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The Case of Curiosity & Awe for wellbeing:

outline of a human body against a vast starlit sky

Have you ever stood at the edge of a cliff, watching the sun dip below the horizon, and felt a tingling sense of wonder? Or gazed up at the night sky, marvelling at the countless stars, and felt a profound connection to the universe?

This magical feeling is what Dr. Dacher Keltner calls "awe," and it’s more than just a fleeting emotion. this blog is my case for the importance of curiosity and awe for our wellbeing.

Let’s dive into the curious case of awe then, explore why it’s so important for our well-being, and discover some delightful ways to invite more awe into our lives.

The Science of Awe

Dr. Dacher Keltner, a leading psychologist at the University of California, Berkeley, has dedicated much of his research to understanding awe and its impact on our lives. According to Keltner, awe is a complex emotion triggered by experiences that transcend our ordinary understanding of the world, making us feel part of something larger than ourselves. It's also really important for our wellbeing.

Enhances Emotional Health

Experiencing awe can significantly boost your mood and overall emotional health. It can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, making you feel more positive and balanced.

A woman standing on a sunlit path gazing in awe at the nature around her

Promotes Physical Health

Awe has been linked to lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which means it could help reduce inflammation and promote a healthier immune response.

Encourages Pro-Social Behaviour

Feeling awe can make us more generous, kind, and compassionate! It fosters a sense of connection with others, encouraging us to help and support one another.

A white hand holding a lightbulb against a soft blue and pink pastel sky

Improves Cognitive Function

Awe can enhance creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. It encourages open-mindedness and a greater appreciation for different perspectives.

Expands Perspective

Awe helps us see the bigger picture, allowing us to step outside of our own narrow views and appreciate the broader context of life.

Strengthens Resilience

By providing a sense of wonder and transcendence, awe can bolster our resilience, helping us cope better with life's challenges and setbacks.

Fosters Curiosity and Exploration

Awe ignites our curiosity and encourages us to explore, learn, and grow. It makes us eager to discover more about the world and our place within it.

Sounds great, right? But you may think that awe is rare, perhaps only accessible on special occasions, in exotic locations or fleeting moments. The truth is, awe can be found waiting in many places if you are open to experiencing it. Here are some ways to access more awe in your life

close up of a beautiful kingfisher bird with bright blue and orange feathers

Nature Walks

Spend time in nature, whether it’s a hike in the woods, a stroll on the beach, or simply a walk in the park. Nature is a boundless source of awe - something you can access in your back garden or local park.


On a clear night, look up at the sky. The vastness of the universe can be profoundly awe-inspiring. Feeling both part of something bigger as well as realising how small we are can have a profound impact on our sense of connection to our inner and outer world

Art and Music

Visit a museum, attend a concert, or immerse yourself in your favourite art form. Creative expressions can evoke deep feelings of awe too.

an old fashioned globe stands in front of an old suitcase. A white hand holds a magnifying glass over the globe

Travel and Adventure

Explore new places and cultures. Experiencing the unfamiliar can open your mind to awe-inspiring sights and experiences. I'm always in awe of how even when cultures are very different, there are still the golden threads of joy and kindness that can unite us all.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Practising mindfulness and meditation can help you become more attuned to awe-inspiring moments in everyday life. When was the last time you took the opportunity to pause and be present with yourself?

Read Inspirational Books

Delve into books that explore the wonders of the universe, the intricacies of life, or the profound depths of human experience.

Connect with Others

Share awe-inspiring experiences with friends and family. Sometimes, witnessing someone else's awe can amplify your own.

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Embrace Curiosity

Awe invites us to be curious, to explore the unknown, and to marvel at the beauty and mystery of life. By cultivating a sense of curiosity, we can open ourselves to more awe-inspiring moments and enrich our well-being.

So, let cultivating curiosity and awe for wellbeing be your new intention. Seek out experiences that fill you with wonder, and watch as your world transforms into a more vibrant, connected, and joyful place.

In the words of Dr. Keltner, "Awe binds us to the collective, and it really is the perfect antidote to our individualistic age." So, let’s embrace awe, nurture our curiosity, and celebrate the boundless wonders that await us.

Stay curious, stay inspired, and let awe light up your life!


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