Monthly Article Archives: January 2017

The Power of AweRobert Brooks, Ph.D.

This past October while reading the Sunday Boston Globe, I was intrigued by the cover of Parade magazine.   The word “AWE” was printed in large letters above a view of the earth taken from outer space.  The following description appeared under the photo: “How the soul-stirring wonder sparked by a shooting star or a majestic peak can transform your health and happiness.”  Many of my writings focus on strategies to enhance our emotional and physical well-being as well as our sense of happiness.  Thus, the words “can transform your health and happiness” caught my attention.  The article, authored by Paula Spencer Scott, began by describing the experience of Stacy Bare, a man who was reported to be suffering from PTSD, burdened by suicidal thoughts, and drinking heavily after a second deployment in Iraq.    Bare and his brother were arguing while hiking when they suddenly viewed the Druid Arch in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park.  “The men’s jaws dropped.  They laughed.  They hugged.  What were they ever arguing about? Bare recalls thinking.” Scott explained, “They’d been awestruck—altered in an instant by an electrifying emotion that scientists have only begun to study.”  I was unaware of the emerging body of research examining the

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