Celebrate? With all that's going on in our world? You bet. We need to celebrate wherever, whenever and as often as possible.
In their book "Why Good Things Happen to Good People," authors Dr. Stephen Post and Julie Neimark tell us that celebration is gratitude in action, and so much more.
Celebration creates a circle of love. When we rejoice in the company of others, we feel uplifted. It's good for us to celebrate.
Celebration creates joy. Feeling down in the dumps? Celebrate something or someone. It's a fact that gratitude actually creates joy within our soul.
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.
Celebration moves us from fear to faith. Studies show that the most grateful people who have overcome adversity are more optimistic and grateful than the average person.
Celebration shifts us from tired to inspired. Reminding ourselves of how good life really is cultivates gratitude. Recent 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.
Celebration heals. According to a recent study on organ donations, the more gratitude a recipient of an organ feels, the faster that person's recovery. Seventy-four people who received a heart, liver, lung, kidney or pancreas transplant participated in the study. Recipients who expressed gratitude — directly, or indirectly by journaling — felt physically better and functioned at a higher level than those who did not.
What better way to celebrate than with food — sweet and decadent homemade bread?
Authors Dr. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, creators of the Artisan-Bread-in-Five-Minutes revolution, have released their newest book, "Holiday and Celebration Bread in 5 Minutes a Day." It's a beauty. Their publisher graciously sent me a copy of this book to review, and I could not put it down!
The 400-page tome is packed with dozens of recipes and photo instructions that are super impressive — from Tahini Swirled Challah to a Swedish Tea Ring, Monkey Bread and apple fritters. And there are several recipes for sticky buns and cinnamon rolls. I highly recommend it to you. Look for it in your local library or any place where fine books are sold. This just may be a book you want to own.
Looking at the calendar, it's easy to see natural reasons to celebrate — Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's — and bridal and baby showers, too!
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 summer, the 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.
Let the celebrations begin!
Mary invites questions, comments and tips at [email protected], or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.