At Shakti Therapy and Healing Services, the therapeutic process is a holistic and psychotherapeutic approach to help you realize that you are an integral part of the vast and complex web of life. At this therapy practice in Los Angeles, you learn you are not separate from nature, from yourself, or even from each other -in a very real way, every one of your decisions and practices affects all realms.
With this connection to all realms, I invite you to reflect on your rituals for the purpose of creating meaning and purpose in your life.
WHAT IS A RITUAL:
The word ritual has many meanings and can be heavily impacted by your cultural or religious background. They can take many different shapes and forms by being practiced in communal or religious settings, to solitude practices. Rituals are a big part of the mental health and wellness process at Shakti Therapy because they are healthy tools that help you gain a sense of control when you are struggling with anxiety or depression. As described by the Collins English Dictionary, “A ritual is a way of behaving or a series of actions which people regularly to carry out in a particular situation, because it is their custom to do so.” Rituals can vary from lighting a candle that has a special meaning tied to an intention to simply practicing gratitude every night to honor your day. Some ethnic and ancestral communities use the practice of rituals by creating an altar for ancestors or connecting with the elements of water, fire, air, or earth. Since the beginning of time, rituals have been a significant part of religious, spiritual and cultural practices. In essence, rituals are unique to each person as they cultivate the meaning and purpose behind them.
MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF CREATING RITUALS:
According to Shakti Therapy & Healing Services, a holistic group practice in Los Angeles, CA, rituals can help you not only have a consistent practice that is dedicated to you, but have other mental health benefits. You may engage in a ritual with the intention of achieving a desired outcome such as reducing your anxiety, boosting motivation, or moving through the grief process. Here is a list of few researched benefits of creating rituals:
Greater sense of control
Improves attention span
Increases emotional regulation
Builds confidence and self-esteem
Reduces long-term grief caused by losses (such as the death of a loved one)
Decrease frustration with an experience (losing a game)
Shifts the limiting belief voice in your mind into a supportive practice
Increases presence and mindfulness
Calms the mind and reduces anxiety
Improved sleep by reducing stress, high blood pressure and elevated heart rates
Facilitated deep connection and awareness to self
Research has demonstrated that the performance of using rituals improves attention, increases emotional stability, and boosts confidence.
HOW TO CREATE RITUALS:
When reflecting on how to invite rituals into your life, ask yourself these 5 questions:
What are 3 to 4 important values that I hold?
How can I create space to honor my values using rituals?
Where can I add rituals as part of my lifestyle?
What rituals have I set up in my life already?
What rituals are serving me? What rituals are hindering me?
Once you have reflected on those questions, get creative about how you will carry out the ritual. What actions will you take to engage in your ritual? What items do I need or already have for my ritual? How often will I honor my ritual? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Look up ideas on different rituals or reflect on rituals within your culture.
Engaging in ritualistic practices that hold meaning and purpose can be a protective force for your mental health. Rituals can help you embody your values and core beliefs, which impact the way you feel about yourself. They can help you move towards alignment when engaging in deliberate and meaningful acts representative of different values such as self-love, abundance, or groundedness. Naturally, you can also move towards positive core beliefs, such as, “I am loved” when engaging in ritualistic acts that reinforce this very notion. As Warren Buffet puts it, rituals are like habits, and “chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.”
Most importantly, the purpose of rituals is the intention behind it. An intention is a purposeful way of pursuing your desires that comes from within you and drives you to plan or achieve something. It is a powerful way to devictimize yourself and become the conscious creator of your life. It is important that you invite and engage in rituals that resonate with you, meaning that this is an intimate choice. Tap into your Shakti, your inner healing intelligence, to find out what rituals are most connected to your purpose and desire.
Choose what feels right for you..
Do what resonates deeply in your heart.
Dedicate yourself to your practice.
Overall, rituals are a means of improving your spiritual health by connecting with yourself in a deeper way and in actively shifting your mindsets. Not only does this develop self-awareness, it also allows you to consistently engage in personal development. As mentioned by Colorado State University, “Spirituality is the aspect of humanity that refers to the way individuals seek and express meaning and purpose and the way they experience their connectedness to the moment, to self, to others, to nature, and to the significant or sacred.” Through rituals, you are satisfying your divine calling to bring meaning and purpose in your life. What ritual will you set this year?
Ektha Aggarwal is a licensed South Asian Therapist and CEO of Shakti Therapy and Healing Services in Los Angeles, CA. Ektha specializes in working with South Asians (Indian & Desi) and people of color to break the stigma around mental health and instill the concept of immigrant resilience. If you are ready to feel empowered, effortlessly achieve your goals, and feel more happiness in your life, schedule a complimentary consultation now.