Celebrating life moments big and small can be a powerful pick-me up. Not only does a celebration help us connect to others, but it also helps us to stop and notice the goodness that is woven throughout our lives.
And, a little celebration can help us take in our own talent and abilities and motivate us to keep working toward our goals. I acknowledge plenty of powerful life moments, with mini-celebrations alone in my office, over a cup of coffee.
These moments of celebration cause us to pause, be mindful of the moment, and that’s good for our well-being. When we stop to savor the good stuff, we buffer ourselves against the bad and build resilience, says social psychologist and researcher Fred Bryant and others.
And mini-celebrations can plump up the positive emotion which makes it easier to manage the daily challenges that otherwise cause major stress.
And, when we do allow ourselves to look ahead to a future event or experience worth celebrating – a new job, a retirement, completion of a marathon, or the release of a book – or even the simpler things like a lunch with friends, a snow day, or a visit from the kids, we find ourselves feeling happier and this builds optimism, according to research led by Hadassah Littman-Ovadia
How to Celebrate the Little Moments
You don’t need fancy decorations or expensive gifts to savor a celebratory moment. Just follow these steps to make the moment matter a little more and soak up the good feeling.
- Notice the moment. What is it that you are proud of? What have you achieved today? What do you like about your life? Where is the good energy flowing? Begin to notice what is working in your life and you’ll find something to celebrate. Perhaps the check came, or your finished a tough work project, or you handled a difficult moment with your child in a healthy, positive way. Maybe, you helped someone else, got a new job, or found the courage to enroll in the continuing ed program you’ve been thinking about.
- Move out of the routine and set the scene. Now, stop. Go to a special place in your home, or outside to a beautiful location and give your attention to the moment of goodness or achievement.
I did that when the box containing the first book I’d written arrived. I took it to my favorite chair in front of the fireplace where I felt safe and cozy, I poured myself a myself a fresh cup of coffee, and I opened it. Then I just looked and reminisced on the work it took to get the book done, and the challenged and I reveled in the accomplishment and became mindful experiencing the moment with all of my senses.
When my husband and I celebrate the end of our work week in another kind of mini-celebration, we do it at the kitchen island, away from the table where we normally sit. It signals to us that we are stepping out of the routine to give this good moment our attention.
- Commemorate the moment. Now, take some action. Make a toast, say a prayer, take a bite of a special food, sing a song, high five, light a candle. Animate the moment with a powerful, celebratory action that fires up the good energy and enjoy the goodness that you have in your life.