During this time of year when most of us take a break from work and spend time with our families, we tend to get caught up in the giving of gifts, keeping everyone entertained, and trying to keep our own stress levels down during all of the commotion! But what about giving the gift of ourselves to our loved ones? Some recent research supports the notion that giving social support to our loved ones activates the reward center in the brain and reduces stress. Put more simply, those who are supported feel better, and we feel better when we support others, too! Consider spending some time truly listening to the people in your life during this time of togetherness. We may forget what gifts they gave us a few years ago, but we will likely remember the time that they helped us through a difficult situation by listening and showing that they cared. There’s no gift like the gift of presence!