Relaxing in front of an open crackling fire after a stressful day has clear health benefits, a study has found.
Recent studies have confirmed what we’ve known for years, chilling out in front of a crackling fire after a stressful day has clear health benefits. The trance-like relaxing effects of a campfire are well known but now scientists have found that an open fire even reduces blood pressure – the longer people sit in front of a roaring fire, the greater the relaxing effect it has on them.
Brain scans showed that even when the flames and noise are simulated in a laboratory they reduce blood pressure. These findings may even explain why a Norwegian television programme broadcasting a crackling fireplace for 12 hours proved so popular and live fires on YouTube are trending. Though, according an extensive study undertaken by Dr. Christopher Lynn, a medical and psychological anthropologist, the more natural the flames the better the benefits.
Campfires and fires in a hearth have played a key role in the evolution of human beings, with the flicker and crackle of burning logs directly linked to human psychology. As we talked about in our History of Fires blog, fires not only allowed our ancestors to stay warm, cook food, ward off predators and venture into harsh climates. It also had important social and behavioral implications, encouraging groups of people to gather together and stay up late. This is where fireside tales would have originated as people exchanged stories and provided entertainment. Fires would have become a central meeting place where knowledge was passed on and dreams were conjured. Stories have been shared around fires for centuries from myths and fairy tales to fables and facts.
There are many scholarly articles which list the benefits of reading, ranging from having a greater vocabulary to being more thoughtful towards others, or even broadening your outlook on life generally. Sometimes reading is just escapism, which is also a great benefit, especially in these current times. Books are a great way to escape into another world, a world that makes you feel better about being stuck inside.
Team these two activities together and you’ve got a winning combination, reading by the fire is not only relaxing but it lowers your blood pressure, releases stress and increases your knowledge!
If you’ve ever been wanting to finally get to that book your friends keep recommending, sitting by a fire and doing so is a great choice. The crackling sounds of the fire and the warmth emitted allow you to get cosy and really delve into a book without distractions.
You can even turn the lights off and still manage to see the words on the page. You don’t have to read novels to benefit from a fire’s calming nature either, you can read on your phone or opt for magazines, poems, short stories and any other piece of literature that takes your fancy. The key is to unwind, get comfy and enjoy the simplistic pleasure of this timeless activity.
You can also relax just knowing that being in front of the fire is good for your body due to the health benefits it reaps. Enjoy the natural light and heat that your fireplace gives off in your home.
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