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Thread: Awe - how to feel it

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    Awe - how to feel it

    The Natural Cure for Burnout Is Profound and Utter Awe
    Very nice article, and without reference to religion.
    Astronaut Edgar D. Mitchell, who piloted Apollo 14 and was the sixth American to walk on the moon, once described his 1971 lunar landing mission as an “ecstasy of unity.” The experience, he said, offered “an overwhelming sense of universal connectedness.”

    It’s a feeling that links him to a tiny fraction of human beings — but within this small community, it’s widespread. Many other astronauts have recalled similarly overwhelming sensations of awe seeing Earth from space. Ron Garan, who has traveled over 71,000,000 miles and orbited the Earth over 2,800 times, calls this “orbital perspective.” He says access to such a profound point of view helped him to focus on the things that really mattered in his daily, earthly life. This cognitive shift reported by astronauts is so common that the scientific community even has a name for it: The Overview Effect.
    Then continues with work burnout. "This generally manifests as low-level anxiety, fatigue, and dread rooted in chronic stress." But even in a good place in their careers can feel burnout. Author Brad Stulberg suggests that it is in part due to focus on short-term concerns and short-term goals.

    In Why Do We Feel Awe? | Greater Good, Dacher Keltner argues that we are increasingly awe-deprived.
    “Adults spend more time working and commuting and less time outdoors and with other people,” he wrote in a 2016 essay, adding that we’ve become “more individualistic, more narcissistic, more materialistic, and less connected to others.”

    Still, we never lose the capacity for awe — we just have to remember to look for it. “Don’t underestimate the power of goosebumps,” Keltner wrote. “Actively seek out experiences that nurture your own hunger for awe.”

    I’ve come to know this firsthand. For me, early warning signs of impending burnout are some combination of restlessness, the feeling I should always be doing something, constantly checking social media, and prolonged absorption in whatever I’m working on to the exclusion of everything else. When I feel myself slipping into this state, I force myself to go on a totally unplugged day hike, ideally with unplugged friends, often around the redwood forests near my home. (As a long-time columnist for a magazine that is literally called Outside, the irony of my word choice — force — is not lost on me.)
    • Immersion in lush, natural environments.
    • Watching a sunset, stargazing, or observing a full moon.
    • Viewing artistic works.
    • Listening to music that moves you.
    • Looking for examples of human kindness (for example, spending a day volunteering at a homeless shelter).
    • Observing unbelievable skill (think: Lebron James in a playoff basketball game; the US Women’s National Team in the World Cup; or Bette Midler performing).

    Why Do We Feel Awe? | Greater Good
    In subsequent studies, we have found that awe—more so than emotions like pride or amusement—leads people to cooperate, share resources, and sacrifice for others, all of which are requirements for our collective life. And still other studies have explained the awe-altruism link: being in the presence of vast things calls forth a more modest, less narcissistic self, which enables greater kindness toward others.
    Then some speculations of what might have provoked this emotion's evolution.

    Some professional-literature papers:

    Awe Expands People’s Perception of Time, Alters Decision Making, and Enhances Well-Being
    When do people feel as if they are rich in time? Not often, research and daily experience suggest. However, three experiments showed that participants who felt awe, relative to other emotions, felt they had more time available (Experiments 1 and 3) and were less impatient (Experiment 2). Participants who experienced awe also were more willing to volunteer their time to help other people (Experiment 2), more strongly preferred experiences over material products (Experiment 3), and experienced greater life satisfaction (Experiment 3). Mediation analyses revealed that these changes in decision making and well-being were due to awe’s ability to alter the subjective experience of time. Experiences of awe bring people into the present moment, and being in the present moment underlies awe’s capacity to adjust time perception, influence decisions, and make life feel more satisfying than it would otherwise.
    Approaching awe, a moral, spiritual, and aesthetic emotion, by Dacher Keltner, Jonathan Haidt - COGNITION AND EMOTION, 2003, 17 (2), 297-314
    In this paper we present a prototype approach to awe. We suggest that two appraisals are central and are present in all clear cases of awe: perceived vastness, and a need for accommodation, defined as an inability to assimilate an experience into current mental structures. Five additional appraisals account for variation in the hedonic tone of awe experiences: threat, beauty, exceptional ability, virtue, and the supernatural. We derive this perspective from a review of what has been written about awe in religion, philosophy, sociology, and psychology, and then we apply this perspective to an analysis of awe and related states such as admiration,elevation, and the epiphanic experience.
    Positive affect and markers of inflammation: discrete positive emotions predict lower levels of inflammatory cytokines. - PubMed - NCBI
    Negative emotions are reliably associated with poorer health (e.g., Kiecolt-Glaser, McGuire, Robles, & Glaser, 2002), but only recently has research begun to acknowledge the important role of positive emotions for our physical health (Fredrickson, 2003). We examine the link between dispositional positive affect and one potential biological pathway between positive emotions and health-proinflammatory cytokines, specifically levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6). We hypothesized that greater trait positive affect would be associated with lower levels of IL-6 in a healthy sample. We found support for this hypothesis across two studies. We also explored the relationship between discrete positive emotions and IL-6 levels, finding that awe, measured in two different ways, was the strongest predictor of lower levels of proinflammatory cytokines. These effects held when controlling for relevant personality and health variables. This work suggests a potential biological pathway between positive emotions and health through proinflammatory cytokines.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Greater Good in Action with these categories:
    • Awe
    • Compassion
    • Connection
    • Empathy
    • Forgiveness
    • Gratitude
    • Happiness
    • Kindness
    • Mindfulness
    • Optimism
    • Resilience to Stress
    • Self-Compassion

    Avoiding The “Four Horsemen” in Relationships | Practice | GGIA
    1. Criticism. - the "you always do some bad thing" sort of hypercriticism.
    2. Contempt.
    3. Defensiveness.
    4. Stonewalling.

    Making an Effective Apology | Practice | Greater Good in Action
    1. Acknowledge the offense.
    2. Provide an explanation.
    3. Express remorse.
    4. Make amends.

    I made mistakes. Mistakes were made.
    Cometí errores. Se cometieron errores. (Spanish)
    Spanish has a "mediopassive" voice: reflexive + passive voice, so the second part looks like "Mistakes made themselves."

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