Celebrations can benefit your health and well-being

Celebrations can benefit your health and well-being

Celebrations can benefit your health and well-being

Celebrations can benefit your health and well-being

Perceived social support is an important factor in maintaining good mental health and well-being. Studies have shown that people with a high level of perceived social support have better results in mental and physical health and are less likely to experience depression, anxiety and stress.

New research has found that celebrations that highlight achievements can increase perceptions of social support.

New research shows that actively acknowledging positive life events and achievements during gatherings over food and drink can increase feelings of social support.

The study, published in Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, found that celebrations involving a social gathering, eating or drinking, and intentional recognition of a positive life event can increase perceived social support. Previous research has shown that perceived social support, or the belief that one has a network of people who care about them and are available to provide help and support, is associated with improved health outcomes and well-being, such as increased life expectancy and reduced anxiety and depression.

“Many celebrations this time of year involve two of the three conditions — eating and drinking while you gather,” said Kelley Gullo Wight, assistant professor at Indiana University Kelley School of Business and co-author of the study. “Adding the third condition, a deliberate effort to recognize others’ positive achievements, is crucial. For example, take the time to congratulate someone on being accepted to their first choice university, or on a work project that went well, or on a new job offer. This will maximize the benefit for your well-being and the well-being of everyone at that holiday party.”

Wight and her co-authors, including Professor Danielle Brick of the University of Connecticutand James Bettman, Tanya Chartrand and Gavan Fitzsimons from Duke Universityused behavioral experiments to examine thousands of participants over several years.

Research has found that even if gatherings are virtual, if everyone has food and drink (whether it’s healthy or enjoyable) and celebrates positive events, it also increases a person’s perceived social support, and can receive the same well-being benefits.

It also has implications for marketing managers or anyone looking to raise funds for a good cause.

“We found that when people feel socially supported after a celebration, they are more ‘pro-social’ and more willing to volunteer or donate to a cause,” said Danielle Brick, assistant professor of marketing at the University of Connecticut. and co-author on the study. “This would be a good time for nonprofits to advertise donation campaigns, around the time when many people are celebrating positive life events, such as holidays or graduations.”

The researchers note that hosting celebrations that increase perceived social support may be particularly beneficial in settings that serve populations at greater risk of loneliness and isolation, such as nursing homes or community centers.

They also note the importance of understanding the benefits of celebration for policymakers who want to implement regulations or measures that could affect social gatherings, such as quarantines due to COVID, to avoid negative mental health consequences. They recommend that the organizers, if they have to have virtual celebrations, should include some kind of consumption and celebration of a separate, positive life event, so that people leave the celebration with a sense of social support.

Reference: “Celebrate Good Times: How Celebrations Increase Perceived Social Support” by Danielle J. Brick, Kelley Gullo Wight, James R. Bettman, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Gavan J. Fitzsimons, December 1, 2022. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing.
DOI: 10.1177/07439156221145696


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *