A sense of awe at home? In my kitchen? While teleworking?

The Greater Good Science Center studies the psychology, sociology, and neuroscience of well-being, and teaches skills that foster a thriving, resilient, and compassionate society.  I love this organization because their thoughtful articles, quizzes and meditation videos span the spectrum of topics such as workplace happiness, relationships, community outreach, and emotional intelligence.

I was thinking, as some people start to actually get used to a routine of teleworking, how we can continue to be inspired by the things around us.  If you’re stuck in your townhouse on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’m betting the dirty pan on the stove is not the most awe-inspiring object in your universe; in fact, the things around us at home (or that surround us at home) may actually start to bum us out after a while.  That plant is dying; the light in my kitchen hurts my eyes; why did I paint that wall that color? Does my living room smell like curry?  I can’t tell anymore…

…And you’re off and running, agonizing about paint colors, making yourself uneasy with “would have/could have” thoughts, mentally cleaning your laundry room or berating yourself for not cleaning your laundry room, etc. etc. etc.

If you are stuck at home right now, set aside 3 minutes and try one of the exercises in the article to find awe in your everyday surroundings.

It may be as simple as using the exercise “A.W.E.” (Attention/Wait/Expand and Exhale) to pinpoint your focus on the amazing.  It may be one of the other exercises the GGSC suggests to make your heart leap with wonder in your own living room.  Take a look at the really thoughtful, quiet ways in which to refocus your gaze on the amazing with the article from Greater Good Science Center titled “Stuck at Home? How to Find Awe and Beauty Indoors”.

3 minutes?  Seriously?  What’s really fascinating about the studies produced by short stints of mindfulness is that little bursts of awe and wonder can be captivating.

…two studies demonstrated that when participants practiced a brief mindfulness tool to experience awe, they significantly altered their emotions. By accessing awe in microdoses of less than a minute, participants reduced their levels of anxiety and depression; improved their perception of chronic pain; experienced relaxation; increased connection with others; and experienced beauty, gratitude, and generosity.

Not bad for 3 minutes. Let me know what you think of the article. Did you find a moment of awe and appreciation in your little corner of the universe?

If you have 5 minutes and 31 seconds to spare, take a quick break from e-mails if you’re teleworking and try this guided audio meditation on mindful breathing here.  I’m not saying it will make you grateful for e-mails, but it may just soothe your anxiety about the yellow wall in your dining room…

Until next time, hugs from afar.  Keep smiling!  Nici