To celebrate means to acknowledge a significant or happy day or event with a social gathering or enjoyable activity. For many, celebrations are related to the big holidays such as Christmas, Easter or 4th of July. Celebrations are also had for birthdays, one of the most special days each year especially for children. On these days it often times seems easy to celebrate, it is a given, expected and everyone seems to be celebrating so why not join in. But what about those seasons of life when there seems to be nothing to celebrate, hardship is upon you and it is one challenging thing after another, can you still find something to celebrate?
Many studies connect celebrations with gratitude and being grateful on a daily basis has been linked to…
-being more alert and aware of your surroundings
-increased energy and optimism
I think we can all agree being grateful on a consistent basis is positive, it is good for our brain and body. When we are grateful it seems easier to find things to celebrate, big and small. Being able to celebrate a new job, a promotion, a passing test score or clean bill of health all seem easy and likely.
It is the times in life though when your grateful attitude diminishes and challenge after challenge arises it can be much more difficult to celebrate. Do you want to celebrate a failed project at work, a flat tire on your way to the meeting, an unexpected diagnosis, a sudden home repair or the mundane of daily life…no. It is in these times though that our brain and body needs celebrating the most, we need to boost our energy and optimism, get a good nights sleep and put that pep back in our step. How do we make it happen? CELEBRATE! Every celebration needs three things, a theme, a purpose and fun.
Theme: Pick a theme for your celebration. Perhaps you ice cream sundaes, grab your favorite ice cream, colorful sprinkles and invite friends over for a sundae bar. Maybe it is National Pet Day, buy a party hat for your pet, make a treat for your pet or head to the dog park to celebrate cute, furry friends. Your theme doesn’t need to be related to a holiday, it doesn’t need to be significant, it can be anything! Choosing a theme, a reason to celebrate helps increase gratefulness and opens your eyes to the little things that are happy and going well.
Purpose: What do you want to get out of your celebration? Do you want to simply improve your mood, do you want to gather friends and loved ones, do you want to share information or accomplish a goal, do you want to share a meal with someone, do you want to just escape real world for a bit. All of these reasons to celebrate but knowing your purpose, the why, makes your celebration even more meaningful.
Fun: Celebrating is fun! Even when it seems like there is nothing to celebrate and life is not going well, fun needs to be had. I like to say, “force the fun”! Your brain and body needs fun so find what that is for you. If blowing up balloons and decorating your dining room is fun for you, do that. If cooking or baking is fun get in the kitchen! If going out to eat or to an event is fun, incorporate that into your celebration. Whatever is fun and uplifting for you make sure to add that into your celebration. It will immediately boost your mood, increase gratefulness and enhance optimism.
There is always something to celebrate, it may not be a big success, award or holiday but even in the small things fun can be found. Life is challenging and goes in seasons but keep celebrating, acknowledge the good and be grateful even in the hard times. When all things seem hopeless throw on a party hat, eat cake and throw confetti to celebrate!