Since the dawn of time, we've looked up at the stars and pondered our place among them. And if our frantic modern times have got you down, you may find that star gazing is the best medicine. Here are some ways star gazing is good for your health:
Star gazing makes you kinder
A University of California-Irvine study found that looking up at the stars makes us nicer. And that's because it helps us feel "diminished in the presence of something greater than oneself."
When we look up at the night sky, we realise how insignificant we – and our problems – are. And when we do this, we open up to our potential to be kinder and more compassionate. To see that we're all sharing this planet, and we're all only here for a short time. In this way, we are more likely to serve the "greater good".
Lead researcher, Dr Paul Piff explained, "Our investigation indicates that awe, although often fleeting and hard to describe, serves a vital social function.
"When experiencing awe, you may not, egocentrically speaking, feel like you're at the centre of the world anymore. By diminishing the emphasis on the individual self, awe may encourage people to forgo strict self-interest to improve the welfare of others."
Star gazing slows you down
When you head out of the city, and find a quiet spot to contemplate the cosmos, you naturally slow down. Gone are the obligations and expectations. There's nothing to do but stop, watch and reflect. And that's something that has numerous benefits – for our mental, physical and spiritual health.
Star gazing ignites your creativity
Ever noticed how you come up with your best ideas in the shower, or just before you drift off to sleep? It's because in those moments, your conscious mind quietens down – and your subconscious mind can come out to play. This is your ideas factory. The place where your creative spirit can fly.
And when we look up at the stars, switching off from the world around us, we can ponder life's big questions. And ignite our imagination.
So, those are three great reasons to take a break and practise the lost art of star gazing. See you out there!Originally published on Sep 11, 2017