Rahil Arora

Security | Fitness | Mindfulness

Ritual vs Habit

28 January 2022

A ritual always has an intention and often consists of a rigid sequence of behaviors often performed in the same order. We always think of this intention before we perform a ritual at any given point. Rituals are a great way to calm down inner chatter and negative manifestations of inner voice. Rituals provide us with a sense of order by giving us an illusion of control.

Many athletes perform certain rituals to calm their nerves during a high stake event. Rafael Nadal’s on-court rituals in Tennis is a great example. Cultural rituals can help us feel connected within a society, while offering some benefits on their own. Growing up in India, I always questioned many such rituals my family followed as they did not make too much sense back then. But some of them do make sense now.

A habit, on the other hand, does not follow a strict sequence and does not alway have an intention. A habit might be related to a particular long term goal but we often do not think about that goal every time a particular habit is in action.