Rituals reduce stress and anxiety and make us feel safe and resilient. I encourage you to develop Renewal Rituals, especially at work, to live a more stress-free life. Before we get any further, I want to emphasize to you that Rituals are not the same as Routines. You perform your Renewal Rituals with reverence, awareness, and intention.
What is a Renewal Ritual?
A ritual is a bridge that connects the past, present and the future. A ritual is any intentional action that evokes deep inner meaning that connects our mind, body, and soul. The smallest action can have dramatic meaning. Ritual is the repetition of a ceremony, simple or elaborate, alone or with community. Rituals awaken and involve your senses: seeing (witnessing), hearing, smelling, tasting, touching. Rituals are about “re-membering” (body) and “re-minding” (mind).
How and Why do Rituals Help?
Rituals reduce stress and anxiety. Rituals can calm the mind and relax you. When you feel drained, fearful or stressed, you can do simple rituals to stop the stress and create balance and calm. Yoga, tai chi, chi gong, meditation, guided imagery, and music are rich rituals that embody your senses.
Many cultures have rituals for inviting people into a community and for saying goodbye to someone leaving a community.
Rituals help enhance creativity by taking a bath, walk in nature, or journaling.
Meeting a goal
You can design a ritual to help you buy a new home, make more money, or get another degree.
Changing a habit or addiction
Ritual healing communities are transformational and healing such as AA, NA, and Al-Anon.
They help you survive through a tough time.
They can transform chaos into order, pain into healing, grief into hope, and joy into celebration.
Spiritually or religious
Rituals help you develop your spiritual life and connect with the Divine/Holy/God. Religious rituals include baptisms, weddings, funerals, bat and bar mitzvahs, Holy Communion. There are also many Sabbath rituals. Informal rituals can be praying before eating a meal, in the morning, and before bed.
Family rituals create rhythm, security, and richness in a family. They help keep a family grounded and de-stresses the family. Simple rituals may be reading together, eating together, bath time, walking, or play time.
Eating and exercising are healthy rituals. Keep doing your exercise. When I begin my walk my dogs start jumping around when I grab my shoes, barking and excited. That gets me happy. Food is a great health ritual. Your eating ritual is a very sensual experience involving: color, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Eating is one of your greatest rituals.
Creating rituals after disasters, such as 9-11, Katrina, and other natural disasters (tsunami, hurricanes etc…), can bring calm and peace.