Check out this photograph. That’s aurora borealis, or the northern lights, as seen from the upper regions of Norway earlier this week. This spectacular display was fueled by one of the most potent solar storms in a decade. One can only imagine what it must have been like to actually witness this event. It must have been truly awesome.
I know. I know. Awesome is a tired, overused word these days, when everything from breakfast to a pair of sneakers can be described as awesome. Awesome is no longer connected to awe, that rare and overwhelming emotion inspired by vast and moving events. Sneakers aren’t life-altering, but awe-inspiring events and vistas and personal experiences really can alter the way we think about the world. We need to put the awe back in awesome.
Psychological scientists think so, too, and indeed there has been burgeoning interest in this powerful but neglected emotion. One team of scientists — Melanie Rudd and Jennifer Aaker of Stanford and Kathleen Vohs of Minnesota — have come to believe that experiencing awe may have all sorts of tonic effects, including a better sense of perspective on time and priorities, more patience and charity toward others, and generally more satisfaction with life.
Read the whole story: Huffington Post