Navigating the second chapter of our life might be challenging as well as unpredictable; when life throws a curveball, it can leave us feeling anxious and stressed. However, times of crisis often offer an opportunity to allow something new and empowering to emerge.
None of us were prepared for the uncertainty we would face this year with COVID. Although we have shown remarkable resilience dealing with a global pandemic, some cracks have appeared in our quality of life over the past months. So, how can we restore our balance in such a chaotic world? Rituals give us a chance to deal with uncertainty helping us to achieve a sense of control, confidence and safety. Of course, we can’t avoid the unexpected but we can all work on some techniques and methods that suit our needs best. Following these simple steps can help you better face life’s uncertainties and find an anchor during stormy weather.
But first, let’s ban anxiety
Anxiety is inevitable. It is your body’s natural response to stress. It is a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. To keep it at bay, before it would interfere too much with your life, you need to stay away from unhealthy habits and start some mindful routines.
- Reduce consumption of negative news and views. Instead spend time nurturing positive habits and relationships.
- Avoid conspiracy theories, even if they are juicy and seem credible. Instead focus on stories of resilience and exuberance.
- Switch your phone to night mode, avoid late nights at all cost. A good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to heal and learn.
- Don’t dwell too long in thinking about the future, instead steer your energy into the tasks and actions you can do today that bring you joy and may bring you stability tomorrow.
The importance of rituals
Rituals help us to re-evaluate our journey so far and to reaffirm that the path we are traveling is the right one for us, no matter what circumstances we are facing. They also define the patterns and cycles in our individual lives that might otherwise seem to be random happenings if viewed separately.
The word comes from the Sanskrit –rita– which means ‘visible order’ and refers to sequences of activities, performed in a specific way and during particular times or conditions. Rituals are not limited to religion and rites of passage; oaths, ceremonies, spa, even greetings can be considered such. Marketing consultants know their power and use them to play a pivotal role in making a brand lovable, memorable and meaningful, too.
Prepare for your ritual
Before setting up your own special practice, make the most of your time following these tips.
- Set aside a time for your little ceremony that you would adhere to (3-15 minutes)
- If possible, create a little space for your contemplation and practice – like a personal altar
- Keep a journal
- Do actions such as lighting a candle, reciting verses to indicate you are starting your ritual – this will bring the mind to focus
- Deeply connect to the emotional energy with singing or chanting rituals
- End the ritual with gratitude and positive contemplation
Find the perfect ritual for you
Unlike habits which are often mindless, rituals are generally mindful – a series of actions carried out for a specific purpose. They don’t need to be too complicated. We can customise our own rituals and daily doses of meditation according to our needs, whether it’s finding inner peace, getting a good night’s sleep, attracting a soul mate or achieving important career goals.
- Rituals To Destress
Every day, set 5 minutes aside to banish the physical and mental stress you may have experienced. This is easily done by shaking out the entire body – gently, effortlessly, trying to send shivers and tremors to all the muscles in the body. First, shake your hands, hop gently, move around, neigh like a horse to release facial muscles, sigh, take deep breaths. As funny as this ritual is, it is very powerful in helping let go of the unpleasant experiences of the day.
You can also relax and restore your mind by deep breathing, meditation, playful moments, long, lingering non-sexual touch and hugs. Immerse yourself in your vision and imagination while watching the sky, fishes, the sea; listening to soothing music, taking in the healing aroma of essential oils, etc. These sensory experiences have a great impact on improving your day, every time.
- Rituals of Happiness
Meditating over gratitude or writing in your journal rewires the mind. Despite all the uncertainties, a few minutes spent on recollecting the experiences of goodness, kindness and triumphs help shift perspective.
- Rituals of Sweat
The glorious benefits of Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi and other methods have been well documented. If you can create a weekly and monthly challenge – each time you fulfil it, the muscle of discipline grows stronger. You also learn patience and perseverance – two traits needed to overcome the discomfort of uncertainty.
- Rituals of Letting Go
Weekly set aside time to sit in contemplation. Keep a visual reference of bravery, courage, positivity, abundance – these could be deities, religious verses, mantras, your role models, imagery etc. Meditate a few minutes on their strengths and imagine their energy flowing into you. At the same time, chant to yourself that you are fearless, brilliant, radiant, joyful and abundant.
- Rituals of Why
Weekly take time to revisit your why, your purpose and meaning. Once we realign with our vision, it becomes easier to stop sweating the small stuff and to accept the events that do not go in our favour.
Always remember, whatever you are facing this too shall pass.