I loved speaking to positive psychologist Paul Conway about his research into what he calls ‘skychology’ for The Daily Express this month.
For his PhD, he’s been exploring a new area of research he calls ‘skychology,’ examining the connection between the sky and our experience of wellbeing.
Results so far are as clear as the sky is blue. Looking up into the sky really does seem to be a quick and easy way to lift the spirits.
“There appears to be a neuropsychological connection between looking up and feeling better – a physical and psychological connect, possibly linked to our “visual system” – an area in the brain that enables processing of complex visual information,” says Paul. “Findings from our initial study suggest that looking at the sky imbues an almost immediate sense of calm and brings a renewed sense of clarity and perspective.”
Sky-gazing is also an everyday window into the experience of ‘awe,’ – those feelings of humility and wonder we get when we perceive something so vast that it transcends our understanding.
“A significant, growing body of research suggests experiencing awe plays a crucial role in promoting emotional and psychological wellbeing, and even enhances physical health,” says Paul.