Our first family portrait is the Blue Marble, the first picture of Earth ever taken from space. It gives you a child-like rush of curiosity and awe when you see it the first time. Take this Monday to reconnect to this feeling and celebrate Earth Day.
According to Psychology Today, in addition to kindness and cooperation, awe helps us access the present moment. Experiences of awe also help alleviate feelings of anxiety and powerlessness. We can use the feelings of awe to refresh our perspective and pivot towards the positive. Here are some ideas to access awe this week to reduce your stress.
The Overview Effect
When astronauts are in space they often feel “a profound reaction to viewing the earth from outside its atmosphere.” It’s a well-documented experience called the Overview Effect. Many astronauts described the feeling as one of the most meaningful moments of their lives. Share in their experience by watching this 20-minute film from the Planetary Collective.
The Natural World
Watching the passage of time gives us perspective and relieves stress. There’s no better place to see time go by then in nature. Watch a sunrise or a sunset, lay in a field and gaze up at the clouds rolling by overhead, or sit by a river and observe what passes. Grab a friend and go on a #MondayMile or sign up for a nature walk to learn about your natural neighbors. Bring some binoculars, maybe you’ll see something amazing!
And if you need something awe-inspiring to think about right now, here’s the words of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, “There are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on any beach, more stars than seconds have passed since Earth formed, more stars than words and sounds ever uttered by all the humans who ever lived.” Read his full essay on The Cosmic Perspective here.
See the big picture and feel wonder on Earth Day, and every day. This Monday, don’t sweat the small stuff!