Real Health Podcast: Why awe is one of the most important emotions with Dacher Keltner

Karl Henry

If you were asked what the most important emotion is, what would you say? Happiness? Love? Empathy?

Well, my guest this week says there is a case to be made for awe. It’s an emotion that can be hard to define but something he says can improve our lives.

Dacher Keltner is the author of Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life.

Awe is an emotion that is often associated with things like art or nature. Dacher says music is also a big source for awe, which can improve our feeling of well being.

Real Health Podcast: Why awe is one of the most important emotions with Dacher Keltner

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“Music and what it brings us is calm or stress related physiology, better immune profile, a better ability to concentrate and to handle daily stresses” Dacher says.

“Music and nature make us feel content and at peace. Like, ‘Oh, I see how I'm part of something larger that really matters’”.

We also discuss how things like money or possessions won’t bring you that sense of “wow” in your life and really you don’t need them to find that sense of awe in every day life.

“There is the world of material possessions and transaction and money and consumer goods. That's one realm of pleasure, and it has its own laws.

“There is another realm of of meaningful experience, which is awe and awe is independent of the transactions of our ordinary life. It's about meaning and purpose and even spirituality for a lot of people. It doesn't operate according to the laws of buying something. It's different”

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The Real Health podcast is in association with Laya Healthcare.