Cultivating awe in our lives is more important the more stress tries to give us tunnel- vision, and the book Awestruck does a great job of suggesting ways both large and small to experience it.
Grounded in research, Paquette describes “awe” as an experience that “transcends our understanding of the world, which forces us to change our assumptions and accommodate the new information” due to its vastness (which can be either physical or perceptual). These experiences can be as profound as the “blue marble” view the astronauts had of Earth to the more pedestrian such as watching a great white shark documentary, and everything in between.
Because awe fills us with wonder and diminishes stress, regular exposure to it will help us to be happier, healthier and more deeply connected with others through shared experiences. While we all would like to sip champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower at sunset, such moments are rare and inaccessible most days. Instead, Paquette dedicates the majority of the book to helping us to find awe in everyday experiences, such as art, nature, gratitude, or the joy of a child jumping in a puddle.
In a year that is decidedly NOT awesome, it is a good reminder to look for moments of awe in our lives.