Ever have one of those moments where you look up at the stars and feel overwhelmed by how cool the world is? This in-depth piece from Psychology Today explains that awestruck moments like that are not only awesome, they're also really important for our mental health. Michio Taku, Ph.D., a theoretical physicist, likens awe to zooming a camera lens way out, making our lives and worries seem pretty tiny. 

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This wow feeling also makes us feel less rushed, less selfish, and calmer overall, which can be especially helpful for people who experience anxiety or depression. A moment of awe can pause the stream of negative or worrisome thoughts.

And we don't have to wait for these moments to come along; we can seek them out. Daniel Smith, author of Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety, compares "chasing awe" to psychotherapy, which is all about building new habits and perspectives. 

Going out into nature is the most obvious awe-inducing activity, but city dwellers can also visit a local park, watch Planet Earth, or read an article about the great outdoors. Even something not related to nature (consciously slowing down for a few minutes, reading a good book, or taking a stimulating class) can help you say "wow" a little more often. 

READ THIS NEXT: The 36 Best Places to Pitch a Tent in the U.S.
 

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