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‘Looking Up’ – The Magic Happy Pill

Do you ever look up? When you’re walking down the street do you ever look up at the sky and just take it in? Surprisingly, I find it to be one of the most grounding experiences, especially when I’m stuck in my head or when life has become particularly challenging.

It doesn’t matter if cars are honking and sirens are blaring, looking up seems to give me a unique sense of humble calm. It also makes me think of the saying, “Things are starting to look up.” Where did that come from? I’ve scoured the internet (ok, I’ve searched a little bit), and it makes me wonder if someone else somewhere realized this very same thing.

Think about what you see when you look up: the sky, the sun, the moon, stars, clouds, horizons, sunrises, sunsets, rainbows, birds, things that fly… all of these are written about, filmed and photographed because there’s something inherently magical about them. I mean, how many sunset photos do you see posted on Facebook and Instagram? I know I’ve posted a few.

The thing about gazing at a sunset is that it makes me see myself a bit more objectively, as the microscopic speck of an atom that I really am. Not in a way that makes me feel hopeless or insignificant, just maybe less important than I would like to think sometimes. It certainly takes the expression “first world problems” to a whole new level.

What this feeling really amounts to is gratitude. You can experience a quick dose of gratitude by simply shifting your gaze upward, even just above the horizon. If you pay attention you’ll realize that you probably rarely do it, especially if you’re someone who gets stuck in your head a lot, which is most of us.

When you’re stuck in your thoughts, the last thing that occurs to you is to look up, but try to remember. Next time you’re outside or walking down the street just look up and take a deep breath. You might be surprised… maybe Snoopy was onto something.

Have a beautiful week!