Have An Awesome 2018

Research shows that anger is the most viral emotion.

We see it online in social media, standing impatiently inline and stuck in confined spaces – like our car driving my family across the state of Pennsylvania yesterday.

One person’s anger spreads to another with surprising speed and efficiency.

It’s hard to break this cycle once it begins. Its effects are corrosive both personally and to the entire community in which it has taken place.

Psychologists suggest a variety of coping mechanisms ranging from taking deep breaths, leaving the scene and trying to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. All are easier said than done in the heat of the moment.  More importantly, they don’t do much to address the root cause that led everyone to combust in the first place.

One available remedy that allows us all to dial down our drama is finding more awe in our lives.  By comparison, awe makes us feel more connected and our differences small in comparison to the wonder in life. Two almost unlimited sources of awe can be found in people (think a baby taking a first step) or nature (think sunsets). Yet the average person only feels awe between 2-3 times a week.

There is no doubt that 2017 was one of the angriest in recent memory. To read your Facebook feed or watch the nightly news quickly makes this point.

Imagine if we spent just a few more moments each week staring at the moon and remembering that man has walked there.  Or looking at our children sleeping and trying to fathom how they’ve grown.  Or looking at anything inside of us or outside in nature and asking the simple question, “how is that possible?”

These awe filled moments would find their ways into our online posts, fill our minds while we stood in line and give us a plenty to talk about during long car rides.

In short, it can help replace some of our anger with a little bit of awe. 

Here’s to an awesome 2018!

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