Are you happy with your life overall, but still yearning for something more? If you want to feel alive and connected, it may benefit you to cultivate your sense of wonder.
Office workers and schoolteachers can experience just as much awe as astronauts and wildlife photographers. In fact, research shows that each of us needs those moments that make us feel part of something larger than ourselves.
In addition to making us feel happy, awe strengthens our immune system, relieves stress, and encourages us to cooperate with others.
Elevate your daily routines by stepping out of your comfort zone. Use these ideas to cultivate your sense of awe.
Opportunities for wonder are right in front of you if you know how to look. Seeing something or someone you admire can motivate you to aim higher.
Take advantage of these methods to discover inspiration:
- Study science. The successful fast tracking of the COVID-19 vaccines is even more remarkable when you remember that it took more than 20 years of research to develop a shot for polio. Keep up with science and perform your own simple experiments.
- Appreciate art. Decorate your home with beautiful objects and listen to music. Visit art museums and express your creativity through painting or gardening.
- Play with kids. You may have lost some of your ability to feel awe as you grew up. Spending time with younger family and friends can help you recapture your enjoyment of falling snow and mud pies.
- Walk your dog. For maximum excitement, consult the nearest dog. They’ll point out the highlights in your neighborhood park or backyard.
- Take a trip. Travel is another proven way to change your perspective and expand your thinking. Research destinations for your next vacation or a weekend outing. Order brochures, browse online, and talk with others about their recommendations.
- Go outside. Nature is a major source of inspiration close to home or far away. Watch the sun rise and set. Buy a bird feeder or volunteer at a wildlife sanctuary.
Using Habits to Spark Your Sense of Wonder
Regular daily routines, like washing dishes and attending meetings, become more meaningful when you engage fully with what you’re doing.
Try these strategies:
- Wake up early. Studies show that early risers tend to be happier and more successful. Stick to a bedtime that allows you to wake up naturally with plenty of energy to power you through your day.
- Work out. Regular exercise can help you to stay active as you age. Maintain your mental and physical strength and fitness.
- Savor your food. Healthy eating is one way of honoring how much your body does for you. Sit down and chew your food slowly. Prepare your own meals and snacks using delicious whole foods.
- Help others. Thinking about others reduces anxiety and depression. Practice random acts of kindness and find a career that enables you to have a positive impact.
- Focus on teamwork. Wonder makes you want to collaborate with others, so you can accomplish more. Celebrate diversity and build trust. Set clear goals and work on your communication skills.
- Try new things. Novelty promotes feelings of awe and helps you to stay engaged. Mingle at parties and chat with strangers. Take courses online. Ride your bike instead of driving to the office.
- Keep a journal. It’s easy for your sense of wonder to get buried under daily concerns. A journal could help you to notice and remember the amazing moments that happen each day.
Make awe part of your daily life. Slow down and discover the wonders that surround you. Awe makes you feel smaller in a positive way that broadens your perspective and enriches your experiences.