Humans are forgetful. We’re not perfect deliverers on the good intentions we set for ourselves. We need to be reminded, and reminded again. The big religions recognised this aspect of how our minds work and reminded us of the things we need to do by building rituals around them: Saying grace before a meal is an exercise in gratitude, Zakat in Islam makes a habit of charitable giving.
But now, as we leave organised religion to the bygone era, we can still see value in perpetuating positive habits. Now we’re not telling you to say grace before every meal, but think about it; how about a little gratitude when you have the time to sit down, maybe even with your loved ones and ideally around a tasty meal.
At Happy Not Perfect, we’ve identified the value in creating healthy rituals. But while our society is pretty well trained in rituals of hygiene and understand the importance of nurturing our basic human needs, we may not see where looking after our mind fits in our day.
According to Gretchen Rubin “What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in your life”.
Think of it this way: What matters more for your life in the long run? If you ran a marathon once or if you run 20 minutes everyday? Your mind, just like your body will be thankful for your regularity, for that little bit you do every day.
Now changing old habits and creating new ones isn’t as easy as we’d like it to be. But in order to incorporate healthy, positive rituals into your routine you need three things in place:
Motivation, Capability, Opportunity
Really think about these pillars, they’re the foundation of any behavioural change. If today, you feel that you don’t have the motivation to exercise, appreciate that you have the capability AND the opportunity to do so. By recognising the existence of these two, you’re more likely to work on that third one.
And if you’re still thinking you just don’t have the time to add to your to-do-list, pair it up!
- Do a breathing exercise in the shower
- Exercise compassion while you’re brushing your teeth
- Have a big glass of water every time you check Instagram
- Try our Maze game on your morning commute.
Or if you want to start nice and easy, just give yourself or someone a smile every day; it triggers the brain to release happy hormones. So smile while you hit that snooze button, when someone holds the door for you, or when you hear someone laugh.
So develop positive daily rituals of your own, and you’ll quickly find yourself on a path towards happiness.