Turns out that snuggling in our lover’s arms and falling into our mother’s hug is well worth it for the warmth of the embrace itself. Apparently, the same areas of our brain that register warmth and cold also process our feelings of loneliness and connectedness. When our body feels comfortably warm we unconsciously feel better and safe, even more open and trustful of other people. It’s a smart thing because, when we’re defenselessly small, this instinct makes us coil closer to our caretakers even if we know no better. Then, when we grow up, temperature remains an important environmental factor influencing our perception and even our actions in relating to other people. Or to no one. Some researchers found out that lonely people take more and longer showers with warmer water than
other people, aiding their brains to make up for the lack of human closeness.
“You make me so happy my gas bill is going down!” now seems to be a perfectly reasonable claim.