Parade magazine ran an article this week on the therapeutic value of awe. Keltner lab ran a three-year study on awe. What is awe? Webster tells us it’s a, “a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.” The research offered the following findings. Keltner concluded awe binds us together; awe helps us to view things in new ways; awe makes us happier; and awe alters our bodies by reducing cytokines levels. Cytokines help our bodies cut inflammation linked to depression.
The researchers concluded awe has the potential to aid healing. A high school on Long Island a teacher takes her students on “awe walks” once a week. She found the walks in nature or to museums inspired her students when she asked them to write down their feelings. She found the awe adventures inspired students who normally did not speak in class. Veterans now use awe walks to help with PTSD. The researchers predict primary care physicians will add awe to their preventative medicine arsenal.
If you have held a puppy, kitten or enfant this will not surprise you. Listened to Pachelbel’s Canon or Beethoven’s Fifth-you understand. Walk in the mountains, walk on a beach or watch the sunset over the ocean. You’ve been awestruck. What do you say is it worth taking daily awesome journeys?