When facing a stressful situation, we often take comfort in engaging in preparatory activities to induce a feeling of being in control and reducing uncertainty.
People also engage in seemingly less logical behaviors in other situations, like shake their body to remove negative energy before entering their house, stroke their hair a certain number of times before going to bed or only start with their right foot when climbing up stairs.
Performing rituals with the intention of producing a certain result appears to be sufficient for that result to come true.
Did you know Michael Jordan wore his North Carolina shorts
underneath his Chicago Bulls shorts in every game?
Rituals are like routines. Even simple ones like that morning cup of coffee and a check on Facebook can induce immense pleasure, a sense of peace, make you feel relaxed and bring feelings of gratitude. Bed routine makes children feel safe and settled. And so adults.
Even though people are more likely to turn to rituals when they face situations where the outcome is :
. beyond their control. or in the face of losses (such as the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship)
we can all benefit from them. Rituals have been proven effective in many ways, from improving attention and execution to increasing emotional stability and confidence, to reducing feelings of grief.
And while some rituals are unlikely to be effective – knocking on wood will not bring rain – many everyday rituals make a lot of sense and are surprisingly effective. So keep on doing your affirmations, pounding your feet strongly on the ground several times, lighting up candles and counting to three before answering the phone:)
Source: Scientific American, May 2013
Sending good thoughts your way,