Have you ever been rushing around, caught in the throes of your regular hectic life and then, out of the corner of your eye, caught a beautiful sunset in the distance through the window? Suddenly, time seemed to slow down as you turned and take in the beautiful magenta, periwinkle, and pink colors dousing the sky as the sun slipped beneath the horizon. For those brief moments, all your worries and cares seemed to fade.
This is the beauty and the majesty of the sunset, and it’s the reason why we celebrate it here in Maui. Too often, people only stop to appreciate the sunset when they are on vacation, but the sun sets every day! That means you have an opportunity every single day to slow down your life and invite a little magic and wonder into your soul. Here are five ways taking time to celebrate the sunset can make you calmer, wiser, and even healthier.
1. Watching the sun set can slow down time
So many of us feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day. We rush, rush, rush to get to work, file the report on time, pick up the kids, and get dinner ready before collapsing on the couch in utter exhaustion. On a good day you might even be able to squeeze in an hour at the gym. The truth is that we all have the same amount of hours in the day, but we don’t always perceive them in the same way. A study by the Association of Psychological Science found that when subjects felt “awe” their time perception changed. They also reported feeling more satisfied with life. Watching something beautiful that can inspire awe, like a daily sunset can slow down the rush and help us truly appreciate our time.
2. It brings you outdoors
Who wants to watch the sunset from behind a pane of glass? No. When the sun is going down, step outside. In these summer months, the weather is warm and welcoming. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that spending just 20 minutes outside can promote a sense of vitality. You understand this. Breathing in fresh air and actually feeling the wind on your face can awaken your creativity and help refresh your tired brain. You don’t even have to sit still to watch the sunset. Lace up your shoes and take a run in the fading sunlight, ride your bike, or walk with a friend. You’ll revitalize your soul and your body.
3. It forces you to be mindful
It’s kind of sad how often we get caught up in all the small things in life, especially small hurts, resentments, and frustrations. Just taking a few minutes every day to consciously relax can have a profound effect on our mental and physical health. Watching the sunset is just the perfect way to embrace mindfulness.
4. It encourages gratitude
Watching the sunset reminds us of the magic of the world and can help us feel grateful for the life we have. When you see the sun setting on the horizon, allow yourself to feel gratitude for the day and all the blessings you received.
5. It inspires you
Finally, allow the sunset to inspire you. Our world is truly a wondrous and beautiful place. Let the deep, saturated colors in the horizon wow you with its beauty and simplicity. Think about how small you are in this vast universe and feel your worldly troubles slip away. Open your heart to prayer or meditation or simply enjoy the majesty of nature.
Here in Maui, we believe every sunset and sunrise is a blessing on our beautiful island. We hope you’ll take the time to enjoy the sunset during your time in Maui and after you return home.