- Publishing’s Appreciation of Awe: 2023 is witnessing a mini boom in books discussing awe. Dasher Keltner, an American author and psychology professor, emphasises wonder’s wellbeing significance in his book Awe. Keltner argues that awe can soothe the nervous system, release oxytocin and help people understand their role in communities. In Enchantment, British author Katherine May expands on curiosity-promoting strategies, think celebrating the subtle magic of natural elements like moonlight. And The Power of Wonder (2023) by American author Monica C. Parker takes a scientific approach, exploring how the feeling can reshape our connection to the world.
- Sparking Wonder: Experts point out that paying attention, practising mindfulness and focusing on the kindness of others can elicit wonder. They also emphasise that collective dancing (see Revitalising Nightlife), psychedelics and nature walks could trigger astonishment.
Awe walks are floated as a gateway to transition from task-focus mindsets into curiosity. American Author Matt Hershberger highlights the benefits of birdwatching while wandering, suggesting apps such as iNaturalists (Geocaching for plants and wildlife) and eBird to track bird sightings and cultivate deep attention.
- Setting the Stage for Amazement: For examples of awe-inducing experiences look to British professor of neuroscience Anil Seth’s immersive art installation Dreamachine, which creates visuals through flickering light and UK-based Wake the Tiger (highlighted in Millennial Travel Brands to Know), which takes visitors through 27 whimsical immersive in-person experiences.
See Redefining Faith for more on consumers’ attitudes on the otherworldly.