“That awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines suggests that the things we do to experience these emotions — a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art — has a direct influence upon health and life expectancy,” said UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner, a co-author of a fascinating new study which has discovered the enormous healing and immune-boosting powers of awe. The research was conducted with a group of 200 young adults in two separate experiments, wherein the participants reported to the lab on days when they experienced a significantly positive range of emotions (i.e. awe, compassion, joy, love, etc.) On these days they would have samples taken of their cheek and gum tissue (i.e. oral mucosal transudate), and the data became abundantly clear to the researchers almost instantly when they noticed the participants who were experiencing these emotions had the lowest levels of Interleukin 6 — a specific cytokine that is a major red flag indicator and precipitant of inflammation, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and one which blocks hormones and neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine which are essential to regulating mood, appetite, sleep and memory. The study and its data serve as impressive proof that experiencing wonder, awe, and rapturous beauty can have profound healing powers on the human body — from reversing and preventing mental illness, to fighting and preventing infection, disease, and trauma. The study was published in the journal Emotion from the American Psychological Association.