Celebrating life means appreciating what you have and showing happiness and joy at the same time. When age 50 was approaching I had no sense of dread or sadness about it. For me it meant a wonderful excuse for a celebration. My husband's band set up in our living room and we had live music all night long. There was a fantastic collection of friends that we don't usually see all in one place dancing, singing and having good time.
There were friends from out of town and I had three of my sisters here. Two of which came from Newfoundland to surprise me. My girls were here from university. It was a wonderful night and the weekend that followed with my family here was incredible.
I would have missed all of that fun and I wouldn't have those warm memories if I allowed myself to be negative about turning fifty.
I learned at a very early age to be grateful for who and what I have in my life. I lost a dear friend at the age of eighteen to suicide. He was a gifted artist, a wonderful musician and one of the most talented people I have ever met. He couldn't see it. By the time I had turned 27 I had also lost my dad, who was just 62 at the time. While both of these events were traumatic for me as I look back on them they have shaped who I am today.
I started studying human behaviour and what truly makes people happy by the time I was in my early twenties. There are many things written and many programs to follow for gratitude. Some I have followed time and time again and some I have even taught. The one thing that always comes back in fashion is gratitude and celebrating what you have and life in general. The second thing that is common among the programs and writings is giving to others creates such a sense of satisfaction and contentment in yourself that is the single most important thing you can do to lift your mood.
I'm not talking about serious depression here; but I know if you are seriously depressed and are getting the other help you need, these things will also help if you can manage them.
If you experience chronic pain, you might be asking what you have to be grateful for. Look around. For me it is how I function, I look around daily and find what is working, what is good and I'm thankful for that. It might be the company of a friend, a call from someone or the blessing of a dog. A good meal is always something to be happy about.
If this practice is not something you have incorporated into your life, I would ask you try it. It is important to try it on a daily basis. Doing something daily gives it a chance to become a habit.
Psychology Today says "studies show that we can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and can increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. In addition, gratefulness—and especially expression of it to others—is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy."
I have used a gratitude journal on and off for seventeen years. When I am not using the journal the gratitude is said nightly, however writing it is more powerful. I also like writing it because it is fun to go back and look at the past and all the good feelings come back.
So celebrate life! Give joy! Show gratitude!
Here is the link for the journal I use, however any piece of paper will do.
It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy.