stress, and can even foster a spirit of kindness.

We experience awe by witnessing vastness and feeling a sense of transcendence, a moment that elevates us beyond the mundane.

Does time seem to rush by for you? Research on moments of awe shows that experiencing awe slows down our perception of time. This is called time dilation. And means our brains work harder to process memorable events, changing how we perceive time.

In  a study at George Mason University, researchers had participants view images of vast landscapes and small, cluttered spaces. People felt they spent more time on vast scenes than on smaller mundane ones.

Vastness isn’t limited to physical spaces—it can be as expansive as a desert or as profound as the concept of infinity. And you don’t have to venture into the cosmos to encounter it. Nature provides endless awe-inspiring moments. It’s present not only in sweeping landscapes but also in the subtle details: the ripple of a creek, the unfurling of ferns, or the symmetry of a pine cone.

When we rush towards achieving, we often enter mechanical states. Experiencing the world—feeling the sun’s warmth on our skin or being present for someone—invites moments of awe into our lives. New experiences are also healthy. Unfamiliar sights and sounds slow down our brains, allowing us to fully absorb these fresh experiences. It takes us off autopilot.

Research on moments of awe confirms what we already know. By fully engaging with the world around us, we enhance our chances of experiencing awe.

Maybe when awe strikes, we capture it in our heart instead of on our phone. So, we can fully experience life and make it timeless?


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