Rituals can be anything from a religious or spiritual practice, to something as mundane as taking the same route to work, or a particular sequence in which you do things in the morning. Whilst some may cringe at the thought of sticking to a schedule or structure the proof is in the chia pudding; rituals WORK! Starting your day with a ritual will help you on your way to creating your best possible life!
Morning rituals set us up for the day ahead. Starting the day with a set of simple activities gets the ball rolling and powers us through the day. Completing rituals gives us a sense of ‘taking action’ and completing tasks in an appropriate way. We then become focused and intent on taking action throughout our day, achieving goals and completing tasks, encouraging productivity and a sense of achievement. Whether you set a daily intention in the morning, or write out a to-do list, we are engaging in rituals for a conscious purpose, paving the way for an increase in productivity and accomplishment.
Setting our days up correctly allows for us to get ourselves in the right mindset for creative endeavours. Productivity and creativity seem to go hand in hand, and having particular rituals or way of doing things inspires personal development and self-expression. Inspiration can be found in the repetition of simple tasks. If Archimedes didn’t take his ritualistic bath, fluid mechanics and the Archimedes’ Principle may never have been discovered What’s important is to find rituals that work for you and encourage your creativity and inner light to shine.
Rituals have a stabilising effect on those that incorporate them into their daily life. A study carried out by Tel Aviv University in 2011 showed that carrying out routine tasks minimised feelings of stress and anxiety. The team of researchers examined basketball players and their ritualistic ways of playing their sport. They found that routine behaviour encourages the reduction of stress levels by portraying situations to be predictable and controllable. Keeping rituals pleasant diminishes the likelihood of these activities feeling like a chore or obligation. Carrying out an activity with which the outcome is relatively certain, allows for comfort to be found in these rituals, and pacifies our mind, resulting in reduced stress.
AWARENESS OF THE PRESENT MOMENT
Implementing rituals can act as a form of meditation. Carrying out your ritual with total attention, be it the way you make your tea or coffee in the morning, encourages your mind to be centred and focused on the moment at hand. Rituals slow us down. Slowing down allows for our worries and problems to dissolve, and for us to connect with the present moment on an intimate level. Achieving presence is emphasised in the philosophy of yoga, and allows us to enter a state of flow, where our mind is solely focussed on the task at hand. This is a common form of meditation.
A daily ritual is entirely about YOU. One of the most rewarding experiences is to take time doing something for the Self and relishing in this sense of selfishness, even if it just involves waking up a little earlier to have 30 minutes to squeeze in some yoga alone, or grabbing a solo coffee after dropping the kids off at school. Satisfaction is one of the main motivational drivers in the human psyche, and rituals can provide just that. Taking the time to improve our relationship with ourselves & be satisfied with ourselves and our lives allows us to better serve others and offer positive vibration to the collective consciousness. A happier world starts with a happier you!
Article by Rachel Gill
Rachel is a yoga teacher & student, mother and freelance writer based on the NSW mid-north coast, Australia. You can connect with her via her holistic lifestyle blog ‘Inspire The Wild‘, or on instagram, facebook and twitter @rachelmarieyoga.