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Dec 27, 2016 10:42 AM EST

The Christmas Season And How It Affects your Brain, According to Science

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Now that the holiday season is officially upon us, your brain is affected by it, in one way or another. The Christmas season is the most awaited time of the year for most people but it can be both a time of happiness and relaxation, and a time of stress.

There are a few studies conducted to show the effect of Christmas to our brains and by understanding those studies, we can paint a picture on how this season really alters our brain. Here are some ways on how the Christmas season affects us.

The Christmas decorations and the festive spirit

Although many people enjoy Christmas time and find it a very joyous time, others find it very stressful. In fact, a research suggest that the stress levels reported are higher during the holiday season compared to the other times of the year. According to a survey conducted, the top three stress contributors include the lack of time, lack of money and commercialism. However, stress levels were reported to be higher with women because of their traditional duties when it comes to hosting and preparing for family gatherings, Christmas shopping, etc.

Gift Giving

Gift giving may be an old Christmas tradition but whether you admit it or not, there's no better feeling than seeing the face of your loved ones light up upon opening the gifts you gave them. This is because when you give, your brain releases dopamine and endorphins. This event also reduces your levels of stress and makes you feel like you want to repeat the same act of kindness.

Spending time with your loved ones

Christmas is always a time for being the people closest to your heart, your family and friends. This kind of bond you share with those who are special to you releases the hormone oxytocin in your brain. Oxytocin, also called "cuddle hormone" is the one that gives you the feeling of social attachment, and this explains the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you are surrounded by your loved ones.

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