Is Christmas Music Bad for Your Mental Health?

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Holiday music is fun, but experts warn that listening to it too soon or too often might lead to anxiety and depression.


Is Christmas Music Bad for Your Mental Health?

Holiday music is fun, but experts warn that listening to it too soon or too often might lead to anxiety and depression.

When the tiny ghosts and goblins are put into bed on Halloween night, it’s as if a switch turns and Christmas lights shoot out like eager buds in the spring.

Thanksgiving? What exactly is it?

Between the horrors of Halloween and the jingling ornaments of Christmas, the November holiday has little place to roam.

Indeed, it seems that the marketing ploys begin promoting jolly old Saint Nicholas as soon as the Halloween sweets are gone.

This phenomenon, known as Christmas Creep, occurs when businesses begin playing holiday music earlier and earlier each year.

According to professional psychologist Linda Blair, this prolonged Christmas creep might be detrimental to your mental health.

She told Sky News that listening to Christmas music before the holiday season officially begins might actually make you feel more nervous and melancholy.

Christmas music is likely to irritate people if it’s played too loudly and too early,” Blair said. “It might make us feel that we’re trapped. It’s a reminder that we have to buy presents, cater for people, and organize celebrations. Some people will react to that by making impulse purchases, which the retailer likes. Others might just walk out of the shop. It’s a risk.

source-bbc-music-magazine

The Clock Strikes

Christmas music may serve as a kind of bell ringing to signal the start of the holiday season.

The songs actually trigger a countdown clock in our minds and can cause stress and anxiety about the number of items we need to complete before December 25th,” Scott Dehorty, the executive director of Maryland House Detox, a treatment centre in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, tells Healthline.

Instead of feeling warm feelings of family and giving,” he told Healthline, “it can trigger thoughts of how many people we need to shop for, party planning, travelling, seeing relatives we may not want to see, and all sort of negative feelings.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Best Buy will strike the first chord on the Christmas tunes in stores on October 22.

Soon after, on November 1, big retailers such as Sears, Michaels, and Lane Bryant will follow.

From then, additional songs begin to trickle in throughout November.

More than half of the stores on the Times’ list wait for Thanksgiving or the day following.

Employees’ Affected Sanity

The danger to one’s sanity is especially severe for retail and temporary employees who must provide holiday happiness amid a continual stream of stressed-out customers.

People working in the shops at Christmas have to learn how to tune it out,” Blair said, “because if they don’t, it really does make you unable to focus on anything else. You simply are spending all your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.

Kate Chapman, who is now a holistic medicine practitioner, performed as Mrs. Claus in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular from 2001 to 2006.

I lived with a never-ending loop of holiday tunes and ‘Ho, Ho, Ho’ running through my brain,” she told Healthline.

The Christmas Creep began for Chapman each year before Halloween when rehearsals for the legendary Broadway musicals began.

I arrived each day and heard Christmas music spilling out from every room I passed,” she recalled. “The Rockettes rehearsed their numbers again and again and again, providing an endless loop of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ or ‘Christmas in New York.’ I sang and danced for hours each day, immersed in the world of Mrs. Claus. Christmas consumed me, day in, day out, until our opening before Thanksgiving.

Chapman, like many Christmas employees and artists, had little capacity for genuine holiday joy by the day December 25 came around.

It was utterly exhausting to manufacture Christmas exuberance four times a day. That kind of elation is wonderful when it’s real, but when it’s contrived, it can be a heavy load to hoist around,” she said.

Of course, I tried to keep in perspective that spreading cheer of any kind is a good thing to do. It was much easier for me as Mrs. Claus than someone having to endure hearing the same CDs over the store loudspeaker, mixed with impatient customers, while working in retail or the food industry,” she said. “I was privileged to be working inside one of the most well-curated Christmas shows in the United States.

Ways To Feel Joyful On Christmas

Chapman’s awareness of her involvement in the Christmas celebrations may have helped her maintain some degree of serenity despite the physical and emotional demands.

That awareness, according to Dehorty, is exactly what we all need to let us retain stability throughout the chaotic Christmas season.

While it’s difficult to not listen to Christmas music as you are out and about, you don’t have to enjoy it,” Dehorty says. “One issue is that we all feel like we should be enjoying the music and atmosphere — you don’t. Make the holiday what you want and enjoy it. Make it about giving or volunteering for those in need. Start new traditions you look forward to.

In fact, if you like decorating your home with lights and garlands, go ahead and do so.

People who prepare for the holidays early may be happier than those who wait or do not decorate at all, according to Steve McKeown, a British psychoanalyst, who spoke to UNILAD.

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 childhood,” McKeown said. “Decorations are simply an anchor or pathway to those old childhood magical emotions of excitement, so putting up those Christmas decorations early extends the excitement.

There’s another perk of Christmas decorating.

According to a research published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, persons who put up ornaments signal to their neighbours that they are more sociable and open than those who do not.

Your passion for inflatable snow globes and lighting reindeer may help you in integrating into your community and developing a better social network of friends.

Having folks who nurture and embrace you over the holiday season might actually help you survive it — particularly if you’ve heard “I’ll Be Home for Christmas" one too many times.

Sources

Source: Healthline

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