When my oldest daughter was born, I found myself eagerly celebrating every moment and every milestone—from the first smile and the first time she rolled over, to her first day of school, first heartbreak and even her first curse word that was used in the most perfect sentence. (Look, I love curse words, so no judgement from you, please! When a kid can use “this really pisses me off” in the right sentence that warrants a celebration!)
My point is, parents do that for their children! They surround them with cheers, words of encouragement and clapping that reassures them that they’ve done something right, something wonderful!
But I’m guessing that, as you got older, what was once considered an accomplishment suddenly became an expectation.
Somewhere along the way, we begin to self-impose an unbelievably high standard for what’s considered “worthy” of celebration. We start to lose sight of all the celebratory moments—and the overwhelm and cynicism of adult responsibilities set in.
You stop having birthday parties, people stop clapping for you and you become more and more critical of yourself. And, honestly, fuck that.
When was the last time you praised yourself for learning something new, taking a walk, having a hard conversation?
We grow up looking to others for validation that we’re doing the right thing. But, eventually, we need to pick up the pompoms and learn how to trust our OWN hearts and act as our OWN biggest fan.
Celebration is a little bit of a lost art and it’s NOT reserved for children!
Here’s what we know for sure:
- When we praise ourselves and celebrate the little things, we begin to manifest more and more things worthy of celebrating.
- This level of excitement is contagious and, all the sudden, you’ll start to see those around you lighting up and celebrating more,
- Celebration breeds connection and community.
Here’s the point – you can celebrate anything and doing so makes you feel good. It also makes the people around you feel good and that joy has the power to change lives.
It also does some cool science stuff like stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system and decrease stress. Don’t believe me? Check this out from Psychology Today.
Stopping to celebrate helps you regain balance and brings an instant and immediate decrease in our stress levels.
How? Because celebration yields positivity, gratitude and harmony, which makes way for more celebration. You see, it’s the chicken or the egg and it doesn’t really matter where you start. It’s a beautiful cycle that inspires joy and GREAT things. And I want that for you.
How to integrate celebration for a more balanced life
Part of being truly aligned and balanced is understanding the intimate dance with celebration and gratitude. It's incredibly hard to feel overwhelmed and negative when you’re grateful and celebratory, right?
However, the desire to celebrate doesn’t always come naturally or flow easily. In fact, integrating celebration into your life may take a little work.
There are three, simple lifestyle changes you can make that, when followed with intention and diligence, will help you find more and more reasons to celebrate. Because who doesn’t want that?
- DAILY GRATITUDE. Acknowledging, expressing and sharing what you’re grateful for and why has the power to radically change the posture of your heart and bring you closer to others
- POSITIVE SELF TALK. Often, the majority of the negativity we face comes from our own minds—sometimes, without even realizing it. By becoming more cognizant of how you talk to yourself, you have the power to reframe it in a positive light. Since our minds cannot hold negative and positive thoughts at the same time, this is a great resource for reframing and restructuring!
- GET PHYSICAL. When you attach a physical activity to your celebrations, they rewire you completely. Your mood begins to shift and you unlock creativity. So the next time you want to celebrate even the smallest win, try pumping your fist in the air, doing a little shimmy, having a solo dance party or ringing a bell!
It’s with a grateful heart and a positive mind that your self-confidence will begin to soar and your eyes will be opened to the value and joy found even in the mundane moments.
It allows you to reconnect with the magic of your child-like wonder and, suddenly, celebrating feels natural and feels necessary. You’ll even be eager to share this little secret with others.
And, the more you celebrate, the more motivated you’ll be to create a life of balance that’s worth celebrating!
REMINDER: Celebration doesn't look the same for everyone
Celebrating your accomplishments—no matter where you're at or what you're going through—will act as fuel to propel you forward in life.
However, it’s important to remember that celebration doesn’t look the same for everyone.
ALL of these (and so much more!) are accomplishments worthy of celebrating:
- Completing a to-do list task you've been procrastinating
- Saying no when you've reached a boundary
- Putting your mental health first
- Reaching your monthly financial goal
- Taking care of your body
- Cleaning or re-organizing your space
- Getting out of bed in the morning
- Being kind
Curious to hear how others celebrate? I ask this question to every single guest on The Brave Files Podcast. Click here to check out a few episodes and see how others bring celebration into their lives!
I want to celebrate with you! When was the last time you stopped, took a breath, and acknowledged the awesome power that is YOU?