The Evolutionary Reason Why We Love Sitting By A Crackling Fire

Relaxing in front of a crackling fire (or at least the Netflix version) is one of the most enjoyable ways to spend a cold winter evening. And now scientists know why.

Watching a fire lowers blood pressure, according to new University of Alabama research. Our enjoyment of gazing at fire may be rooted in evolution, as the act of gathering around a fire dates back to prehistoric times.

The researchers, led by anthropologist Christopher Lynn, asked 226 adults to watch a video of a fireplace, and took their blood pressure before and after watching the video. They also asked participants to report on their experiences of the fire.

The researchers found an average of a five percent decrease in blood pressure among participants who watched the fire with sound. The longer they watched the fire, the more relaxed they became. Among control groups who watched the fire with no sound and who viewed an upside-down picture of fire, blood pressure increased.

The researchers hypothesized that when we’re sitting fireside, all of our senses become absorbed in the experience. Having a calming focus of attention could help to reduce anxiety, according to Lynn.

In prehistoric times, the “multisensory —> Read More Here


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