Does Christmas music stress you out? This is why

It is said to be ‘the most wonderful time of the year’, but for many people the holidays are a stressful time.

For some people, that stress can be exacerbated by the prevailing—and in some cases inescapable—Christmas music.

While there has been no intensive research on this topic, a few studies over the past decade have shown that a proportion of Americans don’t really like Christmas music.

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A frequently-cited 2011 Consumer Reports survey found that 23% of respondents said they dread seasonal music around the holidays.

Meanwhile, a 2017 Soundtrack Your Brand survey found that 17% of American shoppers don’t like Christmas music. That survey also found that 25% of store workers in both the US and the UK combined say Christmas music makes them feel “less festive”, and 16% of store workers say Christmas music “dampens their emotional well-being”. the research.

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Elaine Rodino, PhD, who has a private practice in State College, Pennsylvania, told Fox News that music can have a significant impact on people, especially in regards to their memories and emotions.

For some people, if they feel stressed by Christmas music, it may be because the songs remind them of a bad memory or negative experience from their past, even as far back as their childhood, Rodino said.

Mariah Carey performs her Christmas hits at the Beacon Theater on December 15, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Maroon Ent)
(2014 Getty Images)

“Music has a way of evoking emotions and memories,” Rodino told Fox. “So in terms of Christmas, a lot of people don’t have good memories of the holiday. And so it brings back the bad memories.”

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According to a report by Inc. Christmas music can also become mentally draining or worse if played non-stop for weeks.

Holiday tunes can also remind some people of any other holiday-related stress they may be experiencing, such as buying gifts, attending or organizing holiday parties, getting together with relatives, cooking the right meals, or just trying to live up to other people’s expectations. to fulfil.

Rodino said that people who feel stressed and pressured by expectations “try to make it easier on themselves.”

“[Don’t] get so caught up in the requirements of decorating, sending greeting cards, how many gifts to buy for how many people,” Rodino said. “All of these categories have easier ways to deal with them without being a Grinch.”

“It’s about taking more control and doing things the way you think they fit into your lifestyle,” she added.

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Rodino also suggested that people who experience stress or sadness around the holidays — be it through Christmas music or something else — try to discover what might be triggering those emotions.

“I really think it’s important that people spend time thinking about their problems,” Rodino said. “If they have these sad feelings during the holidays, think of a thought and realize a little bit why they have the bad thoughts. So that they know a little bit, ‘Oh, well, it’s because I had that experience or because I have this experience.'”

“It’s always good to have an idea of ​​why you’re feeling it,” added Rodino.

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Of course, if Christmas music stresses you out, you can’t listen to it when you’re at home or in the car. However, if you’re at the mall or supermarket and a stressful song is playing, Rodino recommends putting in your own headphones or earbuds and playing your own music.

“That would definitely drown out the other music,” Rodino said. “And… realize that the music won’t let them do anything, it just creates a memory… and it will be gone as soon as they walk out of the store.”

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