Why looking at awe-inspiring art could lead to a happier, healthier life

with No Comments
Awe was among the positive emotions associated with less inflammation in the body, a major trigger for chronic disease. Photo: Pexels


(Eva Rothenberg/ CNN News) — It may be a sunset, a stirring orchestral number or a striking painting — whatever gives you goosebumps or makes you shed a tear. Experts believe that consistently seeking out these awe-inspiring experiences could lead to a significantly happier and healthier life.

People find awe in nature, religion and music, as well as through visual art or architecture. We particularly feel it when we “encounter things that are vast or beyond our frame of reference, and that are inexplicable and mysterious,” Dr. Dacher Keltner told CNN in a video interview. “And then those kinds of experiences initiate wonder and contemplation and imagination.”

Keltner has been studying human emotion for decades. He is also a co-founder and director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, a research institute that probes questions about our social and emotional well-being. His latest book, “Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life,” explores the social, physical and mental benefits of this powerful emotion. (…)

read full story