Why Rituals Work | Why Gardening is the Ritual You’ve Been Missing in Your Life

Harvesting fresh kale

Throughout time, we’ve performed rituals. From weddings to rain dances to crossing our fingers, these rituals are performed regularly to exact a specific effect. Today, most people consider rituals to be superstitious mumbo-jumbo, but here’s the thing: science shows they work to our benefit. Here’s why you need daily routines and rituals in your life, and why gardening should be one of them.

What is a Ritual?

People engage in rituals with the hope to achieve a specific outcome. Think of performers and athletes. Some people take exactly three practice swings before hitting the golf ball, some people don’t wash their socks the entire football season, and stage actors have a set series of warmups to be performed in a very specific order.

How Rituals Work

In reality, the ritual itself does nothing for the performance. However, the act of doing the ritual does a lot. According to Scientific American, simple rituals can be extremely effective. Simply put, they reduce anxiety and increase confidence. Even people who claim to believe that rituals are nonsense experience a benefit from performing them.

Rituals aren’t only performed before a game or show. They also enhance our performance in daily life. Steve Jobs always wore a turtleneck, Maya Angelou always got a cup of coffee with her husband at 5:30 a.m. Rituals are regular routines, performed with a specific intent, to help us achieve what we desire. (They are not simply habits!)

Go through your day in your head and discover what kind of rituals you have. Do you follow the exact same morning routine with the purpose of saving time? Do you buy exactly one beer at the bodega every day? Do you read for 15 minutes every night to lull yourself to sleep?

Some of our rituals are good, some could be done away with or improved. In any case, we can customize our rituals according to our own needs — whether that’s getting a good night’s sleep, organizing our day effectively, or finding inner peace.

Growing as a Ritual

Gardening is the ultimate ritual. It creates beauty and life around us, but it also works within our minds as a symbolic act and a daily routine that will enhance our lives. Here are 3 reasons why gardening is the ritual you’ve been missing in your life.

1. Gardening Inspires Gratitude

Spending time outside in nature while nurturing a plant reminds us of the beauty in the world, of the miracle that is growing, and of the people who have grown before us. As we grow, we become more grateful, and with gratitude comes a happier life.

2. Gardening Gives Self-Worth

Gardening is a valuable skill, and being able to make things grow is extremely fulfilling and validating. Making growing a ritual in your life will give you a sense of self-worth and confidence in your lifestyle and skill set.

3. Gardening Grounds You

Spending a moment outside in the sun with nature is proven to reduce anxiety. Furthermore, growing can be a meditative ritual for you — one in which you reset your day, ponder life, or set plans for the future. Whatever you need, you can let your mind replenish itself.

What are some of your rituals?

Growing is our most fulfilling ritual. Try it out and share your experiences with us!