Monday, November 24, 2008

Keeping warm - 2

How comfortable we feel with the people around us, can also influence our perception of temperature.

Feel warm, be warmer

Feel warm and you'll be more generous and trusting, or so a recent study by researchers at Yale University suggests.

They gave volunteers a hot cup of coffee or a cold drink and asked them to rate how trustworthy a person looked.

Those holding the hot drink rated people as more trusting.

This shows that psychological warmth and physical warmth have close connections in our brain, says John Bargh, a professor of psychology, who conducted the study.

“It seems that the same part of the brain, the insular, which is the size of a walnut right in the middle of the brain, handles both sensations of physical temperature and trust in someone else,” he says.

Professor Bargh adds that giving a person a hot cup of coffee is a way of gaining their trust.

“What if someone gives me a cup of coffee when I'm buying a car?

Maybe it's best to have a cold drink when making a big decision.”

In addition to this study, researchers in Canada found recently that mood can influence how hot or cold we feel.

The study revealed that people who are lonely or socially excluded are more aware of the cold.

So if you're looking to warm up this year, get social, get active, and get enough sleep.

How to keep warm

Clothing, Ditch the big woolly jumper in favour of multiple thin layers.

Remember, the more skin on show, the colder you'll feel.

Keep warm at night by wearing pyjamas and bed socks.

Food, Eating regular meals makes a big difference if you're trying to keep warm, but be sure to include carbohydrates.

Amanda Ursell, the Times nutritionist, suggests dishing up stews and casseroles with meat, vegetables and potatoes.

Soup is a great winter warmer: try bean and vegetable, lentil and tomato or pea and ham.

Porridge makes a cheap, warming breakfast.

Thermostat 21C-24C is the optimum setting for central heating.

Alcohol and caffeine, Avoid drinking too much of either if you're trying to stay warm.

Both increase blood flow to the skin, and while you will feel warmer, your body is losing heat.

Visualise hot places

According to research at the University of Portsmouth, imagining a hot place can make you feel warm.

Move around even if it's just to make a hot drink, keeping mobile is essential to maintaining body heat.

A quick jig will not only warm you up but will also release endorphins, those feel-good chemicals in the brain.

Warm homes Insulation and double-glazing are key.


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