As someone that always feels the cold, new research that looks at how nostalgia can help us to feel physically warmer has really piqued my interest.
Studies conducted by the University of Southampton discovered a link between nostalgic feelings and our perception of temperature. Volunteers reported feeling warmer when they were asked to reflect on sentimental memories or music that made them feel nostalgic. The studies also found that volunteers were able to withstand putting their hand in ice-cold water for longer when they focused on a nostalgic memory or event from their past.
Dr Tim Wildschut, a senior lecturer at the university and co-author of the study, said: “Nostalgia is experienced frequently and virtually by everyone and we know that it can maintain psychological comfort. Our study has shown that nostalgia serves a homeostatic function allowing the mental stimulation of previously enjoyed states, including states of bodily comfort, in this case making us feel warmer or increasing our tolerance of cold.”
I’m prescribing myself a regular dose of my favourite and much-loved Christmas films to help forget how chilly it’s becoming. I’m feeling a little warmer already…