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5 Ways to Regain Your Childlike Wonder as an Adult

Learn simple steps to reconnect with this vital part of our spiritual lives. 

Woman smiling out a car window regaining childlike wonder as an adult
Credit: Getty Images

Have you ever watched a young child see something for the first time? An animal at the zoo, a towering skyscraper, a night sky full of stars? This wonder and awe they hold for everything around them is an important part of being a child— and it can be an example for how we should strive to experience the world as adults!

“A sense of wonder speaks of our hunger to be moved, to be engaged and impassioned with the world,” says speaker and author, Gregg Levoy. He suggests that viewing life from a place of wonder is a great way to live fully, deepen our spirituality and connect with God. He also says that experiencing wonder becomes harder as we age—but why?

“None of the reasons are developmental,” says Levoy. “The passion for learning doesn’t naturally wane as we get older. Something gets in the way.” For example, being told not to ask too many questions, focusing on achieving instead of discovering, or not having adults in our lives who exhibit a sense of wonder.

However, that does not mean our childlike wonder can’t be regained. It is always with us; we just need to take steps to find it again.

Here are Levoy’s tips to reconnect with our childlike wonder:

  1. Get up and get out

Getting out into the world— whether it’s going to a new destination via plane, or simply taking a new path on your daily walk— is an incredible way to stoke a sense of wonder in your life. “Growing your sense of wonder is often about simply getting out from behind the desk or [away from] the chores, habits and routines in your everyday life,” said Levoy. “It’s about creating opportunities to encounter wonder by putting yourself in its path.”

  1. See your life through another’s eyes

Even though we are all surrounded by the beauty of God’s world, we can sometimes forget to see it that way. The things we see every day, like our driving route to work or the aisles of our grocery store, start to feel dull. “Try looking with renewed wonder at something you’ve looked at a thousand times,” said Levoy. “Reintroduce yourself to the charms of your town by seeing it through the eyes of a visitor, or to the wonders of the world through the eyes of your children.”

  1. Use all your sense

Levoy says we refer to it as a “sense of wonder” because it requires just that. Sense. Our five senses should play a huge part in our lives so we can fully take in the wonderful world around us. Savor the taste of a favorite family recipe. Close your eyes as you listen to your favorite song. Literally stop and smell the roses! “You can greatly extend your senses, and thus your apprehension of wonders, by utilizing new lenses,” said Levoy. “[Look at the world through] magnifying glasses, binoculars, microscopes, [and] telescopes…”

  1. Seek out wondrous displays

There are many things that are sure to elicit wonder in us— a colorful sunset, a synchronized flock of birds, a firework show. Bringing these things into your life, and even making them a small part of your busy schedule, will make wonder a part of your everyday life. “Stop and stare whenever you enter grand lobbies and atriums,” Levoy said. “Get a season pass to the art museum. Put the ‘Astronomy Picture of the Day’ website on the toolbar of your computer.”

  1. Look at things from new angels

Sometimes all we need is a change of perspective to turn the ordinary into the fascinating. For example, imagining the rushing waters that created the Grand Canyon puts it in a whole new light. Or picturing the builders who managed to erect shimmering skyscrapers makes them that much more extraordinary. Levoy has a way to make even a glorious sunset more wondrous. “If you’re watching a sunset, stare not at the sun, but at the Earth,” he said. “You’ll begin to make out what’s really going on. The sun is not setting. The Earth is rising, spinning hugely in space. You’ll begin to make out its actual motion and remember that you live on a planet hanging in midair.”

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