Rituals and the sense of control

Rituals and the sense of control

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.

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The Restorative Power of Ritual

hbr.org

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  • Rituals in the face of loss can help us feel less grief.
  • Rituals with families can make us feel closer.
  • Rituals with our partners can reinforce our commitment to each other.

They are not “elaborate religious ceremonies”, but more often just private and idiosyncratic activities.

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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).

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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.

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Reality Reloaded

Pandemics, wars, and major social crisis create new kinds of attitudes, needs, and behaviors, which require mastering new skills and adjusting to the new realities.

One of the key factors in this unprecedented situation is the capacity to create, evolve, and carve out new pathways, new opportunities and a new passage towards growth. This is done by the power of Imagination.

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We Need Imagination Now More Than Ever

hbr.org

Why Holidays Feel Special
  • Holidays are filled with family get-togethers, rituals and many things that make us smile.
  • This period is bursting with sensory treats: great food, beautiful colors and lights, sounds of bells, crackers, or whistles, and the warmth of loved ones.
  • Family rituals are valuable, offering a large number of psychological benefits, like reconnecting with our loved ones, and a break from routine.
  • We let go of our anxiety and uncertainty and recite blessings, raise a glass of toast and perform increasingly meaningful rituals.

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An anthropologist explains why we love holiday rituals and traditions

theconversation.com

Minimizing The Brain Drain Caused By Your Devices
  • Whether you are using it or not, be aware of how much of your conscious thoughts are occupied by your devices.
  • Take your devices out of your sight and keep it so while you need to be productive.
  • Take notes by hand if possible. Studies show that writing by hand increases learning.
  • Don’t give up. Reducing the use of devices is hard and takes time.

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Hide Your Phone When You're Trying to Work. Seriously.

nytimes.com