Did you know that you can get sick because you are blown away by the beauty of a place you visit? Actually many people do, and get the psychosomatic syndrome called Stendhal.
It was first the French author Stendhal that had this syndrome when he visited Florence in Italy, and he was so touched by the beauty the he felt rapid heartbeats. Furthermore, he felt exhausted, as if he was going to collapse. Tourists experience this in all places where there is an environment that is intensely beautiful for them.
According to the Italian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Graziella Magherini, Stendhal just experienced a mild reaction when he visited Florence compared to the 106 patients she observed having the same phenomenon. They had more serious reactions like dizziness, fainting, confusion and hallucinations.
The syndrome is not only associated with viewing a beautiful place, but also good art. You can be an art-fanatic that see Mona Lisa, and when seeing this fantastic piece of art – you start to feel unwell.
Personally, I have never had any of the symptoms related to the Stendhal syndrome while seeing a beautiful place. But I have been blown away with the beauty of many places. Petra in Jordan, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, the fjords of Norway and San Blas in Panama where all such places for me. And I think my hearth started to beat a bit faster than normally due to the breathtaking views…
Have you ever experienced being blown away by the beauty of a place?