The main difference between a routine and a ritual is the intent you put behind each. Rituals are meaningful because you are putting mindfulness into practice. You are engaged in the process of performing a ritual in a way you may not be engaged in performing a routine task.
Health Benefits of Mindful Rituals
Not every routine needs to become a ritual, but every routine has the potential to become a ritual if you desire to make it meaningful. The biggest difference between a routine and a ritual is your intent.
In The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to The Practice of Meditation, Thicht Nhat Hanh talks about “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.” He says that if, while we are washing the dishes we are thinking of something other than washing the dishes, then we are not living. We are sucked by our thoughts into the future (or the past) and are incapable of living each moment of life.
When you put mindfulness to practice you are living in the moment and this helps to improve your health. Some of the health benefits of mindfulness include:
- Better memory
- Improved mood
- Better sleep.
- Lower blood pressure
- Lower blood sugar
- Balanced hormones
- Improved immunity
- Fewer headaches
- Less pain