In March 2020, we encouraged state employees to cultivate awe by engaging in a “wonder walk” and then sharing photos from their experience. The photos below were voted upon as our team’s favorites. To see all photo submissions, click here.
One of the most important ingredients of happiness is to
live in and savor the present moment or reminisce about the past. Empirical
research has shown that savoring is related to intense and frequent happiness.
People who tend to savor are more self-confident, extroverted and gratified,
and less hopeless and neurotic. They are also less likely to experience
depression, stress, guilt and shame.
This month’s Positivity Project exercise is to take a
“Wonder Walk.” In preparation for this blog, I did my wonder walk a few weeks
ago. It was a beautiful day and my husband and I drove to Silver Falls and
hiked to the North Falls. What an amazing experience! All of my senses were
engaged and tingling. From the lushness of the woods to the soothing sound of
running water to the booming sound of the falls, I was very present with my
surroundings. I felt alive. I felt energized. I felt happy. I enjoyed the
feeling of connectedness I had with my husband. I was fully in the moment. I
remember asking myself, “why don’t I do this more often?” I wanted to stop and
capture moments by taking pictures. Not only was I able to savor life’s joy on
my wonderful walk to the falls, now I can savor the memory of it and feel that
joy and appreciation again.
The cherry blossom trees are starting to bloom and now is an
amazing time to get out and experience your own wonder walk. Remember that the
pleasure of the moment can be heightened with others. Invite a co-worker to
come along with you on your wonder walk. Research (and personal experience)
show that those who share an experience have more positive emotions like joy,
accomplishment, amusement, contentment and pride.
For some additional savoring, follow me on my wonder walk to
the North Falls. My husband created this video.
The beauty of Oregon inspired him and I hope it inspires you as well.