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DR MAX PEMBERTON: Beat the cold by thinking of a warm first kiss!

For those of you who had convinced yourself that the mild weather we’ve had all fall was an enduring good, I have bad news: winter is coming. For the past few days, parts of the UK have been colder than Iceland’s capital Reykjavik and we had the first widespread frost of the season, with temperatures dropping to -2c (28f) in some rural areas.

But just before you pull out the fleece pajamas and the hot water bottle, I was interested to read about some proven ways to trick your body into thinking it’s warmer than it actually is.

I’m not saying these freezes will happen, but I’m certainly a big believer in the power of the mind.

We also know that feeling hot or cold is not only very subjective – some people seem to feel naturally more comfortable at certain temperatures compared to others – but also depend on a number of factors, such as our emotions.

So here are my six best tricks to keep you mentally warm during the bitter days ahead. . .

NHS psychiatrist Dr.  Max Pemberton shared how to trick your body into thinking it's warmer than it actually is (file image)

NHS psychiatrist Dr. Max Pemberton shared how to trick your body into thinking it’s warmer than it actually is (file image)

Catching up with a long lost friend

I remember queuing outside supermarkets during the lockdown at what felt like freezing temperatures.

The wait seemed to last forever and I jumped from one foot to the other trying to keep warm in vain.

It was almost unbearable – I even gave up once and left empty handed.

But on that occasion, I ran into a friend on the street and stood chatting with him for about half an hour.

At no point did the cold weather even register – I certainly didn’t feel the need to jump from foot to foot or even rub my hands. Why? We hadn’t seen each other in months due to the lockdown, so we were happy to catch up. My mind was busy with our conversation. There’s also some research suggesting that talking to people we like raises our body temperature slightly — so being social is like using our own internal heating.

But also the more we have to focus on the conversation – if we haven’t seen that person for a long time, for example, so there is a lot of information to process – the more this helps raise our body temperature.

Remember first kiss

The next time you find yourself feeling nippy, close your eyes and replay your first kiss in your mind’s eye.

It may sound strange, but studies have shown that people who focus on an intensely emotional memory associated with love, affection, or psychological warmth feel warm.

This is thought to be because psychological heat activates the same circuit in the brain as physical heat.

So, by thinking about something tender, loving and warm, our brain thinks we are also experiencing physical warmth.

dr.  Max (pictured) said studies have shown that people who focus on an intensely emotional memory associated with love, affection or psychological warmth also feel warm.

dr.  Max (pictured) said studies have shown that people who focus on an intensely emotional memory associated with love, affection or psychological warmth also feel warm.

dr. Max (pictured) said studies have shown that people who focus on an intensely emotional memory associated with love, affection or psychological warmth also feel warm.

Make it cozy and watch a romantic comedy

There’s something very cozy about sitting on the couch, a mug of tea in your hands, and watching a rom-com, isn’t there?

But research suggests it’s also a great way to keep you warm. In one study, subjects felt warmer after hearing stories about caring, loyal, kind, and sensitive people than after hearing similar stories in which the characters were competent, efficient, or creative.

So turn down the central heating and turn on the Richard Curtis instead.

Cervical cancer could be a thing of the past, according to research published this week. It showed that cases are falling sharply thanks to the HPV vaccine. With jabs, yet another deadly disease could be confined to the history books. What else will it take for the anti-vaccination brigade to realize they are wrong?

Memories of the good old days

Nostalgia can help us feel warm, according to a 2012 study published in the journal Emotion.

Participants who recalled a nostalgic past event tolerated low temperatures better than those who recalled emotionally neutral historical events. So if you find yourself stuck outside, enjoy a little nostalgic daydreaming and hopefully you’ll feel warmer.

Do vase breathing and visualize

In studies, this Tibetan technique has been shown to raise body temperature in beginners within ten minutes. Tibetan nuns combine this breathing exercise with visualizing heat balls moving up and down their spine, and when they do this, they can withstand freezing temperatures. The breathing technique involves holding your breath while contracting the abs and pelvic floor so that your stomach sticks out in the shape of a pot-shaped vase. There are videos on YouTube to guide you.

Drink a hot tea or hot chocolate

I know, you’ve already thought of this. But what’s interesting is that from a physiological perspective, drinking hot tea or hot chocolate raises our body temperature only slightly and for a relatively short time. Research suggests that because we think the hot drink will warm us up, our mind convinces us of it.

Gwyneth talks about sentence for once!

Gwyneth Paltrow has spoken about the unrealistic expectations placed on women during and after birth.  Pictured: Gwyneth Paltrow with Apple

Gwyneth Paltrow has spoken about the unrealistic expectations placed on women during and after birth.  Pictured: Gwyneth Paltrow with Apple

Gwyneth Paltrow has spoken about the unrealistic expectations placed on women during and after birth. Pictured: Gwyneth Paltrow with Apple

Gwyneth Paltrow has revealed how difficult she found giving birth and talked about the unrealistic expectations placed on women during and after birth. She has also criticized social media for making women feel like they should look a certain way during pregnancy and birth.

I haven’t always been a fan of Gwyneth, what with some of her rather wacky new-age health views, but she’s spot on at this. Over the years I have supervised maternity wards that dealt with women with mental health problems. Time and again I was asked to see mothers who were upset and sad because they felt they didn’t “love” their baby the way they thought they should and felt they couldn’t handle it . I would reassure them that these are normal feelings.

The real tragedy is that all too often women do not get help because they are ashamed or ashamed to ask for it. But in reality, the arrival of a baby is a bomb going off in your life – everything is disrupted. Part of the answer is certainly being honest about how hard it can be to be a mom. Even the best moms in the world have a hard time sometimes.

  • The deputy chief of medical services warned that we must wear masks given the spike in infections. Britain currently has one of the highest rates of Covid cases in the world. Mask wearing has definitely declined in recent months. I have to admit that I was happy about this – it was so nice to see people’s faces again. But despite not being very convinced by science to support wearing masks, I’m going to put mine back on. Why? The prospect of another lockdown horrifies me and I will do everything I can to avoid it. Let’s all be a little careful this Christmas.

Doctor Max prescribes…

A charity beanie

100 percent of the profits from every limited edition beanie design by Daniel W. Fletcher will go to the Be Well Collective

100 percent of the profits from every limited edition beanie design by Daniel W. Fletcher will go to the Be Well Collective

100 percent of the profits from every limited edition beanie design by Daniel W. Fletcher will go to the Be Well Collective

These hats not only keep your head warm, they are also ethically responsible. They are spun with 100 percent renewable energy and the production of each item is completely transparent and traceable. Best of all, 100 percent of the profits from each limited-edition design by Daniel W. Fletcher will go to the Be Well Collective, a charity addressing the rising mental health issues of the younger generation.

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