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Each week on Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke, explore different aspects of human behavior and the brain.

Let's Celebrate! But Why?

We've passed the 4th of July, Christmas is a ways away, and New Year’s isn't for months So why, you may ask, is Two Guys on Your Head doing a show on celebration?

Aside from the show being on-air for a year, we've got a lot to celebrate and so do you—even though you might not think so right away.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke discuss the evolutionary reasons behind the importance of celebration, gratitude, and achievement.

When was the last time you grabbed a couple of friends and went out because you finally started writing in a journal? Maybe because you cleaned out your closet? Or perhaps because you made your bed every day for a month? Whatever reason, it’s time to celebrate—even though your achievements won’t earn you a Nobel prize just yet.  But why?

It’s good to celebrate for a few reasons.

First, as a species, humans can imagine long-term goals, but it’s very hard to wrap our heads around how to achieve them without setting short-term goals that will help us get to where we want to be. Therefore, acknowledging the accomplishment of each small step along the way, helps to propel us on.

It’s like running a marathon, there’s a lot of energy at the beginning and end, but getting through the middle can take more effort. That “push” comes from the positive effect that is triggered when we celebrate each mile along the way.

The other great thing about celebration is that it makes us feel good, and it helps us notice things that we are grateful for that we might otherwise take for granted.

Just the act of celebrating perpetuates the positive, because, as Art and Bob have pointed out before, the relationship between our physical selves and our mental selves is a two way street.

So pop the champagne because your 6 year-old brushed her teeth without being asked, or because it’s your 50th wedding anniversary. Either way it’s necessary for the species, but more importantly, it’s fun!

Rebecca McInroy is an award-winning show creator, host, and executive producer for KUT, KUTX, and KUT.ORG.
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