Watching a sunset can enrich your life forever. ~ Hints Of Life
Is there anything more peaceful and languor than taking in the beauty of a setting sun? Today, as the sun descends below the horizon, creating romantic shades of orange and red across the sky, slow down to pause, and imbue some awe and wonder into your daily routine. A sunset is the epitome of evanescent beauty. Though the spectacle in the sky lasts only a few minutes, the psychological effects of admiring the sunset may persist long after the color has faded. Linda Wasmer Andrews in ‘Minding the body,’ Psychology Today, state’s, “Appreciating a beautiful sunset enriches your life beyond the moment.”
While a sunset marks the end to a day, it also symbolizes peace, harmony, and the promise of renewal. Sunset is a great reminder to rest and reset your heart and mind at the end of each day. Only to wake up the next morning feeling positive and in high spirits.
Sunset at Tanah Lot Temple, Bali, Indonesia | © Hintsof.life
Incorporating sunset meditation or sunset gazing into your daily routine can enrich you physically, mentally and spiritually. Throughout centuries, many cultures and traditions around the world have practiced sun worship and believed in the healing power of solar energy. According to India’s Hira Ratan Manek (HRM) sun gazing can apparently balance emotions within the first 3 months (up to 15 minutes) of practicing, and heals the body of illness within 3-6 months (15–30 minutes), and from 6–9 months (30-44 minutes) regulates the necessity for large intakes of food. It is important to acknowledge, results may vary from person to person, and are dependent upon where you practice, and the consistency of your daily practice. (Source: Bridget Edwards)
Studies show that appreciating natural beauty can boost your well-being, increase generosity and enhance life satisfaction. The key is to actively engage with the experience. To reap the rewards of that sunset, you need to stop whatever else you’re doing and really notice and appreciate the show in the sky.
Hints Of Life shares 5 reasons why you should make time for sunset gazing:
Sunset over the Hudson river, Manhattan, New York | © Hintsof.life
1. Watching the sunset helps you appreciate life.
If the pandemic has taught us anything it’s the realization to value and appreciate life. One of the best ways to appreciate life is by taking out time to watch a gorgeous sunset everyday. It gets even better when you do that with your family and loved ones.
Research by psychological researchers from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Minnesota Carlson School of Management, found that jaw-dropping moments like breathtaking sunsets made participants feel they had more time available, helped them become more patient, less materialistic, and more willing to volunteer time to help others.
A breathtaking blood orange summer sunset captured through a passing New York City bus, Manhattan, New York | © Hintsof.life
2. Sunset gazing improves emotional wellbeing.
Regular sunset gazing helps you become more balanced, calm and centered emotionally. Generally, people who feel connected with nature report being happier and having more positive emotions than those who don’t share this connection.
The key as reported in Bridget Edwards, The Ancient Technique of Sun Gazing, is to slowly build your sun gazing practice. Starting at 10 seconds the first time. Build up 10 second increments per day thereafter i.e. (Day 1) 10 seconds, (Day 2) 20 seconds, (Day 3) 30 seconds, (Day 4) 40 seconds, (Day 5) 50 seconds and (Day 6) 60 seconds (1 minute) etc. until you reach a maximum of 44 minutes per day, which can take approximate. 9 months if you have uninterrupted sunshine every day.
Romantic sunset hues over the Hudson river, Manhattan, New York | © Hintsof.life
3. Concern for others.
As reported in Psychology today, ‘A study by Jia Wei Zhang at the University of California, Berkeley, found that the positive emotions aroused by natural beauty led to increased prosociality — feelings and behaviors characterized by a concern for others.” “In one experiment, volunteers first looked at pictures of nature scenes and then played a game, which allowed them to be generous or stingy about giving away points to other players. The nature images had been pre-rated to determine how beautiful people thought they were. Volunteers who viewed beautiful nature images gave away more points, compared to those who viewed less attractive pictures. Therefore, it wasn’t just looking at nature that put people in a generous mood. It was perceiving the beauty of nature — and a sunset is a prime example of that.’
Watching a sunset makes you feel refreshed, and life just seems a little better | Picture credit: Pexels
4. Satisfaction with life.
Beauty enriches life, making it more rewarding. Appreciating natural beauty like watching a sunset makes you feel a sense of gratitude towards the earth, an appreciation for being alive, having the privilege to witness a glorious sunset. A study published in Pubmed, found that greater engagement with beauty was associated with higher levels of life satisfaction, gratitude, and a spiritual outlook. The association was strongest for engagement with natural beauty, as compared to artistic beauty (such as a painting, symphony or poem) or moral beauty (such as an act of charity, loyalty or kindness).
One hypothesis is that appreciation for the beauty of nature is so powerful because it’s instinctual rather than learned. There’s a natural tendency to stop and stare at a breathtaking sunset. When you do so, you’re likely to be caught up in the moment, and your mind gets a break from fretting over the past or worrying about the future. Afterward, you feel refreshed, and life just seems a little better.
A sunset will inspire you in pleasantly unpredictable ways | Picture credit: Pexels
5. It will inspire you.
Since times innumerable, sunsets have inspired poets, writers and romantics alike. There is a reason sunsets are timeless and constant– they’re inspiring. As Mahatma Gandhi said, as he observed the power of the sunset “When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.”
There is something inherently powerful and spiritual about sunsets, and we can benefit from incorporating such experiences into a regular ritual. In the article, “The Psychological and Physical Benefits of Spiritual/Religious Practices“, Ellen L. Idler, Ph.D., a sociology professor at Emory University, notes, “Transcendent spiritual and religious experiences have a positive, healing, restorative effect, especially if they are ‘built in,’ so to speak, to one’s daily, weekly, seasonal, and annual cycles of living.”
Are you excited to lean deep into the practice of sunset gazing or stop more often to appreciate the stunning spectacle in the sky. As sited in Bridget Edwards, The Ancient Technique of Sun Gazing, make sure you follow the golden rules of sun gazing strictly when practicing. I have been following the rules and the results are amazing. I’m sleeping better and not binge eating during the day. A sense of happiness has replaced unwanted stress and concerns. I feel more calm, balanced and centered emotionally and spiritually.
The first two rules are to protect the eyes from irresponsible and unnecessary sun damage:
- Do not increase your daily sun gazing activity by more than 10 second increments per day.
- Do not gaze into the full sun after the 1st hour of sun rise, or before the last hour of sun set. Sun gazing during these specific times is necessary because that is when the UV (ultraviolet) rays are minimal and therefore considered safe.
- Stand barefoot on the bare earth when sun gazing. Do not stand on cement, bricks or grass. The bare earth is the best for effective sun gazing.
- Sun gazing is not recommended for everyone, in fact it is not recommended at all. Do your own thorough research. Satisfy yourself 100%, and take complete responsibility for your own actions and choices. The information supplied here is for entertainment purposes only.
Share your sun gazing/meditation experiences with us in the comments below. After reading this post will you be interested in sun gazing?
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