How do you stray strong and keep your composure in the midst of challenges? How do you keep from being swept away when the currents of life get rough and choppy? How do you stay centred when unexpected events threaten to knock you down and throw you off course?
Rituals can help. Regardless of whatever is going on in your life, meaningful rituals can shift both your frame of mind and your physiological state, so you're better equipped to maintain (or regain) your bearings in any circumstance.
Here are five kinds of rituals that will support your total well-being, while helping you stay strong and centred as you go through challenging times.
1. Rituals that help you focus.
For many people, distractions are a major challenge. Distractions take many forms, but the end result is always the same: your attention and energy gets diverted from where you would like it to be. This often leads to frustration, especially if you feel that your own agenda is being neglected while you invest time and energy elsewhere.
Establish rituals in your life that help you maintain and/or regain your focus. Such rituals might pertain to how you manage your daily affairs, e.g.: specific steps you incorporate into your daily routine for dealing with interruptions.
Or, you might want to have rituals in place to help you evaluate your high-level focus in terms of your life goals, priorities, values, etc. For instance, you might set aside a special time monthly or quarterly where you clarify and recommit to your long term goals.
2. Rituals that ground you.
Even with great planning and diligent efforts, life has its ups and downs, some of which can be traumatic and devastating. Sooner or later, everyone experiences something that leaves them feeling shaken, lost, unsteady and uncertain.
For millennia, cultures worldwide have utilized spiritual rituals to help them stay grounded during difficult times. Our modern world may be very different to how it was thousands of years ago, but the need to nurture, support, and strengthen our spiritual side still remains. When you feel like the rug has suddenly been pulled out from under your feet, rituals that ground you are invaluable. They help you stay strong during times of adversity, and confident in times of uncertainty.
3. Rituals that calm and comfort you.
Do you find yourself feeling agitated or unsettled? If so, you need to establish some rituals in your life that calm and comfort you. Everyone's needs are different, and the possibilities are endless. Connecting with nature, gardening, listening to music, meditating, a long soak in the tub, lighting candles, burning incense, and curling up with a good book are just a few practices widely known to have a calming, comforting effect on body, mind, and spirit.
4. Rituals that energize you.
Feeling rundown or stuck in a rut? You need a ritual to energize you! As always, different people will benefit from different approaches. Some people feel refreshed and revived after watching a funny movie. For some people, chatting with an upbeat, high-energy friend does the trick. Sunshine, fresh air and exercise benefit the body and mind, and can raise your energy level dramatically.
While journal writing can serve as a calming, comforting ritual, it can also have an energizing effect. In many cases, our lack of energy (whether physical, mental, or emotional) stems from being preoccupied. We feel drained because we have so many concerns, ideas, and thoughts bouncing around in our mind.
Journal writing enables you to clear your head by taking hold of all those random thoughts and getting them down on paper. The result is that you feel less mentally cluttered, clearer, lighter, and more energetic.
5. Rituals that uplift and inspire you.
We all go through periods when we need a little bit of inspiration to see us through. During these times, grab hold of rituals that truly resonate with your soul to uplift and inspire you.
Perhaps it's listening to your go-to song that revives your soul. Or, maybe you have a go-to movie you can count on to leave you feeling motivated to take on the world.
Also consider cultivating rituals that revolve around:
These rituals can be simple yet powerful, leaving you feeling uplifted, inspired, and ready to take on the world!
Tips for achieving optimal wellness, inside and out.