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Get into the Habit
Gretchen Rubin is a former lawyer who is currently working on a book entitled, The Happiness Project; she blogs on her site about all things happiness and some of the posts appear on The Huffington Post. Rubin recently tackled the issue of rituals, and how they factor into happiness; for her, they are “both calming and energizing” at the same time.
Rubin brings up the example of exams, and standardized testing comes to mind as well. Test days are stressful, but there are certain rituals associated with them—precise timing, particular pencils, specific directions—that provide a predictable formula. One knows what to expect and is comforted by it, even if there is still some fear and discouragement involved.
Imagine a scenario where none of that testing structure existed. Rubin recalls in college when, “people would hurry to the professor’s desk, grab a paper, and shove each other out of the way to sit down.”
On the other hand, positive experiences like packing for a trip or going on a date also have rituals, and more fun ones at that! There are many rituals in life, some performed on a daily basis even if you don’t think of them as such. Can you think of some that are comforting and reassuring? [The Happiness Project]