Maybe you’ve felt it standing on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Maybe it happens when you think about the vastness of space or glance up at the sky and marvel at a supermoon. Or maybe you feel it when you see someone offer up a seat on a crowded train to another individual they’ve never met.
The emotion is awe. And, psychologists say it can play an important role in bolstering happiness, health and our social interactions—and it may have actually long played a role in how and why humans get along and ultimately cooperate with one another.
“People feeling awe focus more of their attention outward and value others more in social interactions,” Jennifer Stellar, PhD, assistant professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Toronto, tells NBC News BETTER.