The Key to More Happiness – Awe

by Jennifer Miller on July 28, 2012

in Weekend Reflections

children running down the dunes of Lake Michigan

I was raised on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan which is ringed by gorgeous beaches and sand dunes. Whenever I return to the dunes, I’m transported to my childhood – the warm sand squishing between my toes, the squeaky crunch-crunch sound it makes when you walk along a pristine stretch.

At the dunes, I ditch the technology. My heart rate slows. Time stands still and I am home.

The dunes are wondrous.

Where is your “home” – the place where time stands still and the wonder washes over you?

Experiencing awe can make you happier. True fact. According to researchers from Stanford University an awe-inspiring experience can improve our mental state. It can even – get this – make us nicer people. I can get on board with being nice.

Here’s the best part: you can find it in everyday life. You don’t have to book a trip to the Grand Canyon to get your “awe on”. You just need to stay in the moment and appreciate the gift that has been offered up. The Stanford researchers found benefit in recalling a favorite story, looking at family photos or watching awe-inspiring movie footage.

What will you do this week to get a little awe back into your life?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Erin Schreyer July 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

Great photo -such joy!!! My happy place is in Utah, surrounded by stunning red rock mountains. That’s where I get my awe and my hike on!!

Jennifer Miller July 28, 2012 at 11:08 am


Yes “joy” is what I experience every time I see this photo – joy that I’ve been blessed with children and joy that they, too, can experience the wonder of the dunes.

My aunt lives in Utah and years ago, we did an extended trip in Utah. It was amazing.

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