Balance July 2018 - 38

R E P E AT B U S I N E S S

Sport is the A-typical environment where rituals are used
to generate a positive mental attitude. Athletes harness
visualisation and guided imagery techniques to prepare for
events, and then there are the less scientific rituals; lucky
pants, tying and untying shoelaces and eating Coco Pops
are listed among far stranger habits. These rites are, of
course, superstitious. But they're not as nonsensical as we
might assume. Studies by Schippers and Van Lange (2006)
and Damisch, Stoberock and Mussweiler (2010) lead us to
conclude, whether it's superstition or more psychologically-

Although rituals are important, they must be handled carefully
as they can normalise destructive behaviour. Obsessive
disorders, such as OCD, involve ritualistic type behaviour in
order for a person to feel a sense of control, when in fact it does
the opposite and leads them to feel increasingly powerless."

BRINGING ROUTINES BANG UP TO DATE

In the main, rituals are a healthy, vital part of every day
contemporary living. Centuries old, they enrich the process
of being human. Intuitive Life Coach Roberta Smart explains:
"Shared behaviour, centralised within a community creates
a shared value of trust." It's this need for connection and
enhancement of the collective experience that ensures
life events are marked in both religious and non-religious
ceremonies. The blowing out of birthday candles and raising
a toast are so ingrained in our culture, to refuse to join in would
seem churlish or insolent.
Then there are the more spiritual connotations of ritual.
Roberta notes that in recent years, we have seen a rise in selfimprovement rituals: we are encouraged to embrace meditation,
based, your pre-event ritual deepens confidence and
yoga, journalling and affirmations to calm ourselves, increase
promotes a strong a sense of control. This convinces
productivity and improve our mindset.
the sportsperson to believe their performance will
So, does modern-day society underestimate the
be enhanced, which cultivates a perceived
inherent wisdom of the ritual? Absolutely not,
'actual' improvement.
OFF T HE
SCALES
according to Roberta. "Rather than seeing a loss
Other professionals also commonly use rituals
of ritual in modern Britain, I would say we are
to create positive mindsets. In her psychology
The world's
oldest ritual
returning to more natural rhythms, a deep
practice, Lorna uses a variety of repetitive
(worshipping of
psychological need for ritualised behaviours and
techniques that have helped countless clients
a python) started
shared rituals as we seek to counteract our sense
overcome severe depression and anxiety.
in Africa 70,000
of isolation in an increasingly digital world."
"I encourage people with low self-esteem to
years ago
If you're in any doubt as to the role of rituals in
record positive events and how they make them
a good person. They set an alarm five times a day,
the digital age, just look in your app store. Want to pray
read through their list of positives, and add a new one. The
five times a day? Need to chart your monthly cycles? Want to
repetition reinforces positive self-talk and eventually embeds
track your daily meditation practice? Worry not, there's an app
a lasting sense of self-worth. It's really powerful and has been
for that... B
life-changing for many of my clients.
"Rituals don't always harbour positivity though," warns
Lorna Denton is a practising psychologist. For more information,
Lorna. "Like anything in life, there is a negative flipside.
visit yourmindsetcoach.co.uk

SHARED RITUALS CAN HELP
COUNTERACT OUR SENSE OF
ISOLATION IN A DIGITAL WORLD

A quick
hat-trick
of hacks
to de-stress
your
every day

38

1.

2.

3.

A mindful morning routine will create positive
vibes that spill into the rest of your day.
1 Get up as soon as the alarm goes off.
Hitting the snooze button makes you more
sluggish, and you'll end up queueing for the
bathroom or struggling to find a quiet space,
equalling a more stressful start.
2 Sit quietly, drink a glass of water and take
a few deep, calming breaths.
3 Write down three reasons to be grateful.
The benefits of practising gratitude include
improved physical and mental health, better
sleep, increased mental strength, selfesteem, empathy and reduced stress.
4 Look over your diary/schedule to help bring
focus to what you need to achieve.
5 Adopt the Superhero stance and tell
yourself this is going to be a fantastic day.

The instant effects of the
Emotional Freedom
Technique (EFT) have been
well documented in medical
and scientific studies since
1995. EFT combines Eastern
acupressure with Western
psychotherapy, tapping
energy meridians around
the body while repeating
affirmations. It's easy to learn
(there are videos online), and
it can be done anywhere. Try
it, and it could help to reduce
stress, depression, anxiety,
tension headaches, muscular
tension and joint pain as well
as improving your sleep.

An evening routine to calm your mind and
prepare for the land of nod regulates your
natural sleep/wake rhythm and sets your
body clock to 'sleep well, wake refreshed'.
1 Put all your devices away an hour before
bed. The light stimulates the brain, emails
cause stress, and games and social media
are addictive.
2 Make sure your bedroom is comfortable,
clutter-free and at a nice temperature.
3 Have a warm bath with an essential oil to
relax your body and soothe away tension.
4 Quiet your mind with breathing exercises
or meditation. Find a video on YouTube, but
ensure it's one you listen to, not watch.
5 If you can't sleep, don't clock-watch. Get
up and do something relaxing (reading,
meditation) until you're ready to drop off.

MAKE USE OF YOUR MORNING

FREE YOURSELF

BA LA N CE July 2018

LET'S GO TO BED...
SOURCE: SCIENCEDAILY.COM PHOTOGRAPHY: GETTY IMAGES

THE
POWER
OF
THREE



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Balance July 2018

Balance July 2018 - 1
Balance July 2018 - 2
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