“Transcend the Cold
Really, it’s possible to feel less cold than you are. When asked to plunge their hands into a bowl of ice water, people who practiced spiritual meditation during an experiment at Bowling Green University had a much higher tolerance for the cold than their peers who practiced relaxation exercises. (They were also more upbeat and less anxious.) In the two weeks prior to the experiment, for 20 minutes daily, these hardier, happier, hotter-blooded souls had meditated on a spiritual mantra--God is great, God is joy, God is peace, God is love (or, like them, you can use a term instead of “God” that best suited their spirituality—e.g., “Mother Earth” or “the universe”).
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.”
…I feel warmer already!