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What is a ritual?
A ritual is a set of actions or procedures that are regularly repeated. In the context of this article, we’re talking about rituals you can use to replenish your mind, body, and spirit.
Think of it like refilling your metaphorical tank; the goal is to get you to a place where you feel better than you did before.
Think about a ritual you might do at home every day: brushing your teeth. If you do this ritual twice a day, it takes very little thought to remember to do it—it’s just something that happens naturally.
Your brain even starts preparing for it when you’re getting ready for bed or in the morning, when you’re taking your shower or getting dressed.
You don’t have to try hard to remember how to brush your teeth—you’ve done it so many times before that your hands know what motions to make without having to think about them.
That’s the kind of autopilot process we’re going for here: something that works wonders on your mind and body without requiring much effort at all on your part because it’s so familiar and comfortable.
So let’s get into how exactly you can create a revitalizing ritual that works!
Find Something That Works For You
If you feel overwhelmed, remember that a ritual doesn’t have to be complex. A ritual is just a pattern of action or behavior that has meaning for you.
So it could be something as simple as a check-list of things to do before leaving your apartment or brushing your teeth after waking up. If you want to incorporate meditation into your morning routine, start small.
Spend two minutes meditating each day and slowly increase the time from there when you’re ready.
If none of these rituals appeal to you, consider crafting something that better suits your needs and personality.
The world is full of suggestions for how to set intentions for the new year, but what matters most is that you create a custom practice that speaks to you and takes into account the energies at work in your life right now.
Choose What You Want
Create a space that is comfortable. Be sure to choose objects and settings that will help you stay focused on your intentions.
Consider the environment or setting of your ritual to be an essential part of the experience. It should be a place where you feel comfortable, relaxed, and free from distractions.
The setting itself can help you focus on the intention you have for your ritual by providing a visual reminder about it.
You might want to set up an altar, which can include candles, images, symbols such as crystals and stones, incense burners, flowers or plants, and any other objects that might inspire you or bring you comfort while doing your practice. You may even want to create a space outdoors in nature if that feels more appropriate for your needs (perhaps if it’s summertime).
If possible, set up this space in an area where you can close off the door so no one walks in unexpectedly when you are doing your ritual!
Cleanse Your Energy
- Take a bath with Epsom salts.
- Go for a walk in nature and leave all your problems behind (literally).
- Meditate on the things that you are grateful for and on your highest intentions for the future.
- Do yoga or stretching to help release any physical tension or discomfort you may be holding onto from past experiences or trauma.
- Cleanse your home of negative energy by burning sage, frankincense, or Palo Santo (or using a reed diffuser)
Set Your Intentions
Earlier, I asked you to consider why you’d like to create a ritual for yourself. If you haven’t already done so, take a moment now and think about it.
What are your intentions? What would you most like to change in your life?
Perhaps this sounds familiar: every month or so, we decide we’re going to start a new workout regimen or diet plan.
Maybe we budget meticulously for a few weeks but can barely make it by the second month.
Or maybe the idea of creating a ritual is completely alien to us—why hold onto something that’s constantly changing?
If any of these ring true, don’t worry! The common thread linking all of these experiences is an uncertainty around one question: why do I want this?
By identifying and writing down your intentions, then anchoring them with clear steps and continuous reflection, you’ll be able illustrate an achievable path forward.
This process will encourage you to adjust your goals as you change—and allow yourself space and grace if they change along the way.
Visualize Your Goals
Visualize your goals.
Imagine your success.
In some way, you have to see it in your mind’s eye for it to happen in the real world.
You have to be able to imagine yourself doing the thing you want to achieve and having achieved it, so that you can set a course toward making those things happen.
You don’t need a detailed plan or budgeting spreadsheet, but you do need some ideas about what success will look like — and maybe even what it feels like — so that you can recognize when you’ve arrived there.
Crystals Can Help
Crystals can help you tap into the power of your own inner energy and restore yourself in a substantial way.
Some crystals have special powers, including balancing and cleansing your aura, which can lead to an overall sense of wellbeing.
Others are known for their healing and protective energies, as well as boosting optimism and happiness.
Let Go of Negativity
Take a deep breath and be honest with yourself. Do you have any negative feelings? Are you feeling stressed, in pain, angry, or sad?
It’s natural to have feelings like these. Letting go of the past and making room for the future is an important part of your healing process.
You may be feeling a lot of negative emotions as your world changes around you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
You may feel at times that people are judging you or overreacting to something small. Don’t dwell on it!
Negativity can come from many sources: groups of people who don’t understand what you’re going through; hurtful comments from strangers; well-meaning friends who don’t know how to help so they end up saying things that make you feel worse instead of better; mistakes that happen as we learn new things.
It’s okay if sometimes people make you feel guilty about the way things are going in your life right now.
Take time every day to sit down and focus on what is important for your emotional health and wellbeing without being distracted by all the different voices telling us what we should do or think about our lives and situations.
Don’t Question It
Making a change in your life can be scary and overwhelming, especially when you’re starting from ground zero.
When embarking on a transformative journey, it’s easy to distrust yourself and the process. You might feel as if an unknown red light is looming ahead of you.
The truth is that you never know what will make an impact on you until you try it out for yourself. There are so many different ways to experience the world, and trying even the tiniest thing could be something that completely changes your life.
That could be anything—from volunteering at a shelter to seeing a therapist to going back to school—and its time we start giving ourselves more credit for making something great happen!
Rituals can work wonders.
One of the most powerful ways to elevate your mood and change your state of mind is through ritual.
Rituals are the series of actions you perform in order to complete a task or act, but they function on a psychological level as well—and that’s where things get interesting.
Through ritual, we can help ourselves think more clearly, feel more connected to nature and others, and help us break out of bad cycles that are no longer working for us.
Performing rituals helps many people because it creates a sense of autonomy and structure over their lives and gives them a sense of control by allowing them to have an action plan for times when life feels uncertain or anxiety-inducing.
Rituals also give you something tangible to focus on in times of stress—something other than your own thoughts.
This can be extremely helpful when you’re stuck in a cycle where you’re continuously dwelling on negative events from the past or worrying about future uncertainties; instead, it allows you to feel like you have some measure of control by helping you stay focused on the present moment.
Are rituals for me?
There are a few main things to keep in mind when you want to create a ritual. The first is its value – what is it that you’re looking to achieve?
Is it goal oriented, or is it simply there to help you feel happier and more fulfilled? Be clear about this first. Second, have a set time and place for your ritual – it will be much more effective if done at the same time every day, in the same place.