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Day 77 - The Healing Power of Rituals

Direct copy from book - Another way to build emotional safety is to create habits or rituals that help you feel more settled. Rituals include any specifically designed patterns or series of activities that serve a purpose such as helping you relax or re-energize.

Rituals help you feel emotionally safe because they allow you to draw on familiar things and activities rather than constantly having to think up new ones.

Look at the rituals or patterns you already have in place. For example, at your work, do you start the day by getting a hot cup of coffee, then making the rounds and greeting your friends? When you get home, do you typically sit down and read the mail before planning your evening?

Healing rituals

Think about your current rituals and notice how many of them involve food. You may need to replace some of your old ones with new patterns for times when you want to relieve stress, calm down, or heal your emotional needs.

If you tend to head for the cupboard after a bad day, catch yourself and instead, do a healing or relaxing ritual that will manage your stress or frustration in a better way.

One of my favorite healing rituals involves having tea. First, I make a pot of tea and place it on the table next to a blue cushioned chair in my living room. Then with soothing piano music in the background, I sip tea from a special china cup while I read a book or a recent magazine. It always works!

Ideas for healing rituals

1. Sit quietly and listen to a specific song or type of music such as a favorite classical piece.

2. Light candles and meditate or sit in silence for a while before making dinner.

3. Read a few pages from a special book such as the Bible, a novel, or a collection of poetry.

4. Have a cup of tea or coffee along with a healthy snack.

5. Listen to quiet, instrumental music at night before you drift off to sleep.

When you travel, plan ways you can make yourself feel more at home in a hotel room or someone else's house. Tuck your favorite slippers into your suitcase and bring some photos of your loved ones to place on a bedside stand. Bring along a few packets of your favorite gourmet tea.

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  Anonymous Replied:

My rituals

Tea just after Beau leaves for work
Lighted incense while I'm at the computer
Sudoku Mega puzzle during lunch.
Read 8-10 of current book at night before turning off the light

I need to find another ritual - something new - to get me past my witching hours.

  Gwen Replied:

I love familiar things which means our house move was a bit unsettling. I can walk the same walk every day and not tire of it. It is never the same twice. Today I saw oyster catcher birds teaching their young to swim. Incredible. Every night we look out in the dark to the view from an upstairs window. It is a ritual that settles me for the night. I usually read before sleep. I always breathe deeply before I get up and face the day. I read my Bible every day and feel much the better for it. I have green tea in the mornings. We always set the table for a meal.

When we are away from home we try to set up some routines to help us settle. All these things help me stick my good goals!

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  Anonymous Replied:

Todd and I start and end our day with praying together. If I am going to do crunches, I do them next and then I weigh myself. In the evening I usually read my bible or a book for about half an hour before i go to bed. Sometimes I put on worship music and do aerobics in the evening or I just sit and listen to the music.

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  Anonymous Replied:

Before settling in for the night I have a habit of emptying the dishwasher and leaving my kitchen spotless - so when I wake up the next morning I can start anew. I read a few pages in bed before I go to sleep. I always set the table before beginning to cook our supper meal - it helps me to know how many mouths I'm feeding that evening My husband says grace every night and even our little granddaughter (2) has started to squish her eyes together and yell Amen when he's done Routines and habits bring personal comforts to our busy home and everyone living here knows each others' habits, and thats always a good thing

  Cindy H. Replied:

My healing ritual is to make a pot of tea and sit in my favorite spot on the couch and read.

  Shari (CE) Replied:

When I get home from work and I had a stressful day I make myself a cup of flavored decaf coffee. I have dinner with hubby and catch up on his day and then I log into SYD to recap my day, eating, exercise etc. Then I read the MB and blogs and it really helps. I know that I am not alone on this journey to good health. We all have stresses that could knock us down daily but we pick ourselves up and move on =]
I also call my Mom daily to check in.
I guess I need to think of some more healing rituals in case the internet is unavailable or Moms out walking =]
When traveling we take our RV which is very relaxing because it has everything I need to feel at home. Next week we are heading to Florida and I find walking on the beach or just sitting back and listening to the ocean very calming and relaxing. I also like to look for shells. I could walk on the beach from sunrise to sunset. Thanks for the summary Bonnie =]

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.