In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Heat seekers: To the brain, physical and social warmth are the same thing

Katherine Schreiber

Temperature strongly influences how we feel about ourselves, our environments, and the people around us

To the brain, physical and social warmth are one and the same

JewishWorldReview.com | Feeling lonely in life or unhappy at work? Before you pity yourself or call it quits, check the thermostat. Temperature strongly influences how we feel about ourselves, our environments, and the people around us.

Physical warmth can diminish feelings of loneliness and increase feelings of generosity, finds Yale psychologist John A. Bargh. In a recent study in Emotion, participants who reported feeling the loneliest also took the warmest, longest, and most frequent baths or showers—"quite literally," Bargh says, "to compensate for feeling socially cold."

One implication: Don't be so quick to crank up the office AC. In two studies by UCLA researcher Geoffrey Ho, people were asked to rate the efficacy of heating pads or ice packs and then answer questions about their employer or a hypothetical company. Those who got their hands warm expressed higher job satisfaction and greater willingness to buy from and work at the made-up companies.


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The findings are just the latest to show how our physical selves shape our psychological selves, a field known as embodied cognition. Previous studies have demonstrated that social exclusion can make us feel chilled and a cup of iced coffee can make us judge others as unfriendly. "Abstract psychological and social concepts—how we think and feel about people, including ourselves—grow out of basic physical concepts like warmth and coldness," explains Bargh.

Some parts of the brain are particularly adept at translating physical sensations into psychological effects. By looking at subjects inside an fMRI machine, Bargh found that activity in the insular cortex—the brain's Richter scale for discomfort—spikes when participants hold chilled objects and drops when they hold toasty ones. The warmed subjects were also more likely than the cold ones to offer to a friend the prizes they received for participation, suggesting a possible overlap between the neural centers of trust and physical comfort.

Temperature affects our perception and mood below our level of awareness, for the most part. But Ho and Bargh agree that we can consciously use its subtle influence to our advantage. "Try providing warm beverages at a job fair or an office to increase the organization's perceived friendliness," suggests Ho.

Bargh's advice? Trust your instincts. "Most of us use physical warmth as a home remedy without even understanding or being aware of why we do it," he explains. Not only will a warm bath or a steaming cup of tea relax you, it might also make you less lonely and more trusting. "So if you're craving a higher temperature," says Bargh, "go for it."

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