Christmas lights might seem like a common decoration, but new research suggests that they can provide psychological benefits to people after experiencing stressful events.

The study was led by Rebecca Dyer from Pacific University in Oregon. The research included 128 college students who had been asked to give a presentation before a group of strangers while being recorded on video.

Half of the students were asked to place Christmas lights around their workspace in a stressful environment, while the other half of the group did not have this distraction.

“This study shows that there may be a benefit from being around artificial holiday lighting during times of stress,” said Dyer. “In addition to making people feel more cheerful when they are down, having holiday lights around might actually help people perform better on tasks.”

The students were tested both before and after the experiment. During the test, they were asked to describe three different groups of people with whom they would like to spend time during holidays that may involve gatherings.

According to Dyer, participants who had put up Christmas lights achieved more points during the test. “The idea is that putting up holiday lights may help people feel more cheerful and relaxed, and therefore allow them to think more broadly and creatively,” she said.

After the study participants were surveyed about their stress levels and feelings of being overwhelmed, again while looking at Christmas lights. The researchers found that participants who had been in a room with holiday lights reported feeling less stressed than those who hadn’t been surrounded by Christmas lights.

“This research might be helpful for people who are experiencing stress during the holidays,” said Dyer.

I don’t know about you, but this research makes sense to me! I know that Christmas lights make me so happy. Each year, when the kids were younger, I would require Christmas lights to be hung. My kids and I would take part in putting them up.

One year, back when I owned a home, we had the house lined with lights, the garage always had a festive sign between the two garage doors, and lights were found inside the home.

There’s magic behind every twinkly Christmas light and this year, I want you to feel that magic. No matter how sad things are and what’s gone on this past year or two years, I know that these magical Christmas lights will help bring a little happiness in your soul … even if for just a moment.

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