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Splendido’s pastry chef at work on a BIG batch of cookies. Giving someone a gift—whether or not it’s homemade baked goods—is good for your health.

Feeling pressured by all your holiday to-dos? Good news—you can reduce your stress (and maybe your to-do list) by doing something nice for someone! 

Love Conquers Stress

Multiple studies have shown that good deeds and altruistic emotions result in feeling a “helper’s high”—positive emotions that not only feel good, they actually overpower stress. There are some small studies that link these feelings of love and empathy with a stronger immune system.

By doing someone a favor, giving a thoughtful gift, or squeezing in a little volunteer work this season, you can lower your stress level—as well as ease the physical changes that stress brings (think high blood pressure). 


Give a Sweet Gift

One way you can enjoy these “generous” health benefits is by making a delicious treat you can give as a gift or serve to friends and family. (You can enjoy a different set of positive emotions by sampling them yourself.)

Mary Teresi is the pastry chef at Splendido, an all-inclusive community in Oro Valley for those 55 and better. Known for the seemingly endless variety of desserts she creates for Splendido residents and, at this time of year, for her elaborate gingerbread houses, Mary has shared the two recipes on this page so that you can wow your family and friends—and feel that beneficial helper’s high while you do so.

Happy Holidays!

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