The holiday season is fast approaching. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many of us are already thinking about Christmas lights, Santa Claus, and sugarplums dancing in our heads. But do you know why the sight of twinkling lights has such an impact on people at this time of year? If you’re not a seasonal person, the idea of hanging up stockings full of St. Nick’s treats and putting up Christmas trees filled with fairy lights may seem like a lot of trouble for something so pointless. Even so, if you’ve ever experienced the warmth of twinkling lights at this time of year, you would know that they have a positive impact on your health.
What’s So Special About Holiday Lights?
There are few things more pleasing than gazing at twinkling Christmas lights. But what exactly is it about these lights that have such a profound effect on people? Apart from being an iconic image at this time of year, there is actually a lot of science behind the comfort they bring people. First of all, when we view lines of light, our brain interprets them as curved shapes. This activates our parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for our “rest and digest” response. When we are in this state, our heart rate slows down, hormones like cortisol and adrenaline are reduced, and our blood pressure drops. This puts us into a state of calm that is the perfect antidote to our hectic modern lives.
Why Are Holiday Lights So Comforting?
Most of us have childhood memories of gazing out of a window on a dark, wintry night and being comforted by a warm glow in the distance. It turns out that this “security blanket” effect of lights on our mental state is highly pertinent to the festive season. As a child, we may have associated the glow in the distance with a house that had Christmas lights on its windows. When we become adults, those childhood memories often come flooding back, taking us right back to a time when we felt safe and protected. This is why holiday lights can have such a strong, positive impact on our health at this time of year.
The Benefits of Color in Our Lives
Another reason why the sight of twinkling lights has such a positive impact on us is the color they emit. Blue and green are the two colors that have the most calming and soothing effect on people. Blue is the color of trust, which is why it is used so often in businesses. Green is the color of balance, which is why it is often found in the natural world. Twinkling Christmas lights are predominantly blue and green, which accounts for their ability to calm us down and put us in a more balanced state of mind.
Holiday Lights Help Us Feel More Connected
When we gaze at holiday lights, they have the effect of taking us out of our heads and into the here and now. If you’ve ever experienced a long, dark, winter night, you might have noticed that it can make you feel pretty lonely. The darkness at this time of year can make us feel distant from others, especially if we live in a city. This detachment is amplified by the fact that we often spend long evenings indoors by ourselves. But when we look out the window and see lights in the distance, we feel a connection with those people.
Holiday Lights Increase Our Feelings of Wellbeing
When we are feeling anxious, stressed, or depressed, the last thing we want to do is smile. It may seem strange, but many of us also find it hard to sleep when we are going through a hard time. When we look at holiday lights, we are flooded with positive emotions, which has the effect of instantly lifting our spirits. This is because our brains can’t tell the difference between something that is happening to us and something that we remember happening to us.
Ready to Spread Your Own Positivity this Season?
When the nights draw in and we feel the stress of the season creeping up on us, taking a moment to gaze out of a window and be dazzled by your own holiday lights can be the perfect antidote to feeling overwhelmed by everything there is to do. To learn more about our holiday light services, please check out our website!
If you’re thinking about decorating your home, business, or other outdoor space for the season, please call us!