It's 2020WONDERFUL and we resolve to find beauty in everyday life. But since it's not something that always comes easily, particularly in times of turbulence and uncertainty, we've rounded up some actionable steps to leading a more wonder-full life.
5 ways to invite more awe into your life
1. Daily meditation
Don't overcomplicate it. Simply, find a break in your day, perhaps it's when you first wake up (bonus if you can be consistent with it daily) and sit quietly, eliminating distraction. If meditation is new to you, start with just a couple minutes working your way up little by little. A guided meditation like Erin Ward's Root and Rise with Nature is a beautiful way to inspire awe and bask in the beauty of nature, whether outside or not!
2. Take an "Awe walk".
An “Awe walk” is a stroll in which you intentionally shift your attention outward instead of inward. In a study published in the journal Emotion, 60 older adults took weekly 15-minute “awe walks” for eight weeks. Half of the participants was randomly assigned to a simple walk group. The other half was placed in an awe walk group, in which researchers described the emotion of awe and suggested the walkers try to experience that emotion as they strolled. In addition to reporting increased experience of awe, the awe group had significant boosts of positive prosocial emotions such as compassion and gratitude over the course of the study. (Forbes)
3. Volunteer or be in service
New research suggests that volunteers aren’t just helping the communities they serve. People who volunteer actually experience a boost in their mental health and happiness. In a study published this year in the Journal of Happiness Studies, findings concluded that people who had volunteered in the past year were more satisfied with their lives and rated their overall health as better. When we serve others we feel gratitude for the abundance we have to share and are rewarded intrinsically.
4. Spend time with your littles!
What? My baby will help me experience wonder? I thought that was just the blur of not sleeping a full night. But seriously, babies experience such curiosity and wonder; we could stand to learn a lot from them! This also goes for those of us without small children. Seeing the world through the eyes of a child can be such a joyful experience, so volunteer to babysit for a friend or family member (they'll love you for it!), or FaceTime with family. The not-yet-jaded innocence and childish sparkle that kids possess really puts our trivial worries into perspective. Vance Vlasek captures this sentiment in his Magic Morning Moves.
We love to recommend journaling as it's another fantastic ritual for mornings or bedtime that, like Yoga Wake Up, encourage gratitude and reflection. To create more awe, specifically, each day write down something that brought you feelings of awe that day. This could be witnessing an act of kindness or something you saw in nature. Write it down, visualize it again and draw on these journal entries whenever you need a boost!