Christmastime is here…stressfulness and cheer?!?

charlie brown christmas

Wait a second…are those the right lyrics?!?

As we get closer to the holidays, I hear the song from Charlie Brown being played. “Christmastime is here…happiness and cheer” are the words being sung by the characters from Peanuts. But, as I look around everyone is stressed with their ‘To Do List’ and activities that fill the calendar. What if there was a way to improve stress levels and bond with your child? Singing is a simple way to according to the following study!

“The neurochemistry of music” (A meta study) Mona Lisa Chanda and Daniel J. Levitin, Department of Psychology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Trends in Cognitive Science, April 2013

This comprehensive review compiles and evaluates the evidence found in 200 studies on the benefits of music including singing and its capability to significantly improve psychological health and wellbeing through the engagement of neurochemical systems responsible for reward, motivation, pleasure, stress/arousal, immunity, and social affiliation.

  • Listening to preferred music stimulates the release of dopamine (the brain neurochemical responsible for pleasure and reward), reducing the use of opiate drugs in postoperative pain

  • Singing can increase levels of Immunoglobulin A and decrease levels of stress

  • Singing increases levels of oxytocin promoting social affiliation

  • Music is shown to modify and regulate automatic systems such as: heart rate, respiration rate, perspiration and other automatic systems

Challenge:  Take two minutes daily and enjoy the holiday season by singing a song with your little one. Perhaps you will create some memories and find one that both of you enjoy together!

Do you have a favorite holiday song? What were some of the holiday songs you remember from your childhood? The songs that came to mind are a great place to start! Take a two minute break from cleaning, laundry, or dinner and sing a song with your child. Make eye contact, or tap the beat on their legs. Sing in the car, as you change their diaper, or their clothes. If your favorite song has a fast tempo, sing it fast. Also, use the same song and slow it down as a lullaby for your child. You will feel more relaxed after singing and so will your little one!

Need some holiday song suggestions?

  • Deck the Halls
  • Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel
  • Feliz Navidad
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
  • I’ll Be Home for Christmas
  • I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas
  • Jingle Bells
  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Joy to the World
  • Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!
  • Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree
  • Rudolph
  • Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
  • Silent Night
  • Twelve Days of Christmas
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Make some music this season, improve you and your child’s stress levels, and make some memories as well!

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