Awe is good for mental health: Study

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Awe is good for mental health: Study

Regular awe-inspiring experiences may improve our mental health and make us nicer people, experts have claimed.


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Published: Tue 24 Jul 2012, 10:27 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:16 AM

The findings have raised the prospect of "awe therapy" to overcome the stressful effects of fast-paced modern life. The Independent reported Monday.

The study found that the emotion felt when encountering something overwhelming may also slow down our perception of time, by fixing the mind to the present moment.

Studies on volunteers showed that experiencing awe made people feel they had more time to spare.

This in turn led them to be more patient, less materialistic, and more willing to give up time to help others.

One experiment involved volunteers watching an "awesome" video depicting people encountering "vast images" such as waterfalls, whales and astronauts in space.

Others wrote about inspiring memories and read about climbing the Eiffel tower and looking down on Paris, the newspaper said.

Writing in the journal Psychological Science, the scientists, led by Melanie Rudd, from Stanford University in California, concluded: "A small dose of awe even gave participants a momentary boost in life satisfaction... and underscored the importance of cultivating awe in everyday life."

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