Rituals are part of all cultures and traditions. We pass rituals down from generation to generation. In this episode, I reflect on the link between rituals and happiness.
What are rituals?
Rituals are activities (or gestures, words or sounds) performed in a certain order. These activities are symbolic, and the ritual doesn’t have to be useful – so it doesn’t have an outcome.
A BBC article describes a ritual of Papua New Guinea fishermen who would paint their boats in certain colours before heading out to sea. They would not perform this ritual if they were fishing in the calm lagoon. Painting their boats helped them to reduce their anxiety.
Some rituals are very drastic and may reduce stress and anxiety in dangerous environments or help societies with immediate survival by showing how much pain can be endured. However, I prefer rituals that welcome life (e.g. baptism), tea or coffee ceremonies and celebrations of community.
Rituals provide stability and consistency in a chaotic world. Performing them helps us deal with stress. Celebrating these rituals increases happiness.
Listen here and comment below:
Look at the Podcast overview page if you haven’t listened to my other episodes. I have covered general topics like what happiness is and how gratitude, positive thinking, being social and healthy habits support happiness. I’m talking about topics like global warming, play and negativity bias. And most importantly, I have answered the question of who is responsible for your happiness and what to do about it.
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