Roaring Campfires and Relaxed Minds

A campfire can be one of the most relaxing, mesmerizing, and accomplishing outdoor experiences. From gathering dry sticks and branches to blowing bursts of air on kindling, making fire is an innate human achievement. In nature, the hierarchy we live by is switched — electricity has no power and weather is king. Perhaps it is for this reason we find so much pride when building a fire, we leave our modern world to return and thrive (if not for a few hours) outside in the dark cold.

A scientific study is now shedding light on why we are drawn to the warm, flickering flame and why it's beneficial for our body and mind. In a study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, an open fire reduces blood pressure and the longer people sit in front of a roaring fire, the more relaxed they become.

“For early humans, fire extended the day, provided heat, helped with hunting, warded off predators and insects, illuminated dark places, and facilitated cooking,” said Dr Lynn, adding “the hypnotic influence of watching campfires also provided a social nexus and relaxation effects that could have enhanced social behaviour."

Imagine if everyone set aside at least 2 hours to make a campfire for themselves or friends and family members just once a month in the winter. Perhaps we would become more personally relaxed or connected with others.

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