Finding Awe: Building Personal Resilience & Inspiring Others​​​​​​

Jeff Thompson (PhD)

During this interactive workshop, the science of awe will be shared through hands-on practices, videos, reflections and more.


First, participants will gain insight into the vast research on awe including the presenter’s studies and programs conducted with diverse groups including the medical profession, first responders, and many others across the world.


The connection between awe and resilience is well established. Awe has been described as an emotion that we feel in response to something or someone that is extraordinary and challenges the way we think about the world.


Research has identified that experiencing awe can reduce impatience and negative moods while enhancing our meaning and purpose in life, decision-making, and focus; contributes to being more open-minded and handling stress and ambiguity; it can alter our perception of time – we don’t feel as rushed with everything; identifies gaps in our knowledge and it humbles us; make us feel more connected to others; and it can increase generosity towards others.


Importantly, experiencing awe is not limited to once-in-a-lifetime adventures like trips to the Great Barrier Reef, the Eifel Tower, or seeing the Northern Lights – we can experience awe in everyday moments if we are open to them.


Bring your pen and paper to take notes. Enhancing resilience only occurs by engaging in practices so come to this (very) interactive session where you will get to participate in many exercises (safely from your seats and on your own!). 


The term “Accountable care” and looking after others must begin with ourselves so, let your curiosity bring you to this workshop and give yourself a chance to engage with like-minded members of the Columbia community and learn some new resilience practices because we all deserve to have positive mental health.


Brief Outline
00:00 – 5 min Presenter brief introduction, overview
5 – 15 min Group brief introduction
15 – 35 min The Science of awe
35 – 50 min Awe video exercise and group discussion
50 – 1:20hr Awe and resilience “micro” exercises
1:20 – 1:30hr Concluding group comments