Many athletes and sportspeople are superstitious. They wear lucky socks or carry around a special bottle cap to help them win a match or a medal.
It may sound silly, but there is some wisdom to back up their habits. Research shows that rituals can be useful for soothing anxiety. That is important because stress feels uncomfortable and hampers your performance.
At the same time, these repetitive actions can cause new troubles if they become excessive. Learn more about how to create your own safe and effective rituals that empower you.
Using Rituals to Relieve Anxiety
Whistling and flipping coins can help you to feel more in control. However, you may want to choose rituals that carry more meaning and deliver positive side effects.
Try these strategies:
1. Clear away clutter.
Putting your surroundings in order is doubly beneficial. Moving around will make you feel calmer, and your tidy desk and kitchen will help you stay peaceful.
2. Do housework.
If you have more energy and time, move on to dusting and mopping. Rhythmic activities are especially comforting. You may even save money by doing your own chores instead of hiring a housecleaner.
3. Listen to music.
Create playlists that work for you. You may prefer piano sonatas or country music. Singing and dancing help too.
4. Pat your pet.
Studies show that interacting with animals promotes healing and lowers your blood pressure. Walk a neighbor’s dog or hug a stuffed animal if you don’t have any pets.
5. Check your posture.
Take a deep breath and stand up straight. Your body will relax, and you will boost your circulation.
6. Dress up.
Many rituals involve clothing because your appearance can affect your thinking. Choose to wear clothing that you like and that is comfortable and flattering.
Taking Practical Action for Anxiety
Your sparkly purple socks won’t carry you to victory unless you know how to play tennis in the first place. It is most beneficial to use rituals in moderation and combine them with practical action.
These activities enable you to take positive actions:
1. Accept your feelings.
Trying to suppress your emotions can backfire. Allow yourself to feel nervous or confused.
2. Reframe your thoughts.
You can shift your mindset while you validate your feelings. Imagine that you are excited rather than anxious. Look for the positive aspects within any challenge.
3. Practice self-care.
Cultivating your mental and physical health will make you stronger and more resilient. Eat a nutritious diet and exercise regularly. Sleep well and manage stress.
4. Work out.
Physical activity is especially constructive for dealing with anxiety. Visit your local fitness center or set up a gym at home. Schedule a morning walk or swim before a busy day. Perhaps you could do a few minutes of pushups or stretches after a difficult phone call.
5. Make time for reflection and meditation.
Spirituality can help you transform obstacles into steppingstones for personal growth. Meditate and read spiritual books and articles connected with your belief system or find poems and quotations that inspire you.
6. Keep a journal.
Writing, drawing, and other creative activities help you to handle tension effectively. Use a journal to process your feelings and identify patterns that you want to change. You may want to explore other arts and crafts too.
7. Consider counseling.
What if your anxiety is severe or you become so dependent on your rituals that they start to interfere with your daily life? Professional help is available.
Put rituals to work for you when you are dealing with uncertainties or a challenging situation. Used wisely, they can restore your peace of mind and help you achieve the results you want.
Are you ready to make personal and spiritual changes in your life? Consider a one on one private session with Moira or a reading to free yourself from limitations and open yourself up to greater possibilities? Click here to open the door.
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