Celebrate? With all that’s going on in the nation—the world? Add to that the challenges in your life and you may be thinking that’s the last thing you’ll be doing now, or anytime soon. Let me encourage you to think again. Now, of all times, we need to celebrate wherever and whenever possible.
In their book, Why Good Things Happen to Good People, authors Stephen Post and Julie Neimark tell us that celebration is one of the most important ways that we express gratitude. Celebration is gratitude in action, and celebration—like rest, seat belts, and green leafy vegetables—is good for us!
Celebration creates joy
Feeling down in the dumps? Celebrate someone or something—anything! The gratitude you feel as a result of celebrating others, or creation in general, will help you to be less materialistic and therefore more easily satisfied with what life brings your way. It’s a fact that gratitude actually creates joy within our souls.
Celebration is good for your health
The gratitude that wells up from the act of celebration has been studied scientifically for its health benefit. The results prove that gratitude is strongly linked to emotional and physical health. Just five minutes of gratitude can shift the nervous system toward a calmer state.
Celebration creates a circle of love
When we rejoice in the presence and accomplishments of others, they feel uplifted. Research has shown that acts of gratitude encourage those around us, creating a circle of reciprocal love.
Celebrating moves us from fear to faith
Studies show that the most grateful people have often been through difficult and challenging experiences. Individuals who have overcome adversity are more optimistic and grateful than the average person. Recounting the ways God has protected and guided us in the past strengthens our faith for the future.
Celebration shifts us from tired to inspired
Reminding ourselves of just how good life is and all the blessings we enjoy cultivates gratitude. Research shows that emotions work at lightning speed and often bypass reasoning. By cultivating gratitude, we encourage positive feelings that are almost instantaneous—feelings that are more powerful in their own way, than even positive thoughts.
According to a study on organ donations cited in Post and Neimark’s book, the more gratitude a recipient of an organ expresses, the faster that person’s recovery. There were 74 transplant recipients of either a heart, liver, lung, kidney or pancreas who participated in the study. Those recipients who expressed gratitude—directly, or indirectly by journaling—felt physically better and functioned at a higher level than those who did not.
Soon and often
Looking at the calendar, it’s easy to see natural reasons to celebrate—Easter, Valentine’s Day, Ground Hogs Day!, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s. So pull out all the stops. Celebrate! But don’t let your celebrations end there. Look for every reason imaginable to celebrate: the first day of spring, last day of autumn, the first snowfall, the shortest day of the year, a child’s progress report, the 100th day of the school year, birthdays, anniversaries, significant milestones, important events.
As you look at life through eyes of gratitude, you will discover many reasons to celebrate—no matter what’s going on in the world. Never miss an opportunity to celebrate.
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