Evidence That It Works
In three experiments, participants were induced to feel awe—such as by watching an awe-inspiring video—as well as other emotions. People who experienced awe felt that they had more time available to themselves, were less impatient, were more willing to volunteer their time to help others, preferred having positive experiences over material products, and reported greater life satisfaction.
Why Does It Matter?
It’s easy for educators to feel bogged down by daily routines and concerns, stifling their sense of creativity and wonder. Feeling awe can reawaken those feelings of inspiration—and give them a renewed sense of purpose in their work.
Awe is induced by experiences that challenge and expand our typical way of seeing the world, such as walking in nature, creating music with others, learning mind-expanding ideas, hearing about the works of great people—and, as many educators have told us, experiencing childbirth. Research suggests that awe has a way of lifting people outside of their usual, more narrow sense of self and connecting them with something larger and more significant. This sense of broader connectedness and purpose can help relieve negative moods and improve happiness.