Friday, November 4, 2011

Celebrations = Stress Transformation

I often have trouble hearing, especially if someone is speaking to me from behind. These new hearing aids of mine are performing well. Please read on to discover why.

Behind me, at the Olive Garden in Bellingham, there was a commotion of a celebratory nature. A couple was having lunch in honour of their seventieth (Yes, that is 7 - 0! ) anniversary. The staff, upon learning of this monumental milestone, poured out the compliments with the same amount of attention they provide when they wait on tables. To put the icing on the anniversary cake, the manager, Kara Mech, informed the couple that their meal was on the house, which was a complete and pleasant surprise to them. (If my hearing aids served me right!)

Image: Fleur Suijten
When I turned around to offer my congratulations to the couple, the woman told me that they had married young, and proceeded to describe their double wedding ceremony.

It was a touching moment on so many levels. The length of time that they had been married. The kindness and consideration shown to them by the staff at the Olive Garden. The generosity of the restaurant for picking up their tab.

It was an honour to share, if only from the sidelines, in their celebration.

One of the keys to transforming stress is to mark the important events in your life. Celebrations are more than what they seem. When you know what they can do for you, you may begin to look at them differently.

A stressed person may not have the energy to celebrate. They may feel like there is nothing to celebrate, anyway. Life can seem like it is too much work and effort. "Fun? That's for other people."

So, how do you crack through the ice to defrost that frozen-in-stress person? By starting small. By learning to balance your nervous system with techniques that activate the power of your heart. Things like honouring your values and scheduling time to do the things you love. Amping up your appreciation and forgifting yourself.

Celebration is another way. This doesn't mean that a party is thrown each and every time, with invites to the fête going to half the neighbourhood. You can do a private happy dance.Give yourself a little pat on the back for completing a small task. Smile. Begin honouring your successes - big or small. Privately, or with friends and family. With co-workers, too, as Dr. Ellen Weber beautifully explains in her post entitled "A Brain on Celebration".

With the right tools and techniques, celebrations make for a happy heart.

Care to share? Have you witnessed or been part of any celebratory milestones? What do you do to celebrate your small successes?

5 comments:

  1. My nephew Simon, who you would have seen on and off as a commentator in my posts as Beardeye is the baby of the family. He is the youngest of my son Ranjan's generation. Simon was born on our wedding anniversary. We have always considered him as our wedding anniversary gift. He had always been special for my late wife and me and continues to be to me to this day. He has just become a father much to the delight of all of us. Simon's birthday and our wedding anniversary were always celebrated with a bash at home whenever I was in town. I normally tried to be at home on that day but occasionally, I could not.

    Many of our friends know how important it was for us to celebrate our wedding anniversary and share a long phone call with Simon whether he was in Edinburgh or London.

    Till today, some of my friends who remember, drop in to spend time with me to reminisce and to cheer me up. It was particularly poignant last week when they did so as I was in some pain and in bed. It was however very thoughtful of them and I had a grand time.

    I did not particularly mention this in my weekly thanksgiving list as I do not think that it is one of those small things to be grateful for. It is a very big thing to remember and reminisce with friends and family.

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  2. Ramana,
    I'm touched that you have chosen to share this story here. Thank you.

    I hope that your friends provided the right "dosage" of friendship, memories and laughter to transform that pain into a distant memory. Has the pain lessened?

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  3. Hi Marianna, how amazing it is to find a friend like you has commented on my "Celebrate" blog and to see your uplifting post on celebrating. Celebrating brings out the best in us. I celebrated a very big birthday with all my children and grandchildren 7-0. I am more vital and energized now than I was in my 50's. I so enjoy my work and family. I just decided to give myself a big bash and make them a part of it. And this June my hubby and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. We are putting on the bash and it has been so much fun getting ready. We wanted to do this to spare our kids the work. It's almost like preparing for a wedding as you think of decorating, entertainment food and other add-ons to make it extra special.

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  4. Hi Robyn,

    Wow! If ever there are times for B & L (big and loud) celebrations, those are them!

    Congratulations on 70 and 50, respectively! Woo Hoo! (Doing the happy dance on your behalf!)

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Welcome! I know your life is busy. That's why I appreciate your stopping by to comment.