The Importance of Rituals

The main difference between a routine and a ritual is the intent you put behind each. Rituals are meaningful because you are putting mindfulness into practice. You are engaged in the process of performing a ritual in a way you may not be engaged in performing a routine task.

Not every task needs to be a ritual.  Start with the things you naturally do each day.  Your first morning coffee.  Slow down a little.  Brew the coffee and savour the aroma, choose your favourite cup and feel it's surface, notice appreciate the things that make it your favourite cup.  Feel and savour  the process and when the coffee is prepared sit quietly and put your full attention on the feel, taste, aroma.  Feel gratitude for the moments of joy.

Health Benefits of Mindful Rituals

Not every routine needs to become a ritual, but every routine has the potential to become a ritual if you desire to make it meaningful.  The biggest difference between a routine and a ritual is your intent.

In The Miracle of Mindfulness:  An Introduction to The Practice of Meditation, Thicht Nhat Hanh talks about “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.”  He says that if, while we are washing the dishes we are thinking of something other than washing the dishes, then we are not living. We are sucked by our thoughts into the future (or the past) and are incapable of living each moment of life.

When you put mindfulness to practice you are living in the moment and this helps to improve your health.  Some of the health benefits of mindfulness include:

  • Better memory
  • Improved mood
  • Better sleep.
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower blood sugar
  • Balanced hormones
  • Improved immunity
  • Fewer headaches
  • Less pain

Source: Daily Rituals for Better Health

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