In my last blog post I shared 6 Healthy Lifestyle Hacks to carry out daily, which included a useful infographic to remind us what we can do to gain better health (this is downloadable for free when you subscribe to our newsletter). In today’s post we delve deeper into the reasons why developing a daily ritual is so important for your health, including the key benefits plus some ideas of what type of ritual you could implement.
What’s the difference between a ritual & a habit (& why are they often confused)?
Rituals are routines of doing something that is of value or importance to you – such as writing out your daily self-care goals, meditating on what benefits they will bring to you – then taking appropriate actions to achieve them.
Rituals are carried out with mindfulness, awareness & purpose.
A habit, on the other hand, is not always a good thing.
Habits are things we do aimlessly, or through lack of willpower, such as reaching for cookie with a cuppa, snacking on popcorn during a movie, or driving a car with just one hand on the steering wheel. We often don’t realise we are doing it!
Habits are usually hard to break.
On the other hand, the act of performing a daily ritual, with good intention, will undoubtedly deter bad habits and instil more fruitful ones.
10 Reasons why performing a daily ritual is beneficial to health:
- Rituals help us commit to & achieve goals, plus track progress & successful outcomes
- Rituals help us prioritise the things that need to be done, enabling more time to focus on what’s important to us, such as spend more time with loved ones or connect to nature
- Rituals increase efficiency & productivity and reduce procrastination. Knowing when & what you are doing makes for more effective use of your time
- Rituals ultimately save us time & improve our health. By getting up earlier we have more time to exercise, eat properly, plan & get motivated for the day ahead, benefiting us both physically & mentally
- Rituals deepen our emotional & spiritual connection. The act of lighting a candle, burning an incense stick, meditating or carrying out pranayama (yogic breathing technique), brings a deeper self-awareness & helps us find our own inner light
- Rituals help us cope with or facilitate change, especially during times of uncertainty
- Rituals bring a structure to our life
- Rituals help us take control & boost confidence
- Rituals reduce stress, aid relaxation & improve sleep
- Rituals can save money in the long run. For example, planning a week’s healthy juicing regime means you know what ingredients you need in advance & can buy them in bulk to reduce costs.
The above are all powerful reasons in their own right. I’m also sure there are many others that can be added to this list. However, I’ve kept it to the 10 which are likely to bring most impact to your health.
Examples of things to do in a ritual, (including links where Heart Yoga can help if you are stuck for ideas)
A morning routine could include:
- rising early
- drinking a glass of water with freshly squeezed lemon juice first thing every morning
- wake-up yoga routine for 10-15 minutes
- bathing in uplifting aromatherapy oils (for more on benefits of aromatherapy see recent post)
- 10 minutes of writing, including gratitude journaling & daily goal setting
- breathing & meditation
- reciting affirmations, developing an “I CAN” attitude
- protein breakfast/shake, green juice
A bedtime routine could include:
- going to bed early
- bedtime yoga routine to wind down before sleep
- drinking soothing camomile tea before bed
- avoiding electronic devices two hours before bed
- listen to audio meditation
- lavender essential oil on pillow to relax & aid sleep
- smudging to remove negativity
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Thank you for reading & please feel free to leave comments below.