Wonder woman Katrina Thorpe wonders about the lost art – and benefits of – wondering.
I wonder…do you? If we have lost the childish desire young children possess, to understand or know something; asking ‘why’ and ‘how’, curious to explore possibilities.
Wonder usually declines with age but it doesn’t necessarily have to. Wondering helps us to be aware and appreciate everything around us more fully and it might encourage thinking about different possibilities in your world.
There’s reason to believe that we can regain and maintain wonder at any age. It’s also beneficial to help young people hold on to their wondering – encourage it rather than shut down the inquisitive mind of ‘how and why.’
We should be embracing wonder at any age to continually grow and expand for an entire lifetime.
Without wondering, we would not have scientists, inventors and explorers to advance our worlds.
Every minute we have, seems to be consumed. Sometimes we assume doing nothing would be boring and instead, prefer to distract ourselves with anything, rather than allowing ourselves to just sit and wonder.
Research shows people will do almost anything to avoid ‘boredom’ but wondering is far from boring.
I wonder if we are losing the art of letting our minds wander and wonder as we are conditioned to grabbing our mobile devices to pass every spare second. It has become a habit, leaving no time to be present in the moment to just sit and wonder about what we see, feel, expect, desire and have yet to discover.
Having to wait gives us time to wonder. It’s a great time to encourage children to wonder because there’s so much to wonder about with your children, no matter where you are. Filling your time full of wonderment is engaging, pleasurable and interesting.
Observing others, your surroundings, being aware of our senses of touch, smell, sounds, sight and taste are a great way to engage wondering.
How, when, why, who and what are words to start wondering in your mind or to encourage others.
Thanks to research by Frank Keil, Professor of Psychology and Linguistics at Yale University, there have been numerous studies about wondering and the benefits to our wellbeing.
I read about this research a while ago and have enjoyed wondering about it ever since.
Here are some simple ways you can help revive and maintain your sense of wondering and if you are reading this while on holiday in Noosa, it’s the perfect time and place to start.
Regular Wonder Checks
Ask yourself: what have you learned, noticed, thought about in the past few weeks that has changed your opinion, view or understanding of something or someone? Take time to think about what changed your mind, thought process or reactions.
Wondering is relaxing and rewarding, it takes your mind to a new sphere of thinking, imagining and just wondering with a deeper appreciation for what you experience in the moment.
To me, wondering is noticing things that you may have missed, had you not purposely decided to wonder.
Ask questions about the unknown. Ask yourself ‘how can that be’ or ‘what makes that happen’? It’s a great way to start a conversation with someone and the majority of people enjoy sharing information about what they know. No matter what age you are, wondering with a question will expand your mind.
Make time to wonder. While travelling, waiting, resting, in company or on your own. Go outside, surround yourself with new environments while you wonder about life in the space.
An airport is a great way to wonder about the people, the way they are dressed to travel to their destinations. Where are they going, who are they meeting, it’s often emotional yet we don’t know these people, but we can wonder about their connections and life.
Wondering helps you escape your world and to explore the same world differently. Where one question leads to another and you find the opportunity to unpuzzle life.
Find Diverse ways to wonder. Through documentaries, books, google searches or attending shows and events. Broaden your wondering horizons, introducing opportunities to explore a variety of stimulus to wonder about.
Wondering can be meditative. Letting your mind slip away does not have to be about deep breathing or guided meditation. It can just be de-railing your mind to wonder about something beyond your world.
Wondering can be stimulating and motivational. Becoming inventive, excited and challenged to seek information, answers or pursue creative ideas.
Try wondering. Put away your mobile phone, be in the moment and open your mind to what is around you.
I wonder if you would find it addictively fascinating.