A Dive Into Awe

Here at Onward, we take a dive into an emotion every month, and this moth we dive into awe and wonder.

So let’s kickoff this month’s emotion by looking at some research around awe and then move into some suggestions for how to experience awe.

The article, Why scientists say experiencing awe can help you live your best life: Psychologists say the emotion of awe plays a big role in our health, happiness and wellbeing. And you don’t need to witness a supermoon to experience it, looks at why we need this emotion in our lives, especially if we are trying to cultivate our resilience.

The author, Sarah DiGiulio, shares the research that supports the need for awe in our lives: “Other research from Stellar’s and Gordon’s team found that people who reported experiencing more awe also appeared to have better immune health. In a group of 94 students, those who reported more regularly feeling more positive emotions than negative emotions had lower levels of chronic proinflammatory cytokines.

Pro-inflammatory cytokines can be helpful in certain scenarios, if the body is injured or sick, but chronically elevated levels of these molecules has been associated with several chronic conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, and depression. Awe was the single positive emotion most likely to be linked to these lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines on a chronic basis.”

DiGiulio then shares the following ways to experience awe:

  1. Go out in nature
  2. Get out of your comfort zone
  3. Look up
  4. Have an open mind

So where are you going to start your journey to lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines?