Creating Moments

Photo credit: @artemvarnitsin

While some moments do not require us to create more significance, some important aspects of our lives can slip by without much acknowledgment.

Our lives are so busy pursuing and maintaining that we often forget the importance of being. In my house, we often will have “Wellness Weekend,” “Focus Friday,” or “Sleepy Saturdays.” These days are nothing more than acknowledging and celebrating the everyday aspects of our lives. Birthdays, vacations, and promotions are easy to celebrate. They are on the calendar or announced or planned. For that reason, the days in between often get labeled mundane or blah. I suggest we make changes and intentionally create more occasions to focus on and celebrate.

Changes such as this can happen alone or with our tribe. Collective moments have another compelling benefit: They make us feel closer to others, even those who came before us. Creating cultural or religious moments, such as reading your favorite MLK speech on the MLK holiday or watching a particular movie on the day a loved one passed, connects us to those who may no longer be with us but whom we hold in our hearts. You also feel more connected to the people sharing the experience with you. Whether you’re performing the main act or just observing it doesn’t matter. Researchers found that the participants in collective rituals perceive a state of “emotional synchrony,” which fosters a sense of bonding with the other group members.

This cohesion can occur among any group you belong to—your church community, college pals, colleagues—but it may be especially important for families. A study published in 2016 found that when a person’s family practices a ritual on specific holidays, the person is more likely to enjoy that holiday. Rituals can bring greater closeness for couples too. A recent study suggested that partners who practice creating moments (whether taco Tuesday or just repeating the same greeting every morning) are more committed to each other and feel more satisfied in their relationship than couples who don’t have such moments.

Another thing about creating a moment is the anticipation that it brings. It lets you know that life is more than work and paying bills. It helps you to understand that each day you live is a cause for appreciation and can be celebrated and acknowledged in any big or small way!

So, if you’re looking for a boost for your relationship or need a dose of self-love, self-assurance, or connection, create a moment that resonates with you, and believe in its power.

Dr. Kimberly VanBuren

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