SALT LAKE CITY — The “right time” to decorate for Christmas is a hot debate. But science may back those who prefer to trim the tree a little earlier.
What’s going on: Psychologists have found that people who decorate “prematurely” for Christmas are statistically proven to be happier, UNILAD reported.
- “In a world full of stress and anxiety, people like to associate to things that make them happy, and Christmas decorations evoke those strong feelings of the childhood,” psychoanalyst Steve McKeown, the founder of MindFixers and owner of The McKeown Clinic, told UNILAD.
This sense of nostalgia can definitely increase happiness, but as psychologist Deborah Serani told TODAY Home, there may be more than one reason behind the tinsel-infused mood boost.
- "It does create that neurological shift that can produce happiness," she said. "I think anything that takes us out of our normal habituation, the normal day in, day out … signals our senses, and then our senses measure if it's pleasing or not."
- According to Serani, Christmas decorating can also cause people to experience a "spike in dopamine, a feel-good hormone," she said. This is attributed to the bright lights and colors that come with hauling out the holly.
- It's possible the early decorations are a form of chromotherapy, or color therapy, as well, which is believed to increase energy levels and boost happiness.
Other notes: Research shows that those who decorate for Christmas are perceived as friendlier and more inviting by their peers than those who forgo the holiday decor.
Bottom line: So there you have it, if you’re feeling a bit of the cold-weather blues this holiday season, you may want to try decking the halls.