I had an amazing conversation today with one of my friends and customers, Diane Federico. She told me a story about a time she took a winter trip up to Vermont and was sitting by a massive outdoor fire, a “hearth,” as she called it, at a local restaurant. She felt peace, she felt relaxed, she felt an overwhelming calm.
A waitress, and local of the town, came by her and asked if she was interested in some trivia. Of course, who doesn’t love intriguing facts? She explained that watching a fire for 15 minutes has the equivalent relaxing benefits as 90 minutes of yoga!
As a chandler, I had to research this tidbit of information, and it turns out, it’s completely true. An article published on November 11, 2014 by Evolutionary Psychology explains:
Fires involve flickering light, crackling sounds, warmth, and a distinctive smell. For early humans, fire likely extended the day, provided heat, helped with hunting, warded off predators and insects, illuminated dark places, and facilitated cooking.
In early humanity, fire meant there was light at night – the ability to see your loved ones. It meant food, it meant warmth, it meant survival. Fire was communal, and it built camaraderie, as everyone would have to work together to gather around the fire to reap its benefits, just as we all love sitting by a campfire and roasting marshmallows.
In ancient Greek mythology, Prometheus (meaning forethought), the Titan who sided with Zeus in the great war, gave humanity fire in the attempts to help protect humanity from all the benefits awarded to animals by his brother, Epimetheus (meaning after-thought). Epimetheus was charged with distributing “gifts” amongst the beings of Earth, and after giving flight to birds, fins to fish, speed, strength, and agility to mammals, there was nothing left for humanity. So, Prometheus gave us fire. He paid the punishment by Zeus, who wanted to keep the power of fire for the gods, but never regretted his actions.
In our modern society, we can easily access heat and cooking gas, but the natural need to be near fire is instilled in our DNA. According to the same Evolutionary Psychology journal, in a study of 226 adults, it was found that watching, listening to, and smelling fire for 15 minutes decreased blood pressure by five points, and the longer people watched, the more their blood pressures dropped.
It’s safe to say that humans will always gravitate to fire, as we love our campfires, fireplaces, and candles. So grab your favorite candle, and watch it glow. If you want even greater calming, try our holiday limited-edition Fireside Chats candle, which not only gives you the beautiful glimmer of firelight, but smells just like a wood-burning fireplace!