An Awe Experiment

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Daily Insight Video

Happy Friday!

I want to share one of my favorite concepts with you today: the awe experience.

I love using my own life as a laboratory for trying out ideas to see how they work. My most recent experiment has been to purposely invoke awe in myself to see the long term effects of feeling awe on a daily basis.

This idea came to me from Barbara Fredrickson’s Broaden and Build Theory, as well as Martin Seligman’s Three Blessings. My experiment goes a little further than reflecting on what you are thankful for and looks at what evokes wonder in your life. Awe focuses on wonder AND gratitude. When you feel both of those things at the same time, that is when you are in awe.


As I have been walking down the street and listening to Beethoven’s 9th , I have been purposefully trying to feel that moment of awe, and I noticed a few things:
-I began to slow down
-I paid more attention to my body movements
-My breath slowed

It is a beautiful state to be in. What I have noticed after that moment is that I am strengthening that muscle that creates wonder and gratitude. Throughout the day, I have been finding myself in awe of small things that I normally would not have noticed as much.

From this experience, I am starting to think that awe is actually a character trait that we can practice and develop like any other muscle. As I have developed this capacity for awe, I have noticed an increase in my appreciation, gratitude, and emotional control.

I would love for you to try this experiment as well. Find a piece of music, take a walk, and enjoy that feeling of awe that follows.

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