Let’s Celebrate

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Reading Time: 4 Minutes

Is there a link between celebration and health?
Read on to understand.

The dawn of 2020, like any New Year, will certainly propel people to take New Year resolutions such as losing weight, quitting smoking or chewing tobacco/paan, overcoming laziness and so on… Sometimes, certain occasions or events create in us a desire or a goal and we embark on it with enthusiasm. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? I have known people who buy tracksuits and shoes worth Rs.10,000 and create so much hype about exercising. The problem is not exercise; the real problem is that after a while, the excitement fades and we quit what we’ve started, since we lack the inner power and strength to continue. What was started with much noise, ends quietly.

Rather than thinking only about physical health and joining exercise programs, how about creating celebration in our days, which teaches children to be celebrative? I remember during my growing years, we loved celebrating our birthdays. Way back in school, I knew my friends would start planning what chocolates to buy for the birthday, what dress to wear, and the celebration would begin almost a month before. There would be celebration at home, and everyone would participate. On the day, the feel-good factor of receiving so many gifts and smiles would make our day. From the very next day, we would wait for the next birthday to come. Celebration was fun. In return, we would thank all our friends for making us feel super special. The by-product of celebration would be gratitude.

Similarly, we would wait for holidays to come. Somehow, in our minds, we have associated fun and outings with holidays. Celebration has an incredible impact on the growing brain. Every time we experience joy, the pathway in our brains are dedicated to feeling this positive emotion, which grows stronger. So often, we can trigger the experience of joy and celebration simply by recalling moments in which we experienced it, or just by thinking of people and things that make us feel joyful. This can change the neurons within our brain. Neuronal change is a by-product of such deep experiences. A well-structured brain is the gift you are gifting for a lifetime – not only for yourself but also for your children.

On the contrary, when there is no celebration during our growing years and people around do not participate in celebrating our days, in these scenarios also our brain releases chemicals. Every time you have an angry, unkind, sad, or cranky thought, your brain releases negative chemicals that activate the deep layers of your mind and make you feel bad. Think about the last time when you were upset, how did you feel? When most people are angry, their muscles become tense, their hearts beat faster, their palms begin to sweat, and they may even begin to feel a little dizzy… In effect, negative emotions rob us of our wellness.

When the celebration link is developed within us, we find our mental health improving. When we have mental health, there is harmony at all levels of our being, and we live happily in a society.

Celebrations are in fact a brilliant and joyful way to teach our children, what we believe in. And when these children, either through parents or at home, incorporate nature and outdoor play into celebrations, we are letting them know the natural world and helping them to connect with the vast bounties that nature has to offer.

We can celebrate how our body functions… We can walk, run, climb and sit. We can see, hear, smell, taste and feel. We can eat, talk, laugh, lift, play, think and read. While we are performing all these functions, we are still breathing, blood is flowing through our blood vessels, digestion is taking place, and our body is performing a million other tasks at the same time. With no off days, it goes on all through our life – our body is a machine at work, even when we are fast asleep. Pause for a moment to wonder at this marvellous system called the human body. We will not only start loving our body, but our children will also learn to appreciate their bodies a lot more than criticizing them.

Celebrations need not be reserved for major holidays or once a year for birthday or anniversaries. A collection of thousands of small celebrations builds the habit to celebrate and in turn, hard codes virtues and values that help our children develop the way they see and experience their worlds.

When we start finding reasons to celebrate, it shifts our focus on building a positive mind-set; our children pick up on that and they will follow our footsteps.

When we allow ourselves to celebrate the flowers coming into bloom, the sunrise and sunset, the day turning into night and night turning into daylight, the first rain of the season, the rising tide and the chirping of birds – we celebrate life in us and in turn this helps in the overall wellness of the body, mind and the being.

Essentially, we are expressing how grateful we are for the wonders found in nature, in fellow beings, in ourselves and we are passing that celebrative mind-set to our children. Slowly, we will find our children saying things like ‘We saw our first butterfly of the season, let’s have a celebration!’. In this way, they will:
Find reasons to celebrate.
Participate in social work.
Join in extracurricular activities.
Expand their friends circle.
Join a new sport.
This habit rubs on to other things like studying and performing well.
They also start celebrating the success of their peer group.

When the celebration link is developed within us, we find our mental health improving. When we have mental health, there is harmony at all levels of our being, and we live happily in a society.

Let the resolution for 2020 not again be to join a fitness studio for a few weeks and fade away. Let’s resolve to celebrate and be celebrative in 2020. Happy New Year!

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