Early this morning I was on the way to the gym, when I was suddenly turned the corner and stopped dead in my tracks.
There had been a light fog, and the sun had just broken through, casting beams of light that streamed down onto the neighborhood.
I quickly pulled over to enjoy the moment, and snapped this photo with my iPhone.
As I soaked in the scenery, I was reminded just how much beauty surrounds us, if we’ll only stop and notice.
But this post is about more than just sharing the joy of my morning. There’s real life-engineering value to simple observations like this.
Appreciating beauty is highly therapeutic for the mind and spirit. It has a calming effect which helps lift our vision, allowing us to regain perspective. It helps reduce the bad stress, and keeps us focused on the good stress (the stress that pushes us), which helps foster a strong immune system, deep and restful sleep, and an overall healthier, more capable body.
Additionally, during periods of enjoyment and joy, the neurotransmitter dopamine shoots into your prefrontal cortex. When this happens, you enjoy tremendous thought breadth (as opposed to thought depth, which you get when you focus).
Thought breadth is the crux of creativity. It allows you to see problems from different perspectives, and it’s easier to find alternate solutions to things you’ve been hyper focused on.
So while it seems simple, and it is in practice, the benefits of being more aware of the beauty that surround you have a real, powerful impact on your ability to achieve your goals, and accomplish great things.
How long has it been since you’ve watched the sun set? The whole thing. Or the sun rise? Or stopped to look at the reflection of the sky in a puddle, or water drops on a flower? There is beauty all around, try stopping for a moment now and then to enjoy it.