The Social Benefits of Owning a Fire Pit

There’s something mystical associated with fires that draws us to them. Whether it’s a bonfire on the beach or a fire pit on the patio, people who are nearby will almost certainly flock towards the burning flame. Often, nothing sounds better than sitting around a cozy warm fire with family and friends at the end the day, but it turns out, our enjoyment from fire comes from human evolution. Studies done from Christopher Lynn, a PhD at the University of Alabama, suggest that our love of sitting around a fire is evolutionary. Stone Age humans relied on fire for light, protection, heat, cooking, hunting, and also social cohesion as the campfire brought relaxation and enhanced pro-social behavior.

The Social Benefits of owning a Fire Pit

The Social Attraction of Fires

So, what exactly attracts us as humans to fires? This is a question that researchers continue to debate. However, one possible theory is that it’s in our evolutionary DNA. A study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology suggests that modern-day humans have evolved over time to develop a relaxing response to fires. The study found that people become calmer, more relaxed, and more sociable when gathering around a fire. Christopher Lynn, professor at the University of Alabama said that prehistoric cavemen and women would gather around campfires to make friends; thus, giving them a survival advantage in this otherwise unforgiving time.

Reduced Stress

Feeling stressed? Well, you aren’t alone. Many, many adults & children these days experience physical symptoms as a result of stress. These symptoms may include high blood pressure, insomnia, increased sweating, nausea and fatigue. A study in the US evaluated the blood pressure of 226 adults before and after experiencing a simulation of a fire including flickering light and crackling sounds. The results showed a decrease in blood pressure, a response attributed to evolution. Those exposed to the fire, complete with sound for 15 min; their systolic blood pressure dropped on average by 6 points and their diastolic blood pressure dropped by 3. So the good news is that social interaction, such as gathering around a fire pit with your friends or family, can lower stress levels — all without the use of drugs! By gathering around a fire with other people, you’ll experience an innate sense of relaxation, lowering your stress levels while improving your mood.

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Live Longer

Owning a fire pit may not prolong your lifespan, but studies have shown that people with strong social connections tend to live longer, happier lives. Furthermore, stress has been linked to a wide range of adverse illnesses and conditions. Gathering around a fire pit will promote greater social engagement while lowering your stress levels.

Fun and Easy Social Activity

It’s often difficult to plan social events with friends and family. However, gathering around a fire pit is a fun, easy and inexpensive activity that people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy. Instead of sitting around the television or locked into your computer, your family and friends can gather on the patio for an evening fire. Unlike watching the TV, gathering around a fire pit will allow you and your friends to converse amongst one another.

A great fire pit or a fireplace is an excellent catalyst for good conversation, an excuse to relax outdoors away from technology, or enjoy the beauty that exists in your own backyard.

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