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They are a powerful human mechanism for managing extreme emotions and stress, and we should be leaning on them now.
The utility of the ritual isn’t related to its practicality. Absurd rituals can have high utility. If it helps you create that sense of control, if it calms your anxiety, that’s what matters.
Repeated rituals seem to gain in strength, but even one-time rituals can be effective (for example, burning pictures in the place where you met your ex).
In dealing with the current pandemic, people are using technology to recreate their rituals as best they can. But they’re also inventing new ones.
The loss of many of our public rituals, including things as simple as meeting a friend for coffee or a drink, has led people to naturally look for new ones.
They are not “elaborate religious ceremonies”, but more often just private and idiosyncratic activities.
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I’ll sleep when I am dead.
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