When it comes to daily rituals, there are three types of people. There are those who follow their routines rigorously, with no deviation or flexibility. Next, there are those who have some daily activities or habits, but with limited structure or routine, so things are often missed or pushed to the side. The third group of people is those with limited, if any, daily rituals. They are constantly moving from one activity to another without structure and without a set plan.
There is a link to the development and use of daily rituals and the development of a healthy mindset. Simply adhering to a routine, which is a set of “must complete” tasks, is not rewarding or fulfilling. Having no set schedule or tasks throughout the day is also unrewarding and leads to challenges in getting things done. Having flexibility while building positive rituals and habits is the key to success.
What is a Ritual?
It is not uncommon for people to think of routines and rituals as the same thing. In reality, they are very different in meaning, although they may look identical to someone watching.
A routine is something that must be done or is done out of habit without thought or interest. For example, a morning routine may be to get up, take a shower, make coffee, and read the paper or check email. It is a routine if you don’t find pleasure in looking out the window at the sunrise or thinking about something wonderful for the day, enjoying the sensation of being in the shower and feeling the warm water, and savoring that first sip of your favorite coffee blend.
If you focus on the sensations for each activity, the routine becomes a ritual. It brings you happiness, grounding, a calm mental state. A healthy, positive ritual becomes a rewarding way to start the day.
How to Build Rituals
Rituals can be developed around anything you do. All that is required is to spend time in mindfulness in the activity, using your senses and focused attention to notice what you are doing and how it makes you feel.
Healthy rituals then become a part of your life. It is easy to see how healthy rituals around preparing and eating meals, going for a walk, or setting up an exercise program, are easy to build and include in our lives. Spending time with loved ones or interacting with your pets are also healthy rituals.
Rituals are not limiting. They are engaging, comforting, and empowering. Taking the time to focus on healthy rituals throughout the day will leave you feeling mentally prepared to handle whatever life sends your way.