The happiness of having visitors again

By the time you’re reading this on Saturday, I’ll be enjoying something I haven’t experienced in a while: a visitor!

Throughout the pandemic, our socializing has either been distanced or nonexistent altogether. But now, with vaccines, people can see each other more easily and even travel to do so (based on your own comfort level, of course).

That’s why I’m so excited to be able to open my home to my vaccinated loved ones and embrace them again after so much distance.

Seeing friends and family not only brings joy at the moment, but it also allows us to make new, shared memories – something that mostly happened through Zoom parties or commiserating phone calls last year.

With more freedom in being together safely, we can make memories in real life with quality meal times and game nights. That sounds so normal in the best way, right?

There’s also something super fulfilling about showing a loved one some of your favorite places when they come to visit. Whether it’s the best bakery on your street or your favorite food spot in the neighborhood, sharing these parts of your life is a simple way of showing love.

So whether you’re expecting your own visitors soon or are just looking to spark some joy, I hope you find some happiness this weekend in the beautiful little things.

Awe makes us happier, healthier, and humbler.

Speaking of the feelings of joy and excitement that visitors bring, we could all use some more awe.

We think of awe as an emotion reserved for the most extraordinary moments – summiting a mountain, the birth of a child, an exquisite live performance. But researchers who study awe say the emotion shouldn’t be associated only with rare events, my colleague Alia E. Dastagir writes. They argue that daily experiences of wonder should be a regular part of the way we engage with the world.

“Big moments that people have in their lives are going to produce awe, but what a lot of recent research is showing is that even those more everyday experiences of awe – just briefly noticing the beauty of nature in our neighborhood or in our backyard – those can have a positive effect on our well-being,” said Craig Anderson, a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis who has studied awe in nature.

Researchers say awe has a range of emotional, social, and physiological health benefits. Wonder is shown to make us happier and contribute to greater life satisfaction, make us care more about other people, and increase our humility.

Research has shown awe can make us think more critically, expand our perception of time and lead to less materialism. Anderson has done work showing wonder can help at-risk populations, including young people from underserved communities and military veterans, cope with PTSD symptoms and stress.

Gemma Broadhurst
Gemma Broadhurst is a 23-year-old computing student who enjoys extreme ironing, hockey and duck herding. She is kind and entertaining, but can also be very standoffish and a bit evil.She is an Australian Christian. She is currently at college. studying computing. She is allergic to milk. She has a severe phobia of chickens

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