Since we just returned from a quick trip to the lake in Michigan, I remembered the below article talking about the possible key to happiness, and I have to totally agree with it. Even getting away from your routine for a few days in order to enjoy nature, truly centers you. Watching the puppies running wild and enjoying it as well, makes you realize that all living creatures need to be outside in all of its glory.

Author Paula Spencer Scott suggests that awe is “a dramatic feeling with the power to inspire, heal, change our thinking and bring people together.” In fact, it may be one of the secrets to health and happiness. Dr. Dacher Keltner of UC-Berkeley defines awe as “the feeling of being in the presence of something vast or beyond human scale that transcends our current understanding of things.”

Researchers who study awe suggest that it binds us together, helps us see things in new ways, makes us nicer and happier, and alters our bodies (it can reduce depression, lower blood pressure, boost our immune systems, etc.).

Awesome experiences are available to all of us. Here are some examples of ways to find awe in daily life:

- Drop your devices and really look around. Watch the clouds, gaze at the stars, wonder at how hummingbirds fly, notice colors.

- Visit a local, state or national park

· Take a walk in your neighborhood and notice things for the first time

· Write about a time when you once felt awe; tell a friend about it

· Visit a planetarium, museum or the zoo

· Get up early to watch a sunrise

· Pause your day to watch a sunset

· Play amazing music

When I think about all the times that I was in awe the majority of them involved nature. Seeing beautiful cloud formations, or an enormous tree that has survived so many storms etc., watching the story of the stars unfold when seeing a show at the planetarium all bring me awe. I think that one of my New Year's Resolutions is going to be to take the time to be in awe. Perhaps I'll reread Eckart Tolle's book about the Power of Now. We all get so caught up in getting our every day things done, that we sometimes forget to simply enjoy all that nature has to offer. Try it today even if just for a moment!

Source: Excerpt from Advocate Aurora Health News

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