6 Reasons You Need More Awe in Your Life
Aug 26, 2022
The word awesome gets thrown around quite a bit in daily rhetoric — eating an “awesome” meal or having an “awesome” day — but awe, a root word of the commonly used awesome, is something we experience and express far less often. Think about it. When was the last time you felt truly in awe of something?
An article in Psychology Today explores a number of studies that found astounding benefits to adding more opportunities to experience awe in your life. Luckily, awe is easy to come by in Mammoth Lakes (especially in fall, when the mountains feel most peaceful and a sense of wonder seems to radiate from the fall colors), and it turns out awe is also pretty awesome.
Check out some of the many positive effects the study describes and how you can tap into the benefits of awe by connecting with awe-inspiring nature in Mammoth Lakes.
A Clearer Mind & Less Anxiety
“Getting back to nature” is a phrase often paired with the idea of seeking a reboot or a chance to escape the daily grind. Whether you’re hiking in the Mammoth Lakes Basin or sitting on the bank of Mammoth Creek just watching the water and taking in the beauty of the yellowing aspen trees, being outside is a chance to reflect.
With a clear mind often comes less anxiety. Creating brain space by exploring the Inyo National Forest on horseback (and even interacting with these animals) or finding a quiet spot to fish surrounded by brightly colored autumn trees could help to alleviate anxiety built up by the stresses of everyday life.
Stronger Social Connections
While nature is often something we like to explore on our own, the wonder of spotting a deer jumping through the brush or taking in a magnificent sunset in view of the classic Mammoth Lakes skyline is something we innately want to share with others. If you experience awe by yourself, it’s a conversation starter. Or if you’re with family or friends in a moment that takes your breath away, it’s hard not to connect on a deeper level.
Even the most upbeat and optimistic of us might allow a bit of cynicism to creep into our lives now and then. But it’s hard to stay cynical when you’re surrounded by nature at its most majestic in Mammoth Lakes. Take a paddleboard out on Lake Mamie or marvel at the Minarets from Minaret Vista, and you’ll likely find yourself focusing more on how lucky you are to experience this place and less on the negativity you’ve come across.
Another way to view awe is through the eyes of John Muir. He seemed to understand the power of awe long before anyone began researching the connection between nature, awe and good health. A scenic drive through Eastern Sierra aspen groves may not inspire you to write in the same way it did for Muir, but the experience may spark creativity for you in your own way.
Less Narcissism & Increased Generosity
In our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to focus on our own needs and get wrapped up in our own world. Getting struck by the awe at the base of the 101-foot Rainbow Falls or from the top of the peak you’ve just climbed is sure to remind you the world is much bigger than the self-absorbed bubble we often get caught up in.
Plus, when you’re less focused on the world revolving around you, you have more room to give back to others. From stopping to give directions while you’re out on your adventure, to bringing a more generous spirit home with you after feeling restored on vacation, a little increased generosity can go a long way.
Better Overall Health
Getting outside can be relaxing — leisurely walks around Horseshoe Lake Loop — or invigorating — a mountain biking excursion to nearby Rock Creek. Whatever activities you choose to explore on your quest for finding more awe, you’re bound to enjoy a feeling of better physical wellbeing in addition to all of the mental benefits you’re soaking in.