Happiness comes from habits. While we can’t always change the things that cause us stress and worry, we can change our daily habits to add more balance. Rituals are powerful ways to keep us on track versus going through the daily motions and getting stuck in a stress loop. Here are 4 rituals to bring more balance and joy into your daily life.
Sweat It Out
Ever since Elle Woods argued that her client was innocent because exercise makes people happy, we have no excuse not to know that movement brings us joy. Studies across the board show that exercise brings us into the present moment and strengthens both our bodies and our brains.
Even if you already exercise, making it into a ritual (putting intention behind it) versus just something you do will add value to the experience and has been proven to enhance the effects of your work out. Really? Yep.
Whether it’s with your romantic partner of your group of girls, having standing times to be social is huge. Even if you don’t feel like it. The single biggest predictor of happiness is strong relationships. So whether it’s a dedicated date night (or workout - two bird, one stone) with your partner, a slated night with your ladies, or a devoted time for a phone call with your mom, making sure you have bonded social connections is key to keeping balanced.
Good Morning and Goodnight
Heading to the shower and brushing your teeth may be something you do each day, but it’s not quite a ritual. Putting mindful intention behind what you do either at the beginning or end of the day (or ideally, both!) is a practice that will improve your life in ways you have to test out to believe. Try our top tips for morning and evening rituals.
Eating is a part of daily life, but how often do you eat mindfully? How often do you eat while walking, driving, or writing an email? We get it, life is busy; but taking time to eat (and prepare) your food mindfully is a game changer. Eating is one of the oldest rituals we have - there’s a reason monks eat in silence.
You don’t have to go that far, but next time you sit down for a meal (yes, please sit down) focus on the gratitude for everyone who made your food happen: whoever planted the seed, the sun and rain for helping it grow, the harvester, and whoever prepared it (even if that’s you). Think of the nutrients it’s providing your body and how tasty it is. Now tell me that didn’t provide a huge shift.
Which ritual will you include in your life? Which ones do you already do? Let us know in the comments!