How to Be Happier in January Than in July
Jena Pincott Jan 24, 2013
Return to a Brighter and Cozier Time
If meditating isn’t your thing, try remembering. Nostalgia is a heater, finds a new study at the University of Southampton in England. In five different experiments, people who invoked sweet, sentimental memories felt physically warmer than those who were asked to recall ordinary events. When the nostalgia group sat in a freezing cold room, they perceived the place as warmer. What happens when you focus on fond memories? Your mind, blanketed in bright and cozy times, tricks your body’s nervous system into thinking you’re more comfortable. This winter, if you find your thoughts drifting back to your Caribbean honeymoon, the sleep-away camp of your childhood, or another bend on Memory Lane, it’s your brain’s way of taking a retreat from the cold. Surprisingly, even feeling a freeze can fire up old memories.