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Sense of awe as powerful as drugs for reducing inflammation...

From: ScienceDaily, February 3, 2015

Spiritual feelings, or a sense of awe when we look at a beautiful scene or hear uplifting music, cause a powerful anti-inflammatory response in our body that’s every bit as powerful as drugs, researchers have said this week.

This sense of the ‘other’ boosts the immune system, and lowers levels of cytokines, proteins that cause inflammation in the body. Inflammation has been associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and even Alzheimer’s disease and clinical depression.

“Awe, wonder and beauty promote healthier levels of cytokines, and this suggests that the things we do to experience these emotions—a walk in nature, losing oneself in music, beholding art—has a direct influence on health and life expectancy,” said researcher Dacher Keltner, a psychologist at University of California at Berkeley.

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Take an AWE moment: Centered in your heart & gazing at the photo, contemplate the beauty of the universe and its one hundred billion galaxies.

Hubble Sombrero

Hubble Photo: Sombrero Galaxy near the Virgo Galaxy Cluster