Why Diabetes Care Should Include A Daily Dose Of Awe

Feelings of awe will not magically normalize our glucose levels, but awe seems to reduce the inflammation in our body now associated with many chronic illnesses, including type 2 diabetes.

The effect of awe is not surprising since we know health is a state of being that’s constantly influenced by our emotions. While positive emotions are associated with wellness, continual feelings of sadness, fear, anger, jealousy, or shame have a negative impact on the body.

This is why forgiveness, and experiencing difficult emotions without holding on to them helps us thrive. We can also cultivate well-being by engaging in activities that inspire uplifting feelings.

The Awesomeness of Awe

Specifically, we may want to cultivate the feeling of awe as often as possible—and two University of California-Berkeley studies tell us why.

In these two complementary research scenarios, college undergrads were first questioned to determine their emotional state, and then had fluid samples taken from their inner cheeks (oral mucosal transudate [OMT]). The OMT samples were subsequently checked for interleukin-6 (IL-6), a marker for immune system related inflammation.

The researchers determined that:

  • Positive emotions (awe, amusement, compassion, joy, contentment, love, pride) are all associated with lower levels of IL-6, indicating less inflammation.
  • Feelings of awe, wonder, and amazement have the strongest correlation to lower IL-6 levels.
  • Only the degree of awe turned out to be a predictive factor for IL-6 levels.

Feelings of joy, pride, and contentment are also strongly linked to low levels of IL-6, but awe is by far the strongest predictor.

Awe-Inspired Health

This amazing health benefit of awe begs the question, “How can each of us best generate amazement to optimize our immune system, reduce inflammation, and enhance our overall well-being?”

The answer is regularly doing whatever causes us to say “wow,” takes our breath away, lights-up our face, lifts the heart, or delights the mind. It might be good conversation, a sense of belonging, playing with children, listening to music, time in nature, volunteering, caring for animals, a good book, inspiring poetry, spiritual insight, dance, baking, artistic endeavors, science discoveries, or athletic achievement.

Whatever activities tickle our sense of awe we need to make time for, because waiting for awesome moments to spontaneously occur may not generate enough wonder to sustain us—or positively influence our health.

A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful implanted in the human soul.” ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Source: Dr. Michael Murray / Green Med Info
Photo credit: Eryne!

Get a Free Diabetes Meal Plan

Get a free 7-Day Diabetes Meal Plan from Constance Brown-Riggs who is a Registered Dietitian-Certified Diabetes Educator and who is also a national spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

Just enter in your email below to download your free Diabetes Meal Plan.

By clicking Submit, you agree to send your info to InformationAboutDiabetes.com who may contact you with updates and information and we agree to use it according to our privacy policy.

More Articles

It is estimated that 80,000 children and adolescents each year are diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is diagnosed when the body...

As the summer months come to an end, we throw aside our swimsuits and bring out our favorite team jerseys! In America, fall means football, and...

The medical community relies heavily on the goodwill of its citizens, as giving blood and organ donations help save thousands of lives every year...

Evidence is mounting that consuming black cumin helps to manage type 2 diabetes. The spice lowered blood glucose...

It's not uncommon to spend several years living with type 2 diabetes and not even know you have the condition. Despite regular check-ups with your...

More Articles

Type 2 diabetes has become so common in Western culture and media that this often lifelong, serious condition doesn't really raise an eyebrow...

Limiting our intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole and lightly processed fare can boost our nutrient and fiber intake, lower...

Lantus is a once a day insulin injection that is taken at the same time every day. It replaces anywhere from the average three to five insulin...

Improving your A1C reading requires you to maintain consistently healthy blood...

Just because you have diabetes doesn't mean you can't help your community by being a blood donor. When persons with diabetes maintain good control...

Most of us do not regularly keep the fruit that scientists call Fortunella margarita in our refrigerator. That these small, yellow-orange...

A diagnosis of diabetes usually comes with a list of recommended lifestyle changes. To make these diet and exercise...

Having diabetes affects your body’s ability to handle hot, humid weather, and steamy temperatures can degrade diabetes supplies. But all of this...

Fashion and function come together in clothing developed by AnnaPS, making life a bit more comfortable and convenient for insulin users. The...

Not only is dry skin uncomfortable, but scratched or cracked skin is also susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections – common medical...

One way to ensure our body gets a variety of nutrients is eating nutrient-dense foods, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods on our planet is...

Financial aid and scholarship money are available for people with diabetes, but acquiring it requires an investment of time and patience. Whether...

Any sweetener you use to replace table sugar is a sugar substitute. One type of sugar substitute is artificial sweetener. Three other types...

Smoking is a proven health hazard for everyone, but it is an especially dangerous habit for those with diabetes. Research shows that smokers with...

While life on the road can be tough on musicians, it’s especially challenging for those battling diabetes. Some musicians have to check their...