The holiday season is a time to get together with friends and family. Often times this means coming together after not seeing each other for extended periods of times. For some people it truly is the most wonderful time of the year, while others do not share the same sentiment. Somethings we do share are changes in the brain during this bustling season.
Over the years different studies have been conducted to investigate why our brain are highly susceptible to emotional change at this time of the year. For some it can be reliving vivid memories triggered by familiar scents and sounds. Others go through increased levels of stress and anxiety brought on by all the “joy”. These occurrences can cause even the most mature minds to regress. Regressions don’t have to be drastic or harmful in nature and often times are subtle. For example take someone who hasn’t been home in over 5 years, suddenly his adult kid brother flings food at him in jest. If this were to happen say, in a board meeting this could be resolved in a professional manner. At the holiday arena… I mean table, even the “adultiest” adult can not resist retaliating in some way or another. This form of regression can occur because the person if so comfortable with the familiarity of their surroundings that they have regressed emotionally, even if just for a moment. Some can chalk this up to nostalgia. Nostalgia is a feeling of connection with something that is gone or a longing to return to the past. A holiday dinner can provide very similar and comforting feelings of youth. Our brains will sometimes go a step further and return to those same mannerisms. So if you are a working professional and your sibling makes you want to punch them in the face during Christmas dinner, relax its perfectly normal.