Rituals to Invite Balance and Well-being

By changing the way you do routine things
you allow a new person to grow inside of you.

~Paulo Coelho

This site is a compilation of rituals and stories from many different people around the world. Each post is a different person's response to an invitation to share their rituals for healthy living, activities or behaviors they do regularly for the purpose of bringing value to their well-being. Perhaps there is a ritual in these pages that will catch your attention and find its way into your own life. To help keep this site alive, comment on what you read, share your story if you try one of the rituals, and submit new rituals.

Welcome and Enjoy!


Minimum Daily Dance Requirement - One Whole Song Every Day

Two of my favorite daily self-care rituals:

1. My "MDDR" (Minimum Daily Dance Requirement). This is my tongue-in-cheek version of the "MDR" acronym, which stood for Minimum Daily Requirement in regard to vitamins and minerals). My MDDR is to dance at least one whole song every day. Just to be sure it always happens, I do it first thing upon rising in the morning. I love it!

2. "Three Nice Things." A while ago, I read about an experiment where participants (who were challenged by depression) took time every night to write down three nice things that happened to them that day. They also wrote about why they thought those things happened. The study found that this writing exercise markedly decreased symptoms of depression, and even after the participants had stopped doing the writing exercise for three months, the positive change in their mood still remained.

I thought that sounded like a great idea, depression or not. However, I didn't want the pressure of having to analyze the nice things that happened, and it felt like work to have to write anything down before bed. So I came up with my own version of the exercise.

Every night before I go to sleep, I think about three nice things that happened that day. Most days I remember many more than three things, but three is my minimum. Next, I think about three (or more) things I can do tomorrow that I know will make me and/or someone else feel good (the latter having the bonus of making me feel good as well, of course).

When I wake up the next morning, I don't let myself get out of bed until I do the ritual again. That is, I review the previous day and remember three nice things that happened. These can be the same things I thought about the night before, or different ones. After that, I think about three things I can do that day to make the day nicer (again, these can be the same things I thought about the night before, or different ones).

After doing the "Three Nice Things" ritual for while, I got hooked, because it's a sweet thing to do before and after dreamtime. I also noticed that it seems to help me go to sleep, which is a bonus. And it's a double bonus to drift off to sleep every night while thinking about nice things!

Over time, I've noticed that this simple ritual seems to be changing my ongoing daily thought patterns at deep-brain levels without further "efforting" on my part. In particular, I've noticed that my overall sense of gratitude and my focus on what's working (as opposed to what's not working) have both greatly increased. I mean, I've always been a grateful sort of person since I was a child. Even so, I strive to be even more appreciative of everyone and everything--and one of my goals in life is to experience gratitude as a constant state.

"Three Nice Things" has helped me tremendously in this regard, so I've made it part of my daily (and nightly) rituals for self-care. I don't know if my version of this exercise would have the same effect on another person's focus and "gratitude barometer," but who knows? Maybe the ripple effects for someone else might transport them to other equally lovely dimensions of life!

Cat Saunders

Photo Source

1 comment:

kb said...

These really strike a chord in me....thank you!