Here are some tips on how to avoid the stress of Christmas shopping this year

If you’re anything like us, you’ve left your Christmas shopping to the last minute and will spend this weekend frantically running around shops trying to get gifts for your loved ones.

The reason we put it off to the last minute year after year? Because it’s so stressful. And now there’s even some science that proves that very fact.

According to new research conducted by Sony in partnership with behavioural expert Patrick Fagan, Christmas shopping noise – essentially the hustle and bustle of your local department store – causes a 16 per cent drop in our emotional wellbeing compared to a normal shopping day.

To put that in perspective, Christmas shopping noise ranks more stressful than roadworks or hearing a baby cry.

This comes down to the fact that most people like to concentrate on finding the perfect gift for a loved one, and background distractions disrupt that process in turn causes higher stress levels.

“We frequently worry about our stress levels in the chaos of the lead-up to Christmas, however the research has proven that actually the noise of festive shopping is having a strong impact on our overall feelings of happiness and short-term wellbeing,” said Patrick Fagan.

“As a nation, a staggering 88% don’t wear headphones when out shopping; however, wearing such tech appears to increase happiness and feelings of wellbeing and can provide a simple solution during this stressful time.”

So what can you do to combat this?

Almost a quarter of people (23%) said they recommend taking regular breaks during your shopping trip, giving your brain a chance to recover from the stimulation of the chaos.

When it comes to blocking out unwanted noise, whack Mariah Carey’s Christmas album on and make sure you have a decent pair of noise-cancelling headphones to keep you focussed on the task in hand to the soundtrack of All I Want For Christmas Is You.

And finally, make sure you get to the shops early on. It might be just as hideous f=dragging yourself out of bed earlier than you have to on a cold December morning, but you’ll be thankful when you’ve dodged the mayhem that is the peak of the Christmas crowds.

“We know that music, if listened to in the right way, can be a form of escapism or can help focus the mind,” said Claire Poux, Head of Sound, UK & Ireland at Sony.

“We saw from research many shoppers experience higher than normal levels of stress when searching for gifts in noisy shopping areas. Our WH-1000XM3 headphones give shoppers the opportunity to experience our industry leading noise cancelling headphones, allowing them to cut out the chaos surrounding them on the high street this Christmas.”

So there you have it: write that list, get up early, and press play on your favourite Christmas playlist. Good luck!

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