You don’t have to look very hard to see the many benefits a fireplace has to offer. Nearly everyone would agree that the warm flickering light from the fire, the crackling sound of wood burning, and the sweet aroma it produces can make a bad day good pretty quickly.
But did you know fireplace can actually improve your mental health too? A fireplace in the home can provide a relaxing atmosphere for the stressed and calm the anxious. And those are only some of the benefits we discovered – there’s even science to back it up.
What Do the Studies Say?
According to a study done at the University of Alabama, watching the dancing flames of a fire can relax and even drop the blood pressure of the viewer. The study measured the blood pressure of 226 participants who then watched a video of a flickering fire both with its distinctive crackling sound and without. The results indicated a consistent decrease in blood pressure among the viewers.
Another interesting tidbit? When the video was viewed without the crackling sounds of the burning fire, the level of blood pressure drop was noted, but not consistent. When the crackling sound was added to the video, not only did blood pressure drop, but the longer it was listened to the more the viewer’s blood pressure dropped. Those calming sounds really make a difference!
This study revealed other benefits as well.
- It was noted that the viewers ability to absorb needed nutrients was increased.
- There were notable increases in the viewer’s desire to socialize.
- Viewers noted less anxiety in stress-inducing situations.
We’re definitely not saying a fireplace is the ultimate answer to solving the problem of high blood pressure and anxiety. People who experience hypertension or chronic high blood pressure should, of course, make sure that they have talked to a doctor.
However, it will help you to relax and it can, at least temporarily, lower your blood pressure. That’s a win, for sure.
Other Mental Health Benefits
Some suggest that watching a fire can calm the mind. It is believed that this is because of our evolutionary history. Having a fire allowed humans to relax without having to worry about what was lurking around in the cold darkness. They could “let their guard down” and relax. To this day, gazing at a fire calms the mind.
🔥 Warmth & light.
Another positive mental health benefit of a fireplace is that it provides warm light. Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder, or SAD, is a mental health condition brought on by shortened daylight hours and long, dark nights.
People who suffer from SAD often experience mood swings and feelings of depression during the winter months, when days get shorter and colder. Having a fire in the home provides a healthy, natural light, having a positive effect on mood.
One of the worst effects of negative mental health is the feelings of loneliness and a lack of desire to spend time with other people. Humans have a need to experience community with others, but many symptoms of depression and other mental health disorders isolate us from one another and rob us of time spent with other people.
Having a fireplace has shown to increase the likelihood that people will gather together and enjoy the company of one another. Oftentimes, the fireplace becomes the most likely location for good conversation, enjoying a meal, playing a game, or even reading a book in the presence of someone else nearby. Studies have shown that being in the presence of others, even without directly interacting, can have positive effects on mental health.
All of these positive effects seem to demonstrate the profound impact a warm fire in the home can have on one’s mental health.
Our History With Fire
The researchers have indicated that we as humans may have a deeply rooted understanding about fire and the safety and comfort that it provides. For thousands and thousands of years humans have been using fire to feed themselves, stay warm, provide light, ward off danger, and hunt. The fire was at the center of their socializing as well. Communities often gathered around a large fire as food was cooked and warmth was needed.
Reap the Benefits of a Fireplace by Calling Us Today
Overall, a fireplace can have important positive effects on mental health. Like diet and exercise, sitting in front of a fireplace with a fire blazing can be a lifestyle choice that will help you to remain healthy.
Ashbusters Nashville has a team of people who care deeply about their customers and their community. We would love to help you decide on the best way to provide your home and family a fireplace, so that you can enjoy the many benefits that come with the warm, flickering light of a fire.
Call us today at 615-510-7380 so we can help you take the next step in a healthier home. Or feel free to reach out online, and we’ll be in touch!