Cute senior couple explore the Pacific Northwest together on a day hiking trip. They are walking across a log in the forest. She is in front and they have their arms out for balance as they inch across...

The Awe Connection Between Mind and Body

Did you know there’s an awe connection between mind and body? Awe is a positive emotion felt when in the presence of vast or novel things not immediately understood — it reduces self-focus, promotes social connection and fosters prosocial actions by encouraging a small self.

Albert Einstein believed in the power of awe.

“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed,” the renowned 20th-century physicist said.

The science around awe is relatively new, with most research beginning in the past 15 years. Studies have found awe:

  • Improves mood, self-reported life satisfaction and critical thinking.
  • Increases feeling of generosity and cooperation, and connection to community.
  • Lowers levels of inflammation.

You create an awe experience in various ways. Here are some ideas:

  • Write about a time you experienced awe.
  • Visit a museum and observe the displays.
  • Go on a micro-adventure.
  • Spend time with kids to see the world through their eyes.
  • Read an awe-inspiring story.
  • Watch a video or view pictures of landscapes or things that inspire awe.
  • Look at nature from different angles.
  • Take an awe walk.

One of the keys of awe experiences is their novelty, so taking the same walk, watching the same video, or going to the same museum too frequently may diminish the novelty and, with it, your feelings of awe. Make sure to vary where you go and what you do to continue your sense of awe.

Join us on Sept. 1, for an Eight-Minute Awe Walk. You can register at BlueCrossVirtualWellbeing.com.

Learn more about the awe connection between mind and body in this Blue Cross® Virtual Well-Being webinar. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and general interest webinars here, where you’ll find past sessions and resources.

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Photo credit: Getty Images

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