As the pandemic era goes on, we all need ways to refresh our energies, calm our anxieties and nurse our well-being, write David P. Fessell and Karen Reivich in Harvard Business Review. One method is to cultivate experiences of awe.

Like gratitude and curiosity, awe can leave us feeling inspired and energized. It’s another tool in your toolkit and it’s now attracting increased attention due to more rigorous research.

University of Michigan psychologist Ethan Kross defines awe as “the wonder we feel when we encounter something powerful that we can’t easily explain.” Often the things which bring us awe have an element of vastness and complexity. Think of a starry night sky, an act of great kindness, or the beauty of something small and intricate. During your workday, the colors of the leaves outside your office or an act of sacrifice by a colleague could prompt a similar feeling — especially if you are attuned to it.

This shift has big benefits: As you tap into something larger and your sense of self shrinks, so too do your mental chatter and your worries. At the same time, your desire to connect with and help others increases. People who experience awe also report higher levels of overall life satisfaction and well-being.

Here are a couple of ways to cultivate experiences of awe during the workday:

  • A simple and powerful way to experience awe if you can step away from your desk is to take an “awe walk.” Take 20 minutes to wander, be curious and observe the everyday beauty around you, even in a familiar place like your yard or neighborhood. This technique helps you notice others, as well as places and things you might typically rush past. Afterward, you’ll feel inspired, calmer and better able to focus.
  • As a leader, you can leverage the power of awe to help your team with its energy and resilience and to provide empathy and emotional support. Encourage your team members to share their awe playlists and create opportunities to share experiences of awe by starting meetings with questions like “What took your breath away this week?” or “What made you glad you’re on this planet?” (Contribute your own stories too, and share their effect on you.)