Rituals date back to prehistoric times in human history. If you study any civilization in history, you’ll discover that they all had some form of ritual. Rituals can be placed into multiple categories such as religious, secular, sacrificial, and cultural. When people think of rituals, they often think of something as primitive, barbaric, or evil, but the truth is that rituals are very common in the modern world. You probably even have rituals without even knowing it.
What is a ritual?
A ritual is a series of actions that are performed according to a prescribed order. That means anything that you do systematically can be considered a ritual. When you say the pledge of allegiance that is considered a ritual. Praying before you eat, giving your friend a high five every time you see them, and saying a chant before your team plays a football team is considered a ritual. You can see that rituals aren’t inherently evil. They are ingrained in the human psyche and the universe. The human mind and the universe tend to like patterns and stability. The purpose of rituals is to bring a set pattern and a sense of stability to your life. If implemented correctly simple rituals can bring positivity and success to your life. The good thing about rituals is that they are highly customizable meaning that you can tailor them to your wants or needs. Here are a few ways that rituals can help you.
It is no secret that mental health is a common problem in society. Mental health is the topic of many popular songs, books, and movies. Approximately 21 percent of adults in the United States suffer from some form of mental health problem. That is one out of every five which is a lot considering how many people reside in the US. There is a good chance that you know at least one person with some form of mental health issue.
There are many different types of mental health problems. This means that there are various treatments that can be used. Some people use medication, psychotherapy, religion, and many other things to ease their mental health issues. There isn’t a set formula to solve mental health problems because even people with the same illness might not be able to use the same solution. One person might use one of these solutions or a combination of these solutions. There are some things that universally assist people win their battle against their mental health illness. It won’t cure it alone, but it will certainly assist when paired with another method.
You can develop a simple ritual. If you suffer from low self-esteem, you can take five minutes out of your day to look at yourself in the mirror and say, “You can do it. You are the best. You can do anything that you put your mind to.” You can do this every morning the second after you wake up. Some people might find this odd, but it is important to hear positive words about yourself. Two neuroscientists, Dr. Andrew Newberg and Mark Robert Waldman came to the conclusion that positive words stimulate the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe has language centers that are directly connected to the motor cortex which is responsible for your physical actions.
If you are trying to overcome your mental health problem and you don’t know where to start you should start by developing a ritual. Another example is that every night you can watch inspirational videos an hour before you go to sleep. You could write down a motivational speech targeted at yourself and recite to yourself before you go to school or work. You can pick a certain time of the day to listen to a song that motivates you to overcome your struggles. There are many things that you can do. The important thing is to make sure that you stay consistent with your ritual.
Law of attraction
Rituals can significantly help you use the law of attraction to your advantage. If you aren’t familiar with the law of attraction, then you can read our previous article.
The laws of various fields of science prove that the universe is based on patterns. For example, the laws of physics don’t change. No matter where you go in the universe the law of the conservation of energy applies. The universe awards people that are consistent and use patterns.
Think about any successful person that you know. LeBron James’ workout routine begins at 5 am and during basketball season he exercises 7 days a week. Muhammad Ali ran 4 times a week. Every successful person uses a consistent formula or pattern to achieve their goals. If you want the universe to reward you with what you want or need then you need to develop a ritual specialized for your goal.
For example, if you want to pass a test in a class that you are struggling in. Pick a time during the day when you have nothing to do and study. Let’s say that during 2:00 to 4:00 pm you don’t have any classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. You can study your notes from that class and read the textbook during that time every Monday and Wednesday. You can even look up practice problems online and try to solve them. Whether you’re going into the medical field, science field, business sector, or entertainment consistency and patterns is the key.
To develop a ritual to lead you to success you should purchase a notebook or planner. Write down your weekly schedule and everything that you have to do. After that look at the empty blocks of space where you have free time. Those empty blocks of space are where you can develop your ritual. Think about your goals and research ways to achieve it. Once your plan is developed, fill in the empty blocks with your ritual. Remember to make sure you stay consistent with your ritual because that is when the universe will make rewards rain upon you.
A sense of community
Communities and groups are one of the most important aspects of human survival and there hasn’t been a time in human history where this wasn’t the case. Even tens of thousands of years ago humans were living in tribes in Africa. Working together and socializing is important for a human’s mental health too. Social isolation is linked to increased depression, anxiety, and can lead to low self-esteem. A publication of the Journals of Gerontology stated that loneliness and isolation increase your risk of dementia by 40 percent.
Even though communities and groups are part of human existence we can see that it isn’t easy to apply. There are plenty of groups that are dysfunctional and infested with chaos. For example, you have countries that are on the verge of collapsing because of internal fighting, communities with high crime rates, sports teams that can’t work together well, and classrooms full of students that don’t listen to their teacher. No matter what size the group is, keeping order is a difficult task and can seem impossible at times. The good news is that rituals can help create order and build a stronger sense of community.
Rituals are not only used to improve your frame of thought and increase your confidence, but they can also be tailored to fit the needs of a group. An example of a ritual tailored to create a strong sense of pride and unity for a country is a national anthem. Almost every country has a national anthem and in most of these countries the citizens are expected to say salute or sing the anthem at certain times of the day or before certain events. This ritual gives the citizens something in common with each other and it makes them have pride in something bigger than themselves. It connects you to fellow citizens and makes you feel like you are part of the community.
Another example of rituals being tailored to groups are chants that sports team members say with each other. Similar to the national anthem it gives the team members a sense of pride in their group and makes them feel connected. If you are over a group and you notice that the members aren’t really connecting it would be a wise choice to develop a ritual. The ritual can be a chant, song, quote, or any other word or action that builds unity. Make sure that your members do the ritual periodically and consistently.
These are ways that rituals can be used to bring order to your life and help you attract what you want. Have you ever used any rituals? If so, what ritual did you do? Was it secular or religious? Did you do the ritual by yourself or was there a group of people doing it with you? Let me know in the comments below.
“Understanding the Effects of Social Isolation on Mental Health.” Online Public Health & Healthcare Administration Degrees, publichealth.tulane.edu/blog/effects-of-social-isolation-on-mental-health/.
“Mental Health by the Numbers.” NAMI, www.nami.org/mhstats.
Horton, Lindsey. “The Neuroscience Behind Our Words.” BRM Institute, 31 Mar. 2022, brm.institute/neuroscience-behind-words/.