Can following a superstition help you lose weight?
Two groups of people were enlisted in a study. The first group was asked to be mindful of what they ate for five days. The second group was told to perform a pre-meal ritual. First, they had to divide the food into two symmetrical halves on their plate. Next, they tapped their food thrice with their eating utensils. They were told that performing this ritual would remind them to reduce their food consumption.
As ridiculous as the ritual sounds, it was effective! The second group consumed fewer calories for no discernable reason than having followed a ritual that appeared pointless.
Rituals are powerful, since they influence us in ways we don’t consciously realize or appreciate. What’s more? You could craft your own rituals to harness them, since they don’t need to be steeped in years of tradition and culture to be effective.