Raise Your Sights

By Josey Murray
Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.
December 31, 2023

Whether pitch-black and filled with shimmering stars or bright blue and teeming with puffy clouds, the sky can fill us with awe and wonder. Gazing at the firmament is so impactful that researcher Paul Conway, Ph.D., coined the term “Skychology” to highlight the role the sky plays in our well‑being. The theory he’s testing suggests that people find amazement, awe, a sense of being grounded, and even a companion in the sky.

A growing body of research speaks to the importance of awe in our lives. Awe is that feeling you get of being small when you see or experience something vast and often incomprehensible. It contributes to a sense of being connected to something larger than yourself. And research suggests that it can make you less stressed and more satisfied with your daily life.

Looking up at the sky is an easy way to access awe. Leading awe researcher Dacher Keltner claims that turning our eyes toward the heavens helps our brains to be more playful and creative.