Clock and Awe

Short on time? Wouldn’t it be AWE-some to have more?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

Time seems to stand still when you’re staring at the stars. Or standing on edge of the Grand Canyon! But does contemplating something vast and awe-inspiring make you feel time differently?

Researchers from Stanford and the University of Minnesota wanted to find out. They inspired three groups of volunteers in three different ways. The subjects either watched a breathtaking video, wrote about awe, or read an awe-inspiring story.

Another three groups watched, read, or wrote different stories about either happiness or neutral events.

Afterwards, those who watched the awe-inspiring film reported feeling less pressed for time. The group that wrote about awe felt less impatient and more willing to volunteer. The group that read awe-inspiring stories felt more satisfied with their lives.

Psychologists know that feeling time-starved is bad for your health and well-being. Feeling awestruck makes us feel like we have more time. Including time to help others!

How sweet! There’s just one word for that – awwwww…….!