We took family vacations regularly and rarely experienced big events separately. For instance, whenever I had a performance at school, my parents always made sure that one of them was there.
To quell your nerves, chances are you spent time preparing — reading up on the company, reviewing your slides, practicing your charming patter.
People facing situations that induce anxiety typically take comfort in engaging in preparatory activities, inducing a feeling of being back in control and reducing uncertainty. While a little extra preparation seems perfectly reasonable, people also engage in seemingly less logical behaviors in such situations.
I pound my feet strongly on the ground several times, I take several deep breaths, and I "shake" my body to remove any negative energies. I do this often before going to work, going into meetings, and at the front door before entering my house after a long day.
Rituals take an extraordinary array of shapes and forms. At times performed in communal or religious settings, at times performed in solitude; at times involving fixed, repeated sequences of actions, at other times not.
People engage in rituals with the intention of achieving a wide set of desired outcomes, from reducing their anxiety to boosting their confidence, alleviating their grief to performing well in a competition — or even making it rain.
Recent research suggests that rituals may be more rational than they appear. Because even simple rituals can be extremely effective. While anthropologists have documented rituals across cultures, this earlier research has been primarily observational.
And Wade Boggs, former third baseman for the Boston Red Sox, woke up at the same time each day, ate chicken before each game, took exactly ground balls in practice, took batting practice at 5: Boggs was not Jewish.
Do rituals like these actually improve performance? These findings are consistent with research in sport psychology demonstrating the performance benefits of pre-performance routines, from improving attention and execution to increasing emotional stability and confidence.
Humans feel uncertain and anxious in a host of situations beyond laboratory experiments and sports — like charting new terrain.
In the late s, anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski lived among the inhabitants of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. When residents went fishing in the turbulent, shark-infested waters beyond the coral reef, they performed specific rituals to invoke magical powers for their safety and protection.
When they fished in the calm waters of a lagoon, they treated the fishing trip as an ordinary event and did not perform any rituals. Malinowski suggested that people are more likely to turn to rituals when they face situations where the outcome is important and uncertain and beyond their control — as when sharks are present.
Rituals in the face of losses such as the death of a loved one or the end of a relationship or loss of limb from shark bite are ubiquitous.
There is such a wide variety of known mourning rituals that they can even be contradictory: People perform mourning rituals in an effort to alleviate their grief — but do they work?
Our research suggests they do. In one of our experimentswe asked people to recall and write about the death of a loved one or the end of a close relationship.
Some also wrote about a ritual they performed after experiencing the loss: I looked for all the pictures we took together during the time we dated.
I then destroyed them into small pieces even the ones Ireally liked! We found that people who wrote about engaging in a ritual reported feeling less grief than did those who only wrote about the loss. We next examined the power of rituals in alleviating disappointment in a more mundane context: To make the pain of losing even worse, we even asked them to think and write about all the ways they would use the money.
Some people were asked to engage in the following ritual: Draw how you currently feel on the piece of paper onyour desk for two minutes. Please sprinkle a pinch of salt on the paper with your drawing. Please tear up the piece of paper. Count up to ten in your head five times. Other people simply engaged in a task drawing how they felt for the same amount of time.
Those who performed a ritual after losing in the lottery reported feeling less grief. Our results suggest that engaging in rituals mitigates grief caused by both life-changing losses such as the death of a loved one and more mundane ones losing a lottery.
Rituals appear to be effective, but, given the wide variety of rituals documented by social scientists, do we know which types of rituals work best?
In a recent study conducted in Brazil, researchers studied people who perform simpatias: People perceive simpatias to be more effective depending on the number of steps involved, the repetition of procedures, and whether the steps are performed at a specified time.
While more research is needed, these intriguing results suggest that the specific nature of rituals may be crucial in understanding when they work — and when they do not.Drawing on a field study with eight families in northern England, we explore the traditions and rituals carried out at Christmas, looking at the artifacts and processes that constitute family .
Family rituals are the vehicles through which the family identity is delineated and transmitted to future generations. The choice of rituals, the underlying meanings contained in the ritual and the intensity of family involvement in the ritual are significant markers of family identity.
Family traditions are a sound way to foster a sense of stability and security, and this contributes to the emotional health, self-esteem, and self-respect of family members. Family rituals can be pretty much anything that a family does together. A ritual can be a daily bedtime or mealtime routine, daily prayers together, weekly family meetings, sharing circle, pizza night, game night, family movie night, annual religious celebrations, or hiking on the weekends.
Family rituals and routines bring families closer together.
As I share stories in the part of my blog called It’s All Bubba’s Fault! you hear a lot about the rituals and routines that have been so important to me and my family over the years.
Dec 21, · Why the rituals that "our family does" make it stronger while promoting early development.