Hello SEL Fans! Happy Diwali y’all!
Diwali is a huge and ancient Hindu celebration of light, prosperity, and renewal. It’s observed for 5 whole days of parties, fireworks, food and revelry. And what a coincidence…this week’s bloffering is all about SELebration!
See what I did there? Okay, full disclosure: This post will be about celebration in general, not just with regard to Diwali (although what a great celebration!) or to AISD Social and Emotional Learning (which is a lot to celebrate as well!). Celebration is a crucial aspect of social and emotional well-being, and we highly recommend you partake in celebration as soon as possible. Why? Read/listen to this!
According to the Two Guys from NPR (and also Austin Texas, baby!), celebrating accomplishments both major and minor activate the pleasure center of our brain. This pleasure center also happens to play a big role in motivation. It makes sense, right? If your brain is working on something, and it gets a little shot of those delightful brain-chemical pleasure makers dopamine and endorphins (among others!), it is likely to want to keep on keepin’ on.
As the article/broadcast mentions, humans have the great ability to set long-term goals, but we have a hard time actually doing them unless we plan short-term steps to reach the long-term goals. If I feel like I have a long and arduous road ahead, I’m less likely to see it through to the end, or even get started. But if I set short term goals to reach my ultimate goal, and I also plan to celebrate my little steps along the way, I am much more likely to get it done!
Celebration also helps us to increase our level of gratitude, and “perpetuates the positive,” as the article states. So create your next celebration right now! Used the stairs instead of the elevator a couple times this week? Treat those feet to a pedicure! Get your blog post published on time for your job? Go on a picnic! (bwahaha) But truly, whatever little celebration you can fit into your life, give yourself permission to have it and enjoy it. It’s good for your brain and it’s good for the world.