How Awe Brings Us Together
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Feeling awe changes your brain. In our first episode in a series about the science awe, we explore how awe can make you a better friend, partner, and community member. Episode summary: When Mirna Valerio tried out hiking for the first time as a young kid, she discovered something she didn’t expect: Being outdoors seemed to bring strangers closer to one another. It was like it somehow fastracked forming meaningful relationships. Today we know that the feeling of awe nature often inspires has something to do with this. Awe is the feeling you get when in the presence of something vast and incomprehensible. When we feel it, our sense of self shrinks – in a good way – and we get better at connecting with others. Today on The Science of Happiness, we explore what it’s like when awe helps us create communities, and the science behind how it works. This episode is part of special series we’re doing on Awe. In the weeks ahead, we’ll share Happiness Breaks to help you contemplate what’s awe-inspiring in your life and explore more dimensions of awe in the stories and science we share on this podcast. Our host, Dacher Keltner, has a new book out about awe. It’s called Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life. Learn more here: Practice: Awe Narrative Think back to a time when you felt a sense of awe; when you were around something vast and incomprehensible. It could be something physically vast, like a mountain range or beautiful valley, or psychological, like a brilliant idea or inspiring person. Describe the experience in writing in as much detail as possible. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar, just get down as much about the experience as you can. Learn more about this practice at Greater Good In Action: Today’s guests: Mirna Valerio is an ultra-marathon athlete and author known for her body-positive presence on social media. Follow Mirna on Instagram: Follow Mirna on Twitter: Follow Mirna on Facebook: Yang Bai is a professor at Peking University in China. Learn more about Bai and her work: Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: Six Ways to Incorporate Awe Into Your Daily Life: How the Science of Awe Shaped Pixar’s “Soul:” How a Sense of Awe Can Inspire Us to Confront Threats to Humanity: More Resources About Awe The Atlantic  - The Quiet Profundity of Everyday Awe: NYT - How a Bit of Awe Can Improve Your Health: Sierra Club - The Science of Awe: Tell us about your experiences of awe. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show:
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