Taking in such spine-tingling wonders as the Grand Canyon, Sistine Chapel ceiling or Schubert's ‘Ave Maria' may give a boost to the body's defense system. Researchers have linked positive emotions — especially the awe we feel when touched by the beauty of nature, art and spirituality — with lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Instead of taking a pill, taking in such spine-tingling wonders as the Grand Canyon, Sistine Chapel ceiling or Schuberts Ave Maria may give a boost to the bodys defense system, according to new research
Scientists from the University of California Berkeley have linked positive emotions especially the awe we feel when touched by the beauty of nature, art and spirituality with lower levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, which are proteins that signal the immune system to work harder.
It has long been established that a healthy diet and lots of sleep and exercise bolster the bodys defenses against physical and mental illnesses. But the Berkeley study, whose findings are published in the journal Emotion, is one of the first to look at the role of positive emotions in that arsenal.
That awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests that the things we do to experience these emotions …
In the study, the team conducted two experiments involving more than 200 young adults who kept journals in which they reported their positive emotions.
The team took samples of their gum and cheek tissue and concluded that levels of the cytokine Interleukin 6 — an indicator of inflammation — were lowest on days when they experienced emotions such as awe, wonder and amazement.
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