At lunch the other day, one of my friends brought up the subject of decorating for the holidays early. And immediately, I felt my body relax as my thoughts drifted back to the happy memories of childhood celebrations. My friend also smiled, reminding me how much fun decorating for the holidays can be. The holidays are one of the few times in the year when the whole world conspires to love. Moreover, today’s research indicates that decorating for the holidays early can positively affect you. When you consider how much stress you experience, just in your day-to-day life, you can see how an interlude of happiness and merriment can affect your feelings of well-being.
Not only that, but the idea of decorating for the holidays brings back your childhood emotions of anticipation, excitement, and those magical moments of sheer joy. Not to mention the impact and satisfaction of accessing all of your creative energy. By decorating early, you are reliving those warm and fuzzy holiday feelings from home.
Also, through the single focus of decorating, you can activate your brain’s default mode network, evoking positive feelings while defusing the negative. Neuroscience tells us that when the mind wanders, it experiences negative emotions, but more positive feelings emerge once focused. Further, these feelings of well-being can stimulate your neuro-transmitters, creating feelings of optimism and good cheer. And, as you know, joyful emotions are contagious and can spread through an entire neighborhood, creating an atmosphere of friendliness and social activity.
On the other hand, not everyone has happy memories of the holidays. In these cases, it’s important to recognize your feelings and establish new traditions for you and your family, offering an opportunity for fresh and meaningful memories.
A healthy way to move past feelings of stress, depression, and sadness is to use your energy in a positive and constructive manner. By focusing on others, you teach your children how to activate their altruistic sense of compassion and goodwill. Acting on those feelings through random acts of kindness, can help you and your children reduce stress. And, by decorating early with your family, you can replace those feelings of anxiety and stress with the warm glow of satisfaction.
By decorating early for the holidays, not only can you connect to your childhood memories but also to those loved ones lost over time. Now, you and your family have the perfect moment to experience what the holidays are really about: bonding, togetherness, giving, and making memories.