Celebrating success, however small, is good for your health

We are very good at running ourselves down or being critical of our achievements however, how much effort do we put into celebrating success however small?

If, like me, you lean towards perfectionist tendencies, then you can be very hard on yourself.  Though you may allow yourself a fleeting sense of accomplishment it is not long before you are wondering what you could have done differently or what you could improve on to make it even better the next time around. Why are we so reluctant to enjoy celebrating success?

Celebrating success doesn’t mean ignoring improvements

Being analytical after the event is not altogether a bad thing.  There is no such thing as perfection and things can always be improved upon but maybe we should learn to relax more and take more time to celebrate, revel in and enjoy our wins.

I was reminded of this recently.  For the past 18 years I have had PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) which whilst understandable is a right, royal pain in the bum.  One of the facets of PTSD is depression episodes where I cannot function, move, talk or operate in any way.  Over the years my psychologist and I have worked hard on getting these episodes down from every other week, to once a month, to every 3 months and then thought we had plateaued at every 6 months.  I had come to accept this was just the way of my new life and have tried to look at the positive side – that it may happen twice a year but that left me with 50 weeks of the year when I was fine.

This year has been different.  I have just celebrated the fact that it has been a whole year since my last depression episode.

Believe me this is a huge milestone for me.  To have successfully negotiated the trigger points, allowed myself to rest when symptoms were beginning to emerge and just generally being kinder to myself by being aware of my own welfare are new habits that seem to have worked and I will continue to implement.

To mark this ‘first’ I took time out with some friends who have been with me and supported me ever since the train crash, and we had a barbecue with a few libations along the way.  It was truly enjoyable and I relaxed properly and revelled in the success for the first time I can remember.

Celebrating success is an opportunity to share the positive

Since then I have acknowledged how much nicer it was to celebrate this small victory in my health than to worry about the ‘when’ of depression hitting again.  Unfortunately I know that there is a strong likelihood it will rear its ugly head at some point but I’ll not concern myself with it until it does.

With this acknowledgement comes the determination to make sure I apply the same sense of joy with every future success I have, however small or trivial.  I have also decided, because it is such a nice feeling and one I personally would like more of, I will also take genuine joy in the successes of those around me too. Celebrating success need not be limited to my own triumphs.

Why not join me.  Start with yourself – relax, revel and allow yourself to truly celebrate your wins.  Then celebrate the wins of others.  Believe me, if I know or am connected with you, I’ll be doing so on your behalf.