The Amazing Power of a Tiny Ritual

I’m reading the Harvard research study on the power of rituals, and I recall the very day my husband and I instituted a little ritual that’s become a huge part of our marriage.

The research shows how rituals increase happiness, meaning, and enjoyment of the day. Our little ritual is gathering around the coffee pot in the morning and sharing a delicious cup of coffee. The children aren’t awake. The house is quiet.

It’s just us–with our coffee ritual.

My husband, by the way, was never a coffee drinker. He became one for me. He decided that we could share a little morning ritual that had nothing to do with our children or our work. It happens the same way every single morning. The same order. The same cups. The same coffee.

Even when we travel, we find a way to have our ritual.

A ritual, technically, is a kind of ceremony; it’s a series of actions you perform in a prescribed order.

Rituals lend a particular significance to whatever event you decide to ritualize.

Maybe it’s something before a meal. Maybe it’s a bedtime ritual. Maybe it’s a mid-day pause to slow down and think about how you’re living and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Some of us have writing rituals, praying rituals, cooking rituals, eating rituals, or sleeping rituals.

I’d like to think more about ways I can have special rituals in friendship, marriage, and parenting.

The research shows that ritualizing–even in small ways–affords huge benefits.

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Do you have family rituals?

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2 thoughts on “The Amazing Power of a Tiny Ritual

  1. I was first introduced to the power of rituals when my best-friend told me about a ritual she has with her (now) husband: Every month they have a special evening on the date they met. I suggested this to me part and for several years now, we have an evening just for us cooking an excellent meal plus dessert (we are taking turns in preparing the main dish and the dessert) once a month. We also have a rather funny bedtime ritual and I noticed that this really helps on days when we had an argument or stress: Just a gesture that he is willing to perform our ritual assures me of his love and makes me sleep so much better.

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