Benefits of Looking Up!
In the wake of profound personal loss, despair and depression can become all-too-familiar companions. For me, life turned upside down in 2013 when my son passed away, and the temple of success and happiness that we had built around our three companies came crashing down. The pain and the disorientation led me into a downward spiral, a dark quagmire of depression that seemed to extend into an abyss.
For 18 months, my only solace came from a comforting hot bath or long walks to help reduce my anxiety. During these walks, I noticed something peculiar: I constantly looked downwards. The path beneath my feet was interesting, but it was also a reflection of my state of mind - downcast, and unwilling to face the world.
One sunny afternoon, I decided to defy this very routine of mine. As I was walking, I paused, took a deep breath, and simply - looked up. It was in that moment that a rush of positive energy coursed through me, it was absolutely invigorating, akin to a spiritual bath.
Years afterwards, I pieced together that my experience wasn’t an anomaly but has a scientific basis behind it. Research suggests that the act of looking up can have manifold health benefits. A 2014 study by the University of California discovered that people who lifted their gaze more often had a lower likelihood of developing depressive symptoms.
From a physical viewpoint, looking down constantly, especially at screens, not only contributes to "tech neck" but also increases pressure on the spine by up to 60 pounds, according to a study published in Surgical Technology International. On the other hand, lifting our gaze or looking up can help realign the posture and reduce these physical strains.
Moreover, looking up also means looking forward, hence it may encourage people to shift their focus from past struggles to the opportunities that lay ahead, as demonstrated in a 2020 study published by the Journal of Experimental Psychology.
Having experienced firsthand, what feeling 'down' meant and how 'looking up' physically changed my perspective, I urge you to embrace this simple yet powerful gesture. It may not resolve all problems, but it can certainly make the journey lighter, give you renewed strength when you're most vulnerable. My transformation began that day when I looked up, and it can start for you too. Herald a new outlook on life: Look Up, and let the healing powers seep through you.