Steve Jobs reportedly started every morning of the last three decades of his life the same way. He’d get up, stand in front of the mirror then ask himself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” Daily rituals and routines refer to repeated actions that an individual or group such as a family regularly engages in. They are similar, differing largely in one way. Routines are completed out of habit while rituals are intentional meaningful practices that have a real sense of purpose. Everyone has daily routines even if they don’t realize it but not everyone has daily rituals. Here are some reasons why it’s important to have daily rituals and routines in your life.
Makes actions subconscious
The more you do something the more automatic it becomes. Daily rituals and routines settle into the subconscious, allowing you to effortlessly perform certain activities. This is especially beneficial with habits touching on wellness and positivity. For example, starting each day with a gratitude practise or meditation can become ingrained and automatic leading to a healthier, happier life.
Makes us more efficient
Having daily rituals and routines makes people more efficient because they don’t have to keep making decisions at every turn. You know exactly what you need to do daily, and you do it without having to spend too much time contemplating and weighing decisions. It also saves time which is our most valued resource. Rituals and routines reduce the need to rely on willpower which increases the likelihood of performing the necessary tasks.
Instil good habits and breaks bad ones
The secret to building good habits is repetition. Daily rituals and routines help encourage and facilitate good habits while helping break bad habits. This is really beneficial for people with busy schedules who can easily get lost in the job.
Help alleviate anxiety
One way to cope with anxiety is to create daily rituals and routines. Predictable scenarios allow your mind to understand what to expect and alleviate anxiety over the unknown. Studies have found that routines are beneficial for people with a variety of mental health conditions including bipolar disorder, addiction, and depression among others.
One study found that people with an active daytime routine over a night-time one have healthier sleeping cycles. This is associated with better mental health and minimizes the risk of developing emotional difficulties. It’s also incredibly beneficial for children.
Help combat burnout
The gradual accumulation of stress leads to burnout. One of the ways to prevent and combat burnout is by sticking to daily rituals and routines. A sense of order helps alleviate stress and burnout.
Great for children and families
Daily rituals and routines for families create patterns and a sense of consistency that helps children feel safe and secure. They help smooth out the day for parents and help reduce last-minute panic and frantic parenting. Rituals and routines provide a sense of stability and continuity in an ever-changing world which is important for children. The process of setting them helps families examine what works for them and what is important to them which is important for each family to do. Doing things like having routine family dinners together helps create strong emotional bonds.
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You can transform a daily routine into a daily ritual by bringing awareness into it and being conscious of what you’re doing, not just going through the motions. Think about the purpose that activity serves and what it does for your quality of life. You walk your dog so that it’s happier which makes you happier. The purpose of cleaning the dishes is to be able to cook delicious food and enjoy eating it off a clean plate. You do laundry because of the pleasure and comfort you get from wearing freshly washed clothes. Think about the big picture.
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