Awe Narrative

Difficulty: Casual | Frequency: Variable | Duration: 15 mins
(6 member ratings)

Time Required

15 minutes

How to Do It

Think back to a time when you felt a sense of awe regarding something you witnessed or experienced. Awe has been defined as a response to things that are perceived as vast and overwhelming and that alter the way you understand the world. This sense of vastness can be physical (e.g., a panoramic view from a mountaintop) or psychological (e.g., a brilliant idea). People may experience awe when they are in the presence of a beautiful natural landscape or work of art, when they watch a moving speech or performance, when they witness an act of great altruism, or when they have a spiritual or religious experience.  

Try to think of the most recent experience you’ve had that involved the feeling of awe. Once you identify something, describe it in writing with as much detail as possible.

Difficulty: Casual | Frequency: Variable | Duration: 15 mins
(6 member ratings)

Why You Should Try It

This exercise asks you to recall and describe a time when you experienced awe. Awe is an emotion that is elicited by experiences that challenge and expand our typical way of seeing the world. Research suggests that awe involves sensing the presence of something greater than the self, along with decreased self-consciousness and a decreased focus on minor, everyday concerns. Experiences of awe have been shown to expand people’s perception of time and improve life satisfaction.

Difficulty: Casual | Frequency: Variable | Duration: 15 mins
(6 member ratings)

Evidence That It Works

Rudd, M., Vohs, K. D., & Aaker, J. (2012). Awe expands people’s perception of time, alters decision making, and enhances well-beingPsychological Science, 23(10), 1130-1136.

In three experiments, participants who were induced to feel awe, compared with other emotions, felt that they had more time available, were less impatient, were more willing to volunteer their time to help others, preferred experiences over material products, and reported greater life satisfaction.

Difficulty: Casual | Frequency: Variable | Duration: 15 mins
(6 member ratings)

Why It Works

Taking time out to reflect on past experiences of awe can help people break up their routine and challenge themselves to think in new ways. Evoking feelings of awe may be especially helpful when people are feeling bogged down by day-to-day concerns. Research suggests that awe has a way of lifting people outside of their usual selves and connecting them with something larger and more significant. This sense of broader connectedness and purpose can help relieve negative moods and improve happiness. 

Difficulty: Casual | Frequency: Variable | Duration: 15 mins
(6 member ratings)

Sources

Melanie Rudd, Ph.D., University of Houston

Difficulty: Casual | Frequency: Variable | Duration: 15 mins
(6 member ratings)

For More

Difficulty: Casual | Frequency: Variable | Duration: 15 mins
(6 member ratings)

Could your life be more awesome? Take our Awe Quiz to find out:

Completion Status

Comments & Reviews

  1. JAMIE HAYNIE
    JAMIE HAYNIE
    December 5, 2017

    My awe moment was a few weeks ago. I have been struggling to find me for some time because I am so caught up in what society expect from me, that I couldn’t find my inner happiness. I often wonder what is my purpose, what am I here for, and what am I good at? I used to be a excellent track runner, and one day while I was walking around the track while me daughter was practicing, I had a awe moment. I felt a sense of relief as I heard the gun go off while the racers were on the start line. It got real quiet and all I knew was I was in the blocks in a start position. I couldn’t hear anything and the world around me was still. I took off running and when I opened my eyes I had the USA flag jogging around the track. My awe moment was me realizing I am still young and I can follow my dreams to at least compete in the 2020 Olympics. I know that is my purpose. Of course, to grow and build my daughter to be the best she can be, but I need my piece of happiness and I found it that day walking around the track as I do every day while she practice.

  2. JAMIE HAYNIE
    JAMIE HAYNIE
    December 5, 2017

    I enjoyed this practice. I had a awe moment a few weeks ago and it a real eye opener.

  3. Fide De Viáncha
    Fide De Viáncha
    February 28, 2016

    Cuando contemplo una maravilla quedo impresionada de su grandeza y no encuentro palabras para descrbirla

  4. Jami Blaauw-Hara
    Jami Blaauw-Hara
    May 27, 2015

    At first I felt dumb because my awe experience was long ago, as if I'd lost the ability to feel awe and was a bad person. But then, as I wrote, I realized it was a fundamental experience for me.

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