Micro-Celebrations – What are They and Why are They Important?

Micro-Celebrations – What are They and Why are They Important?

28 May 2022 • Words by Erica Marcus 2 mins

Birthday parties! Holiday gatherings! Graduation ceremonies! We are all familiar with the big ways we celebrate milestones and achievements throughout our lives. But what about the little moments? Do we make space to really create, acknowledge, and savor them?

From an evolutionary perspective, it can be hard for the mind to even notice these small moments and appreciate them. Our brains tend to be distracted by, and obsessed with, noticing and remembering our challenges and difficulties. Researchers have coined the phrase “negativity bias” to describe this phenomenon where the mind is more interested in what’s hard than what’s good. While this has the advantage of keeping us safe and focused on problem-solving, it can also make us overlook some of the tiny beautiful moments in our lives.

Luckily, there are some simple ways we can work with this tendency and refocus on the pleasant.

Simple Micro-Celebrations to Try

Name it

Draw attention to these sweet moments by acknowledging them out loud to one another: 

Having that shared awareness can amp up the goodness and help our minds appreciate it more.

High fives

See if you can catch your kids in the act of doing the right thing, especially if it’s something they’ve struggled with in the past. Then, share that observation with them: 

This helps keep your mind on the lookout for those things, reinforces your kid’s behavior, and creates a positive moment of connection between you.

Random acts of joy

The element of surprise can have a great impact on amping up the joy factor, even if it’s not any big thing. You might create ice cream sundaes one Tuesday just because. Or take your dinner to a park and make a picnic out of it. Or decide to go for an evening walk around the neighborhood. The randomness of the fun is more important than the bigness.

The key to all of this is that the things you notice and the activities you try feel authentically enjoyable to you. The goal is more fun, not another task. If you tune into what’s already going on around you that you truly appreciate and try celebrating small and random moments of happiness, both you and your family may be surprised at how good it can feel!

Erica Marcus

Erica Marcus, MAT, founded Wise Minds. Big Hearts. in 2015 to bring mindfulness programming to students, families, and schools around New England. She now has the honor of applying that breadth of experience to her work with WholeSchool Mindfulness, working towards systemic change within a single educational institution. You can read more about her work at http://www.wiseminds-bighearts.com/ She is the author of two books: Attention Hijacked: Using Mindfulness to Reclaim Your Brain from Tech Daily Mindful Minis: Tiny Mindfulness Practices for the Fourth Trimester