Awe and Wonder Linked to Good Health

From Garrison Institute Newsletter, 2/17/15

Researchers at UC Berkeley recently published a paper in the journal Emotion supporting a definitive link between awe, wonder, and joy with reduced inflammation in the body. While the researchers looked at seven positive emotions, ‘awe’ had the strongest correlation with positive health. Study participants who ‘feel wonder almost every day’ have the lowest levels of a biomarker (cytokine IL-6) that aids inflammation. The researchers conclude that perhaps, “awe elicits feelings of interconnectedness with others and may affect levels of cytokines through fostering social connection and supportive relationships.” Whether it’s art, religion, or nature, there are many ways to experience awe and wonder, and it seems that the experience of awe may also foster social cohesion, through individual biological responses.

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