What is awe and where can you get more of it?

Awe can instill a sense of wonder, spark creativity, make us humble, and fuel kindness and connection with others. This isn't new age or religious mumbo-jumbo (although "awe" is sometimes hijacked by those groups). Awe can also be weaponized in order to exert control. There's a real science of awe, and understanding it can help us get more of it while protecting us from those who would use it to manipulate us. From New Scientist:

Psychologists Dacher Keltner and Jonathan Haidt define awe as the feeling we get when we're confronted with something vast, that transcends our frame of reference and that we struggle to understand. It's an emotion that combines amazement with an edge of fear, and it can dissolve our very sense of self[…]

One study found that people drew themselves smaller after an awe-inducing experience, but it didn't affect their sense of status or self-esteem. Another study found that people who watched an awe-inspiring video estimated their bodies to be physically smaller than those who watched a funny or neutral video.

Using fMRI scans, scientists have discovered changes inside the brain that might be responsible. When people feel awe, it lowers activity in the default mode network, a collection of brain areas thought to make up our sense of self.  

top image: Imaginary Foundation