Amp up the Awe

Having just returned from a week of learning about awe from Dacher Keltner at the Modern Elder Academy in Baja, Mexico, the topic of this week’s blog is not surprising.

But it really is.

The benefits of introducing more awe into our lives are quite remarkable. It’s good for our happiness. It calms our nervous system and strengthens our immune system. It builds our sense of connection with others. The list goes on and on, and is growing all the time, thanks in large part to the work of Dacher’s lab, the Greater Good Science Centre (check out their monthly happiness calendar).

And the news gets better. Awe is easily accessible. It’s all around us, and its benefits accrue even from accessing it for just 5-10 minutes once a week!

If I asked you to name the most frequent source of awe, what would it be? (Probably number three?!) The top eight sources of awe, drawn from 3,000 people across 30 countries, are these:

  1. Moral beauty in other people
  2. Collective effervescence or movement
  3. Nature
  4. Spirituality or mystical experiences
  5. Music
  6. Visual beauty
  7. Epiphanies or big ideas
  8. Life and death

We can access these! And we can embody or facilitate them for other people.

Very good news indeed.

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