About 90 percent of Americans say they celebrate Christmas and the aspect people most look forward to about this holiday is spending time with friends and family, according to a new worldwide Christmas poll by Google with over 28,000 votes. Still, the holiday season isn't the most wonderful time of the year for everyone.
"For some people, holidays are stressful, either because they are lonely, or they are financially burdensome, or because spending time with relatives is not an easy experience," Stanford psychologist and science director of Stanford's Center For Compassion and Altruism Research Emma Seppälä tells CNBC Make It.
When you find yourself in those moments, your increased feelings of stress and anxiety activate the sympathetic "fight or flight" response, Seppälä explains. This may be the reason why some people tend to "flee" (metaphorically) into over-consumption of alcohol or food, or even literally start a fight with relatives, she adds.
Tension can be exhausting, Seppälä says, but there are ways to beat the holiday blues.