Rituals are activities or behaviors that develop over time and occur regularly. We see them as positive events and look forward to participating in them. They can include everything from small daily activities, such as sharing a cup of coffee in the morning or eating dinner together as a family, to major annual events, such as celebrating Christmas with extended family or taking a yearly trip to a mountain cabin. Rituals create beneficial structure in our lives and add predictability, meaning and joy. They also build intimacy in a marriage and among family members, help us define our values as a couple or family, and provide a source of strength in tough times.
That all sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? But what does it have to do with living calmer, healthier or sexier?
Rituals can add a distinct layer of calm to our lives. They build the kind of structure we yearn for, especially when we’re under stress. We look forward to them, anticipate them, and revel in them. Both small and large rituals can play this calming role. For example, my husband (a morning person) brings me (not a morning person!) a cup of coffee every morning. We sit in bed together and drink our coffee and talk for about 20 minutes. This small act creates a positive starting point for our days, no matter what those days may bring. Large rituals can play a similar role. For example, developing family birthday traditions and creating a celebration for each family member on his or her birthday gives everyone something to look forward to and builds a sense of family unity. The net effect of the small and large rituals in our lives is a stronger, calmer base of support from which we can take on the stresses of everyday life.
In addition to promoting calm and enhancing mental health, rituals can strengthen our physical health. Walking every morning or every evening after dinner, cooking healthy foods at home, teaching children to cook, enjoying family meals together, riding bikes with the children on Saturdays, developing an active family hobby, and going to bed together at a reasonable hour are all activities that strengthen both our relationships and our bodies.
Last, but definitely not least, we can create rituals that increase intimacy and promote great sex with our husbands. These rituals consist of practices that allow us to slow down, to communicate and to insert some space between the busyness of the day and times of intimacy. Relaxing together with a glass of wine (after the kids have gone to bed!), giving each other a back rub or massage once a week, enjoying regular Saturday morning sex, maintaining a regular date night, and planning celebrations for special occasions all build intimacy and create an atmosphere in which our sex lives can flourish.
Have you developed rituals in your marriage or family that allow you to live a calmer, healthier or sexier life? Please share them in the Comments – I would love to hear from you. I also would love for you to subscribe to Calm.Healthy.Sexy. by email. Enter your email address in the sidebar (under Subscribe to Blog Via Email). And please follow Calm.Healthy.Sexy. on Twitter (@CalmHealthySexy), Facebook, or Pinterest. Gaye
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