A Hopeful Way to Rethink Thanksgiving

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The premise of Thanksgiving is hopelessly flawed. It’s supposed to be a special day when we give thanks. The reality is different, but a daily, five-minute exercise can transform it into the experience we all want.

For many, the holiday season is a source of anxiety, stress and depression. One poll conducted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (discussed here) found 75% of participants felt more anxious and depressed during the holiday season.

The pernicious impact of negativity bias

I’ve written extensively on the harmful effects of negativity bias. It’s hardwired into our DNA. It has an evolutionary basis, originating when our primitive ancestors needed to be on high alert for predatory animals. The fear of being devoured by a lion makes you keenly aware of subtle sounds you need to evaluate in a nanosecond.

Overcoming negativity bias in our daily lives is challenging. You can find some helpful suggestions here.

We all know people whose negativity bias is out of control. They view the world as a dangerous place and themselves as victims of conspiracies and malicious conduct. When you combine those folks with diverse family dynamics, you will have a very unhappy day.

Thanksgiving – touted as a special day when we should be grateful – can contribute to negativity bias instead of alleviating it.