A family is important, right? In the past, we would have all had much more family time, as the technology was limited and the world was a lot less connected. So who were we going to spend our free time with? That’s right, our families!
Firelight for Family Bonding
Nowadays this happens less and less. We live in an incredibly busy society where many people are almost constantly on the go! Going straight from work to getting home and being sat in front of a screen of some type. With stress becoming an epidemic in the western world, stress management is more important than ever.
Almost all experts would advise ditching the tech devices and screens in favor of family time and conversation. Yet only around 1 in 3 of us actually use family time as a de-stressing technique! This is something we could all work on in order to live happier, healthier lives.
Family Time as Stress Management
Family time alone is enough to help limit stress. In fact beyond that, studies have shown simply engaging in meaningful, relaxed conversation acts as a great stress reliever. In ancient times, humans would have lived very communally. Without artificial light, life would have been very active during daylight hours in order to get everything done before dark.
Living, hunting and eating together all day would lead to high levels of conversation and a feeling of belonging to the group. This lifestyle has been shown to help reduce stress in modern humans too. It makes sense that as a species we’ve been conversing with each other for thousands of years, so to suddenly stop this and use phones is un-natural and will not give us the same release as an in-person conversation.
It’s believed these chats allow us to organize thoughts and feelings in our minds, better understanding them and also understanding each other.
So What Difference Does Firelight Make?
As mentioned above, humans were active during the daylight hours. As the dark set in, we would have used fireplaces to cook and provide heat, gathering around for communal talks. This grew over time to people relaxing and talking in a living room, again with a fireplace for heat and light. Only in the last century has this changed to a culture of artificial light and television, both of which actually affect our sleep patterns in negative ways because we aren’t adapted to artificial light.
Yet natural light and warmth, such as that provided by a fire or candles, is proven to bring relaxation and lower cortisol levels, which is of course known as the stress hormone.
What Other Advantages Are There?
Other than the sheer beauty and simplicity of a fire? There are cost related advantages as you can provide natural burners with wood much more cheaply than you can provide electricity. Yet even with fireplaces like our gas logs, you can save money because you’re only heating one room and fireplaces tend to throw out a lot more heat than central heating.
Add to this the stress reduction, extra bonding time and perhaps even the great nostalgic feeling of it all, and you can see why a fireplace is so attractive to many families.