Do you have positive rituals in your life?
Often, the word “ritual” is associated with some sort of spiritual or religious practice. But positive rituals can also cover a much wider scope of activities and ideas. Rituals can act as a fundamental part of how we connect with ourselves and other people in deeper, more meaningful ways.
What are some ways positive rituals can enrich our relationships and support mindful interaction? Consider the following ideas:
1. Plan weekly “together time.” Engage your family in setting aside time for each other. Make it a weekly point of anticipation. Look forward to getting together every week for game nights, movie nights, or a family bike ride. Whatever the activity, make being together a regular, positive occurrence.
2. Use past family rituals as a positive ritual primer. For ideas, you might look at some of things you did with your family of origin to spark new ideas for your own family and friendships. Did you and your family members regularly attend any musical, theatre, or sporting events in the past? Did you have annual summer block parties with neighbors or family friends growing up? Perhaps you could incorporate those ideas into your current life.
3. Be creative, unconventional, or goofy with your rituals. There’s nothing like originality to keep rituals fresh, memorable and to add to the depth of connection of those who share the experience. Those who celebrate an “un-birthday” together, meet in the park on Fridays to read poetry, or plan themed, monthly progressive dinners with family and friends will build stronger connections and a wealth of fun memories.
4. Accentuate meaningful life events and people. Honor special anniversaries. When did you meet “the one”? What day did you finally forgive the person who hurt you most? When did you smoke that final cigarette? Mark those significant periods with a ritual meant to appreciate the journey and honor your current situation.
5. Create rituals to support relaxation and well-being. Take time to relax together at the end of the day. Make a point of minimizing the media and slowing the pace. Look forward to positively ending the day with lullabies or stories for young kids or a few moments to check in and put the day to rest with older family. Couples also benefit from a bedtime routine that allows you to go to bed and rise together.
6. Chuck meaningless rituals. Let go of negative, draining or unproductive rituals that just get in the way of what holds real significance for you and those you care about.
Positive rituals make life more meaningful. Find strength in your connections and enjoy who you are because of them. Mark your moments and celebrate your connections.