You’ve seen England win the World Cup (a rare feat), the Beatles take the world by storm, Britain join the European Union and you have ushered in a whole new millennium.
You’ve experienced life under the country’s first and only female Prime Minster, seen the rise and fall of Woolworths on the high street, and watched Natasha Kaplinsky win the first ever Strictly Come Dancing.
It’s been a memorable 60 years. 60 years that deserve an extra special celebration.
But it can sometimes be difficult to find the motivation and enthusiasm to organise a big birthday bash, just for little old you.
What if I were to tell you that a birthday bash is a great way to improve your overall wellbeing, feel better about yourself, live longer and be healthier?
What if I told you that celebrating your 60th in style is one of the best things you can do to immediately put a smile on your face and a spring in your step?
Read on for 10 good reasons you will want to make this birthday a memorable one.
1. Feel good – for free
Our bodies physically react to happy occasions such as birthday parties by producing more endorphins. These happiness chemicals flood our bodies giving us an injection of joy and triggering positive feelings in the body similar to that of morphine (the good news is they don’t lead to addiction or dependence).
Why wouldn’t you want that feeling?
2. Nurture friendships
As we get older, our friends are more important than ever – that friend you grew up, who shared their lunch with you, always found the best conkers and held your hand when you fell over.
Spending time with the people who matter is a great opportunity to strengthen relationships with good friends, remember old times, and laugh together about shared experiences.
3. Be happier
The benefits of happiness are extensive – being happy makes us healthier, improves our immune systems, reduces high blood pressure and the chances of heart disease.
Your 60th won’t just give you something to smile about on the day of the party – you’ll have months after the bottles have been emptied and the canapes eaten to discuss the best bits, share wonderful photos from the event, and remember that moment when you saw all your favourite people together in one room, just for you.
4. Stay young
Sixty is the new forty and as you hit the big six-oh you’re in great company.
Celebrities such as Bruce Willis, Kevin Costner, Meryl Streep and Lulu have all passed the milestone and they’re looking amazing.
Before you tell me it’s all botox, let me finish.
How about you give yourself a free Harley Street facelift by simply having a great time – without getting too scientific (click here if you want to read the science bit), happiness can slow down the signs of ageing by protecting the cells in our bodies that have been linked to ageing.
You may have a couple more smile lines from all that laughter at your party, but it will be worth it as your body is rejuvenated and ready to keep you healthy for longer.
5. Be healthier
Celebrating the good times with friends and family has a real impact on your physical health.
Materialistic things rarely make us happy – countless studies have found that experiences are far more impactful on our mood than buying new stuff.
“Dr Derek Cox, Director of Public Health at Dumfries and Galloway NHS, suspects that for decades health professionals have been missing a big trick in improving the health of the nation.
“We’ve spent years saying that giving up smoking could be the single most important thing that we could do for the health of the nation. “And yet there is mounting evidence that happiness might be at least as powerful a predictor, if not a more powerful predictor than some of the other lifestyle factors that we talk about in terms of cigarette smoking, diet, physical activity and those kind of things.”
“If you are happy you are likely in the future to have less in the way of physical illness than those who are unhappy.” Dr Derek Cox, Director of Public Health
Source: Mark Dawes, 2014
The evidence is compelling – over 130 studies have been conducted and the conclusion is consistently that happiness is directly linked to physical health.
Anxiety, lack of enjoyment and pessimism are all associated with higher rates of disease and a shorter life span, so let your hair down, enjoy yourself, and laugh often.
6. Be more productive
Who’d have thought that having fun at a birthday party could have such an impact on all areas of your life? Did you know it can even make you more productive?
Research by the University of Warwick shows that happy people work harder and are more likely to achieve their goals. Whatever is on your to-do list (hopefully ‘Arrange birthday party’) you’re more likely to accomplish it if you’re happy on the inside.
7. Less illness
About 200 people die every day in the UK from heart disease and experts say the majority of these deaths are preventable.
We all know the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle, and I’m not here to get you on the treadmill, but simply being happier can have a significant impact on your health.
The field of positive psychology recognises that experiences induce positive emotions which improve our overall health – and this cuts the chances of life-limiting diseases and conditions.
Bring on the party!
8. Shake up the routine
You go through the same routine every morning: showering, making the bed, fluffing the pillows, shaking the duvet, preparing breakfast, clearing away the dishes into the dishwasher, swigging your last mouthful of cold tea before grabbing your bag and coat and rushing out the door for another day at the office.
The evening routine is another groundhog day of repetition and tedium.
Why not mix things up with a big birthday party this year.
Altering your routine has multiple benefits: increased energy, increased creativity, feelings of happiness (and we all know the benefits of those by now) and being more fun to be around.
9. Stress buster
Stress is one of the biggest killers in modern society – affecting around eight million of us every year.
Caused by the pressures of work, family problems, financial challenges and general worry, it can lead to problems sleeping, poor health and low mood.
Of course a little stress is inevitable in our lives – even healthy – but chronic stress is to be avoided and engaging socially is one of the quickest ways to rein in stress and calm your nervous system.
10. Make others happy
When parents are asked what they want for their children, they most likely reply “for them to be happy”. It’s all we want for our kids.
An extensive research study in the British Medical Journal found that people’s happiness is significantly affected by the happiness of those around them so give your family a big reason to smile by sharing your 60th birthday with them.
To wrap up, being happy and making others happy matters.
Sharing special moments with friends and family, experiencing the positive feelings associated with celebrating special occasions makes you healthier, less stressed, more fun to be around, and, most importantly, happier.
Give yourself a boost today and start planning how you will celebrate your next big birthday.