When we’re talking about adding health and happiness to our lives, it can seem overwhelming to add one more thing into our day. That’s why creating a daily ritual that we rely on for stability, peace and calm is actually so important, says Kimberly Jonas, founder and principle alchemist at BodyMantra. “When you make a commitment to a simple, regular ritual, you are inherently committing to transformation in the long run,” she comments. “Because those day-by-day, small steps eventually add up to one giant leap.”
How to Create a Daily Ritual for Health and Happiness
Kimberly says that major change doesn’t happen overnight. “The process of changing old habits or bringing new experiences into our lives takes time,” she says. That’s why patience with yourself as you begin anything new is key. “Even if you feel disconnected or agitated, your brain and body will still get on board. That’s the beauty of how consistent rituals work—they’ll come in the back door on the days when you don’t feel like opening the front one.”
Step 1: Focus
The key with daily ritual is focus. You want to hone in on the one, most important thing that needs your attention. It’s exactly the opposite of a to-do list with 20 things on it.
Start by writing down everything that’s upsetting, frustrating or confusing you (e.g. I keep fighting with my child; I don’t feel close to my spouse these days; I’m worried about my chronic high blood pressure). Don’t edit. Get everything down that comes to mind.
Step 2: What Calls to You
Next, take time to to look through what you’ve written and notice what pops out. You want to hone in on the one thing that calls to you the most. That’s what you want to build your mantra on.
Step 3: Mantra
Kimberly says that a mantra is a spoken word or phrase that is repeated in order to concentrate energy. It might be simple in construction, she says, but “it’s designed to have the force of your full story behind it.”
Her example is someone struggling with not speaking up for herself. To develop a mantra around this, you want to write down all the affirmations and goals you want the mantra to cover—again, without self-editing.
- I want to be leading department meetings once a month.
- I am confident when I speak my opinions.
- I can disagree with my friends and still have them like me.
- I want to be valued for what I have to say.
After you’ve written these down, Kimberly says you’ll probably see a common thread. “In this case, it could be, ‘I will challenge myself to speak up and be heard,'” she says. “Or it could be even more straightforward: ‘Speak up.'”
The key, she says, is to keep it simple, even though the “depth of your entire story” is behind it. “When you speak this mantra, you know that it’s covering a lot of ground. That you are tending many pieces of your story on a deep level,” Kimberly says.
Step 4: Daily Ritual
Kimberly recommends choosing a time of day (after a morning shower or evening bath) when you can practice your mantra and incorporate some essential oil blends to help facilitate your practice.
“At BodyMantra, we use the tool of essential oil blends for this purpose, activating 3 realms—physical, mental, energetic. We believe that the entire system needs to be on board in order for true transformation to happen. Each blend is formulated to activate all of these areas, with the essential oils doing work to heal body, mind and spirit.”
For the “speak up” mantra we talked about above, Kimberly recommends her Truth Serum blend. “[It’s] designed to help you find your voice, speak your truth, open to your most authentic self-expression,” she says. Apply the oil to the throat and neck area, “specifically invoking the power of the throat chakra while speaking and feeling the mantra.”
Step 5: Commitment
“Daily attention to our emotional and physical state has more lasting benefit to our health and happiness than intermittent recovery periods in the form of vacation or ‘down time,'” says Kimberly. That’s why committing to this ritual is important. “When you take 5 minutes to calm down from a bit of overwhelm or to focus on something that isn’t solely about urgency, you let your entire system know that you have its back,” she comments. “That you are committed to calibrating along the way, rather than letting things go until everything falls apart.”