Celebrate! It makes you healthier Reap the rewards of making the good times last
When you get festive, your brain and body reap a cascade of health perks. Here’s how it happens, plus proven ways to make the benefits and the good times last!
The positive vibes in the air at this time of year have real, powerful effects on your mental and physical health. Celebrating sets off a cocktail of brain chemicals that give you a natural high.
THE STAR INGREDIENTS
Oxytocin This hormone is associated with bonding and happiness and is released when you’re around people whose company you enjoy.
Noradrenaline This neurotransmitter skyrockets when you socialise and helps you feel energised and happy.
Endorphins These feel-good chemicals are released when you laugh, dance and indulge in a drink or two.
But, these substances do a lot more than just boost your mood. Oxytocin may also help repair injured muscles and heal wounds, noradrenaline is critical for focus and concentration, and endorphins can help reduce pain.
LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!
The party mindset can also improve memory. Celebratory times are often mentally engaging, requiring pretty high-level brain activity. At a social event there’s lots of visual stimulation between the venue, decorations, food and people. You may have to navigate complex relationships (‘Mum and Dad, meet my new partner, Ziggy!’) and participate in multiple conversations, all while employing facial recognition skills, listening to music and juggling a plate of mini sausage rolls. It’s the brain equivalent of a full-body workout!
These are especially powerful because, at this time of year, almost everyone is in on the fun, and that shared sense of purpose actually strengthens the gains. We are wired to mirror others’ emotions, so when we’re around people who are also partying, it deepens our own experience.