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November 2, 2009
Constant feelings of being lonely, isolated and depressed may have really harmful effects on our psychological condition. In order to find a new remedy for feeling lonely and left out, the experts tried to base their therapeutic approaches on the idea that social isolation and depression make people feel cold. Two psychologists at the University of Toronto, Geoffrey Leonardelly and Chen-Bo Zhong, leaded a series of experiments directed on confirming or disconfirming this common assumption.
The first experiment involved 65 students who were split into 2 groups. The members of the first group were asked to recall the moments when they were left out of something and felt lonely. Other students were asked to tell about their memories of being involved in teamwork. Then, all the students were asked to estimate what was the temperature in the room. It turned out that those who were asked to remember their being lonely thought that actual temperature in the room is lower than it really was.
Another experiment included the same student playing a PC ball-toss game, at that some students were quite left out of the action, when the others were lively involved. After the game, all the participants were offered to choose a drink and a snack, like crackers, apples and a hot soup. The expected result was: those players, who were lacking attention and feeling left out were choosing hot tea, coffee or soup. More details about these experiments can be found in September 2008 issue of the journal Psychological Science.
The scientists are convinced that there are also reverse connections and it is possible to lower negative reactions linked to the feeling of loneliness and depression by using hot meals and drinks. “Our research suggests that warm chicken soup may be a literal coping mechanism for social isolation,” Leonardelly is convinced. If this is true, there is a way to develop a special “thermotherapy” and start using hot tea or soup as a remedy for feeling lonely and forgotten. Undoubtedly, such therapy would help thousands of people feel “warmer” and happier.Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.