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The Humane Space app makes it easy and fun to inject more curiosity, wonder, and awe into your daily life — a powerful way to boost well-being.

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Five Ways to Live More Curiously in 2024

2023 was a year full of astonishing discoveries. It was the year that scientists revealed how songbirds solve problems, documented the first known virgin birth in a crocodile, and discovered phosphorus on Saturn's sixth-largest moon, Enceladus, signaling that life there might be possible. It was the year that archaeologists in Kenya dug up 3-million-year-old stone tools, revealing the previously unrecognized ingenuity of our non-human ancestors. And it was the year that researchers first used technology to translate human thoughts into text, providing hope for people who have lost speech.

The driving force behind these breakthroughs was curiosity—our fundamental desire for knowledge and understanding. As we step into the new year, cultivating curiosity—about ourselves, each other, and the world around us—can spark innovation, encourage growth, and invite us to embrace diverse new experiences. And not only that: research shows that curiosity is correlated with higher levels of positive emotions, lower levels of anxiety, and greater psychological well-being.

Let’s explore five ways to live more curiously in 2024.

A woman walking in the woods and looking up at beautiful trees.

Go for an awe walk.

Whether you’re walking to work on a city street or hiking on a peaceful mountain path, you can practice finding beauty and mystery in the everyday. Perhaps you’ll notice the fractal patterns in a fern plant, the shifting shapes of clouds overhead, or the glow of sunlight at golden hour. This simple act of looking for tiny wonders during an otherwise ordinary stroll can powerfully transform your mindset, inspiring awe while decreasing stress, according to a 2020 study. Awe Walks, as researchers have dubbed them, are an easy (and free) way to boost the well-documented health benefits of walking. The Humane Space offers a variety of themed Awe Walks to listen to as you stroll, from a guide to finding fractal patterns to a meditation on biodiversity.

The northern lights in Iceland over a beautiful body of water.

Practice guided visualization.

Also known as guided imagery, guided visualization harnesses the power of your imagination to help you shift into a relaxed, creative, and curious mindset. Research shows it can increase well-being and help reduce depression, stress, and pain. Earlier this year, The Humane Space launched Mind Journeys™, a guided visualization series that transports listeners to awe-inspiring locations around the world. Whether you’re mentally traveling to the Grand Canyon or the Garden of Morning Calm, practicing guided visualization is a great way to get curious about the wonders of your own mind.  

A beautiful Japanese artwork of a picnic.

Try slow looking.

How often do you slow down and really drink in the details of your visual environment? Slow looking is a simple mindfulness practice that invites you to get curious about whatever it is you’re observing. To try it out, set aside at least three minutes to do nothing but sit (or stand) quietly, breathe deeply, and look carefully at a specific image or object—whether it’s a modernist masterpiece at the MoMA, a blooming magnolia tree, an intricate seashell, or the architectural details of your own home. It can be anything – even something you find visually boring at first. As you look, notice as many details as you can—color, texture, shape—as well as your own emotional state. As time passes, you might find you experience a heightened sense of awareness and wonder, as well as a deeper connection to the artwork or object you’re observing. Various art museums, including the Tate Modern, encourage visitors to practice slow looking in their galleries. If you can’t make it to a museum, we have a variety of slow looking prompts to practice in the app.  

A woman looking out at mountains with binoculars.

Cultivate lifelong learning.

Curiosity thrives when we approach each day with a learner’s mindset. Seek knowledge beyond your comfort zone—read books on topics you know nothing about, listen to podcasts that challenge your perspectives, or enroll in a class in a subject outside your expertise. Or check out our latest multimedia stories in the app, designed to make lifelong learning an easy part of your daily routine. Some of our favorite learning segments from 2023 include a deep dive into the future of cryogenics, a primer on the mind-boggling science of optical illusions, and a fractal music listening session.  

A man working with a piece of clay artwork.

Nurture creativity.

Researcher Dr. Jonathan Fineberg has defined creativity as “an ability to look at a problem with a kind of freshness” — a broad definition that can apply even to everyday activities like getting dressed or cooking dinner. If you can’t find time to express creativity through pursuits like writing, drawing, music, or crafting, think about how you can cultivate it in seemingly small ways throughout the day, whether it’s by cooking a new recipe, experimenting with a new style of dress, dancing for exercise, or playing an imaginative game with kids. Our Deep Think section features creativity prompts that help energize your imagination and inventiveness every day, encouraging you to experiment with new ideas and approach challenges with an open mind. One of our favorites in the app is about a kooky creativity hack beloved by Thomas Edison.

Whatever path you travel to greater curiosity, we hope 2024 is a year filled with exploration and wonder. If you'd like to join us in the app and chart your own journey to a more curious life, download the app here for iOS or here for Android.

Start your journey.

Start your journey.

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