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Cultivating Awe Is Great for Your Mental Health

Finding novelty and wonder in the little things in life is a great way to boost your well-being. Here are some ways to do it


Think of your day-to-day life and the many moments that each 24-hour cycle encapsulates. When was the last time you encountered something truly awe-inspiring? Something that gave you goosebumps or made you say, “Wow”? Odds are, it’s been a while.

With all of the things vying for our attention — kids, work, cleaning, bills, doom scrolling — it can feel impossible to do anything more than just attempt to get through the daily grind in one piece. Plus, you may think of awe — defined as “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder” — as available only in peak or once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like seeing the Grand Canyon, visiting another country, or watching a child take their first steps.

But according to Jonah Paquette, psychologist and author of Awestruck: How Embracing Wonder Can Make You Happier, Healthier, and More Connected, awe-inspiring moments are all around us if we just train ourselves to see them.

“One of the biggest things we can do to benefit ourselves when it comes to awe,” Paquette says, “is [notice] the small stuff. You know, looking up at a sunset, watching the changing colors of the leaves or the passing of a season or watching it rain — these things that we essentially take for granted can actually be sources of wonder.”

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