12/09/2012 11:43 am ET

Don't Overload On Gift Giving: Reap The Psychological Benefits Of Not Gifting This Season

By Art Markman, Ph.D for YouBeauty.com

Did the sight of Black Friday shoppers crowding into stores a couple weeks ago got you a little queasy? Part of that reaction might come from the sense that we have gone a little too far in commercializing the holidays. Part might come from the spectacle of people fighting over purchases. And part might come from your own assessment of your bank account.

We all know that we are expected to go to events with family and friends loaded down with gifts. But, what if you want to get off that roller-coaster? It can seem like doling out presents is a no-negotiation proposition, even if you really can’t afford it.

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You probably feel the psychological tension between the social need to give elaborate gifts and your own desire to cut down on gift-giving. It’s important that you find a way to identify, rationalize and minimize that tension, so you can do what’s best for you, instead of overspending for the sake of precedent. Luckily, there is a lot of good research out there that explores what really makes people happy -- and the answer isn’t more Christmas presents.

Here are a few considerations to help those of you looking to cut back on gift-giving this year:

Reasons To Cut Back On Gift-Giving

Happy holidays!

For more tips on how to stress less this season, click here.