Doesn't it seem like all super successful people follow some kind of daily ritual? Go ahead and Google the routines of top entrepreneurs, actors, and authors and you'll be met with all the ways they fit rituals into their day. Seriously, go take a look.
Because if you're like me, you'll be totally fascinated by it all. I love to voyeuristically peer into the lives of people I admire (and even some I don't) just to see what they eat for lunch, or what they do first thing in the morning.
I know my girl Gala Darling, the radical self love guru, is equally fascinated. And she also believes that rituals can have some pretty powerful qualities. As she said on GalaDarling.com, "Getting your routine sorted out is not the be-all & end-all. But it does have benefits. I know that incorporating more positive activities into my life will make me happier and more productive. I recognize the power of ritual, and I acknowledge that when my day has pattern and purpose, everything else is more likely to go well."
Sounds pretty good, right? So here are some ways to incorporate a few positive rituals into your day. Here's to hoping you feel happier, and maybe even a bit more productive.
1. Figure Out Your Most Stressful Times
Positive rituals can come in mighty handy when you're dealing with a lot of stress. So first, start by identifying when that stress crops up the most. But be specific. As Alan Henry said on Lifehacker.com, "... start tracking your mood. It may take several days, but you can quickly go from 'I had a bad day yesterday' to 'Those Wednesday project meetings always leave me stressed out.'" Once you know, you can look for ways to better handle Wednesday meetings, or at least treat yourself to something nice after them.
2. Focus On Things That Make You Happy
Life can be kind of crappy sometimes, but if you're constantly infusing it with things that make you happy, then it really won't feel all that bad. That's why you should choose positive rituals that lighten up the day a bit, such as daily afternoon coffee trips, or nightly trips to the yoga studio. Do these nice things for yourself, and do them often.
3. Choose A Ritual That Feels Right
Rituals are highly personal. While one person might enjoy aligning cyrstals on a full moon evening, others may view that as totally nuts. Figure out what feels right, and what would be most refreshing/inspiring/rewarding for you, and then turn that into your ritual.
4. Emulate The People You Admire
Look up what your favorite author did before she sat down to write, or what that hilarious comedian always does before his show. Of course it might not apply to you at all, but it can be nice to see what worked for them. I mean, who really cares if that comedian has to eat pizza before every show? But if he watches reruns of Seinfeld to get inspired, then you just might have found yourself something worth copying.
5. Make It Easy To Do
Your daily rituals shouldn't be things that are difficult to do. For example, if you really want to start having a daily tea time, then don't keep your cups and mugs on top of a dusty shelf. Have everything out and ready to go when 4 p.m. strikes.
6. Be All About Meditation
If you're feeling out of touch with the positive things in life, then start sitting quietly with your thoughts every now and then. It can be quite revealing, and relaxing, which is why so many people sing the praises of mediation. As Luke Glowacki said on TinyBuddha.com, "It’s one of the most effective ways to find inner peace, relax, and cope with stress."
7. Focus On Yourself Physically
We tend to focus our rituals on the mental side of things — meditation, visualization, gazing off at the sunset. But the physical stuff is just as important. That's why some of your rituals should be exercise-based, such as long walks, yoga, or kickboxing classes. Take these just as seriously as you would anything else, and reap all the healthy benefits.
8. Start A Morning & Evening Routine
If you can't be bothered with anything else, at least adopt yourself a little morning or evening routine. There is something very refreshing about waking up the same time everyday, and doing the same nice things for yourself. Same for going to bed, with good sleep hygiene. It makes the middle part of your days smoother, and way more enjoyable.
9. Make A Gratitude List
Every evening take a second and write down five things you're grateful for. As Bianca London said on the Daily Mail, doing so is a great way to reinforce a healthy self-image and a positive mindset. And it can also remind you that, despite the day feeling long and arduous, that you actually have it pretty great.
10. Do Them At The Same Time Every Day
One of the nice parts of a ritual is the expectation. If you have tea every day at 4, to go back to that example, then all the work hours leading up to that time won't feel so bad. It's about having things to look forward to, and then actually following through.
11. Make The Rituals A Habit
A ritual isn't exactly a ritual until you turn it into a routine. So do yourself a favor, and make your ritual a solid part of your day. As Bhava Ram noted on Chopra.com, "Just as you brush your teeth every day, remind yourself of your intention first thing every morning. Take small, gentle steps in that direction with confidence and conviction. Don’t let anything get in your way — reaffirm the positive habit every day until it becomes second nature."
And they will become second nature, especially once you realize how much better your day can be with more positive, healthy rituals.
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