Watching DramaFever may literally make you feel warm from head to toe
Is it any surprise that love makes you feel happy and happiness makes you feel warm all over? A new study confirms the speculation that the body is directly affected by our emotions, which includes an image map that visually shows exactly how different body regions are affected by different emotions.
Scientists have been wondering about the connection between physiological changes and our emotional state. According to the new study, regardless of someone's education or cultural background, one's emotional state directly affects his or her physical well being.
Researchers from the University of Turku in Finland recruited 700 volunteers to watch movies or listen to stories that are selected to stimulate their emotions. The volunteers are then given an outline of a body shape to color in where they feel their body regions became more active or less active. The result is a map showing the "heated" areas compared to the "cold" areas depending on someone's emotional state.
In the image map, yellow shows the regions of increased sensation while blue areas represent decreased feelings. It explains how love creates a glowing and pleasant sensation, and happiness makes one feel warm all over from head to toe. By contrast, anger can literally make someone feel hot-headed, and disgust is felt in the throat and digestive system. Someone who feels a heart-wrenching loss can actually feel physical pain in the heart, while sadness makes the body feel numb and weak.
Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers said that such physical feelings may underpin the way we experience emotions. For example, basic emotions, including anger and fear, cause an increase in sensation in the upper chest area, which could be because we are subconsciously preparing for a fight. According to the researchers, "Unraveling the subjective bodily sensations associated with human emotions may help us better understand mood disorders such as depression and anxiety."
Is it any wonder then that we avid drama viewers want happy endings? As we empathize with the feelings felt by our beloved characters, don't our bodies experience the same reactions that these feelings elicit? No wonder we want happy endings, because we want to feel the same pleasant sensation of love's glow and the head-to-toe warmth from happiness. Do you remember at the end of Heirs, the happy Kim Tan (Lee Min Ho) is walking in the snow with Eun Sang, but he is not wearing one of those heavy and awful sweaters anymore because he is happy, in love, and full of a warm glow. And we feel happy too when we see him.