Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Utah Professor Researches Holiday Happiness

Happy holidays from the bottom of a stampede! From Dim Bulb.
Are holidays a happy time, or are you so stressed out that you just want them to be over? According to this story from The Daily Utah ChronicleUniversity of Utah professor Trish Henry is looking into this question--and hosting a seminar for those in the latter category. Seeing as a recent American Psychological Association (APA) survey found that 61% of Americans feel a lack of money will stress them out during the holidays, a seminar like this could be helpful. An additional 42% are apparently stressed out by gift-giving in general.

Stress can also come from the prospect of family gatherings. Even when family members have been away from each other a long time, we all know that old conflicts can suddenly bubble up again, making people dread family reunions in general.

All is not lost, though. Professor of educational psychology J.G. Farr says, "If you can find meaning, and it doesn't have to be all about money, then it tends to make you have a happier holiday season." This may bode well for Americans because, as I've written previously, happiness tops the list of holiday wishes, not commercial products.

What about all of you? Are you feeling the stress of the holiday season coming on or are you looking forward to it?


  1. Stress always peaks at the holidays. Expectations are high, whether or not that is realistic. People think Christmas should be like a movie (or an advertisement). The focus is on material goods. This is precisely why almost everyone I know likes Thanksgiving best. It's all about the food. Of course there is still the stress of getting there and back.


  2. Yeah, I can see how Thanksgiving would be less stressful. Black Friday has yet to hit, so people may feel better before shopping season!