As a society, people develop rituals to create structure, give meaning, and channel emotions through shared events.

Participating in healthy rituals can help you manage your thoughts and emotions and add meaning to your life. These four healthy rituals provide social health for you and the people around you.

Welcoming Rituals

When people enter a room, they usually want to be noticed and accepted for being there. Welcoming rituals acknowledge the person arriving and let them know they are accepted.


Being welcomed is important when people join any group, including parties, family gatherings, and business events. When two people meet together, welcoming rituals focus their attention on each other and the reason they got together.

Welcoming rituals include:

  • Saying Hello
  • Using a person’s name
  • Taking a person’s coat
  • Offering food or beverages
  • Introducing a person to others

Saying hi or hello is the most common welcoming ritual. The phrase immediately lets a person know that you are interested in their attendance and acknowledges their presence.

If you know the person’s name, using it when you greet them reinforces that they belong there. Offering to take a person’s coat or packages can relax them and help them feel they can stay.

And offering food or beverages, if appropriate, is a common way to great people, especially if you are the host. Food and drink are necessities. Offering them to someone shows them that you are willing to help meet their needs.

Introducing a person to others not only helps the incoming person, it can also help both people involved in the introduction.

By bringing people together through introduction, you show them that you care enough about them and know them well enough to help them spend time with people they might enjoying meeting. All these welcoming rituals are healthy ways to build social interaction.

Shared Meals

In ancient times, historians believe sharing a meal was a sign of peace because people couldn’t hold weapons if they were using their hands to eat. Food offers many benefits, from filling a fundamental need to providing enjoyment in its taste.

Sharing food is a way to share benefits and enjoyment. Scientists have studied people who eat with others and people who eat alone.


People who share meals often eat more than those that eat alone. Society has developed meals as a habit of sharing time with others, which improves people’s outlook and mindset.

People who are isolated, like many of the elderly, can suffer from poor nutrition when they don’t share meals with others. The connection between food and social interaction has developed into a strong human habit.

Ceremonies

Ceremonies are rituals that provide social health and structure in life. While the structure of different ceremonies may differ by culture or religion, there are common ceremonies found in most cultures.

  • New child
  • Coming of age
  • Completing education
  • Job progress
  • Marriage
  • Funeral

A baby shower is a common ceremony to welcome an expected child. A baby shower supports the mother and allows other women to pass on their knowledge and parenting wisdom.

Some religions also perform ceremonies shortly after a child is born, like baptism, bris, or naming ceremony, welcome the child into the community and designate the child as a member of the group.

Not every culture has a specific coming of age ceremony, but most have milestones to mark the passage from childhood into adulthood.

Getting a driver’s license, reaching a particular birthday, and family rituals like a first hunting trip, mark a child’s progress to becoming an adult. Graduation ceremonies can also be coming of age rituals.

In today’s society, many schools hold graduations after student’s complete kindergarten, high school, and college marking each step of a person’s progress.

Parties for promotions or retirement complete this circle by marking professional growth or acknowledging the contributions a person has made to society through their work.

Marriages and funerals help channel emotions and give meaning to relationships. A wedding announces people’s commitment to each other and celebrates what they may accomplish together.

Funerals offer comfort to those left behind by remembering the deceased person and their importance in other’s lives.

Giving Food or Gifts for Major Life Events

The ritual of celebrating major life events by giving someone a gift not only defines the importance of the moment, but it also brings people together by sharing something of a person’s self.


Whether the gift is store-bought or homemade, a gift shares one person’s time, thoughts, money, and effort with another person.

Giving gifts is part of the language of love or one of the ways people show affection. While some people value gift-giving more than others, society as a whole views gifts as a way to include a person and offer them a part of yourself.


Choosing the perfect gift for someone helps connect you to them because it shows you both know and understand each other.

Participating in healthy social rituals can provide you with an active, meaningful social life. Your social life helps you create a structure for your emotions and deepens your connections to other people.