29 Jul The Lazy Way To An Awesome Life: 4 Secrets Backed By Research
via Eric Barker
Whether it’s UFOs or Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, we’re hearing a lot about space travel these days. But they seem to gloss over one thing: a lot about spaceflight sucks.
Send me an angry email if you like but it’s undeniable. Being isolated in an unimaginably cramped living space, weird physiological changes in your body, and the ever-present possibility that something can go wrong in a very unearthly way, space travel is far from comfortable. (The crew on Skylab IV couldn’t even have granular salt because in zero gravity it was deemed to be “air pollution.”)
I’m not saying it wouldn’t be worth it to go to space — it certainly would be — but probably not for the reason you expect…
Researchers have found that spaceflight actually promotes psychological growth. And not in some small way either. Many astronauts describe it as nothing less than a religious awakening. What provokes such a strong reaction?
If you listen to astronauts, seeing Earth from space is like a therapy breakthrough during an LSD trip while having a Road to Damascus moment. Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell described it as “an explosion of awareness” and an “overwhelming sense of oneness and connectedness… accompanied by an ecstasy… an epiphany.”
Chinese Space Program astronaut Yang Liu said:
I had another feeling, that the earth is like a vibrant living thing. The vessels we’ve clearly seen on it looked like the blood and veins of human beings. I said to myself: this is the place we live, it’s really magical.
More than 13 astronauts have reported something like this. In fact, reactions like that are so common researchers gave them a name: “The Overview Effect.” First identified by Frank White, it’s a set of “truly transformative experiences involving senses of wonder and awe, unity with nature, transcendence and universal brotherhood.”
It’s a brain orgasm. Incomprehensible and sublime. Transcendent — yet unifying. Cosmonaut Boris Volynov said:
During a space flight, the psyche of each astronaut is re-shaped; having seen the sun, the stars and our planet, you become more full of life, softer. You begin to look at all living things with greater trepidation and you begin to be more kind and patient with the people around you.
And here’s the best part: something akin to this is not out of reach for you and me. And you don’t even need an interstellar plane ticket. Because “The Overview Effect” is just another version of something we have all felt:
The word “awesome” gets thrown around a lot these days but we’re talking about real awe. The moments that make your heart race, your hair stand on end and literally take your breath away. When we’re at the precipice of unbounded delight, speechless and dumbstruck in appreciative wonder. Those uncanny things that make you gasp, like the Grand Canyon, the Taj Mahal or your spouse actually apologizing. You try and describe the feeling in words but it comes out like Charlie Brown’s teacher talking. Studies show that second only to feeling cold, awe is the most common cause of goosebumps.
And the research says awe has some very positive effects on our lives.
Awe-inspiring experiences can make us happier, help us to feel more connected to others, and lead us to act with greater kindness. Moments of awe can boost our mood, improve our work performance, reduce the stress response in our body, and even decrease cellular inflammation… Awe can make us more creative, less stressed, more curious, and even physically healthier.
A study by Dacher Keltner showed awe had one of the most powerful effects in any study ever done in science: it made college students put their phones down.
Am I overstepping by saying we could all use a little more of this? Studies show we experience awe roughly twice a week — but that’s just not enough. We spend too much of our lives staring at screens, sitting in traffic or lost in worry.
Without awe, life becomes predictable and gray. Hundreds of flavors, but every one of them is vanilla. You could call it a “conflict of interest” because there seems to be so much to be uninterested in. This is deadening. You’d have to carbon date your soul to see how far back the cynicism goes. But we accept it as the rent humans pay to modern life. Last year we wondered if the COVID bartender was yelling “Last Call” to humanity but that wasn’t enough to snap us out of it.
But awe can help us get unstuck, to go from languishing to invigorating. Simply put: we need more goosebumps.
In the quest for more awe, we’ll take a lesson from NASA: “Failure is not an option.” With some help from the book “Awestruck” and a few great studies on the subject, we’re gonna experience awe’s emotional reboot and feel like those astronauts did — to vibrate with the ferocious soul-splitting joy of life.
Ready to feel awesome – really awesome? Let’s get to it…
… keep reading the full & original article HERE