What happens to your body and brain over the holidays
Holiday get-togethers can be stress-inducing events.
Insider spoke to both psychologists and brain chemistry experts about what happens to our bodies during holidays, when we are reconnecting with family and old friends.
Their advice for navigating the season included tips on how to break out of negative behavior patterns, and how to de-stress and relax before, during, and after social gatherings. Podcasts, music, and animals can all help.
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Whether it feels like “the most wonderful time of the year” or not, the holidays are synonymous with extra stress.
The period from late November through January in the US includes the country’s busiest travel day, as well as the most calorie-drenched meal Americans eat, and what’s generally regarded as the drunkest night of the year.
Insider spoke with four psychologists and hormone experts, who explained how our brains and bodies respond to these seasonal changes and offered suggestions for holiday survival.
The experts all agree that whether your holidays are full of glad tidings or not, the season of near constant get-togethers can be an especially anxiety-producing period. This makes self-care even more important.
“Overall, there’s an intensity to the experience that we don’t typically have in our day-to-day lives, so often our feelings and interactions feel heightened,” psychologist Paraskevi Noulas, an assistant professor of psychiatry at NYU Langone Health, wrote Insider in an email.
The different layers of stress we may experience “can cause significant anxiety, irritability, and tension,” she said.
These schedule changes can disrupt our daily hormone patterns, sending levels of stress-related steroids in our bodies, like cortisol, diving and soaring in real-time.
Holiday gatherings can change testosterone, cortisol, and other hormone levels
Cortisol, our primary stress hormone, may go up and down a lot over holiday breaks, Robin Edelstein, an associate …read more
Source:: Business Insider