Welcome to HuffPost Canada’s guide to helping you pick up an easy, everyday ritual that can make your life a bit better, in a small but significant way.
Canadians are stressed out, anxious, and are feeling disconnected from each other. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, we’ll share a tiny tip to help you feel good. We’ve got your back.
Today’s habit: Read your 2020 horoscope.
What it is: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020 is the Lunar New Year, marking the first day of the Year of the Rat. The start of the new year is a great time to read your horoscope (or have it read for you), which predicts good and bad luck for the year ahead.
If you were born in the Year of the Rat (1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020), ChineseNewYear.net predicts 2020 will be a good year for you.
“Success will come in the form of career; celebrate the fact that your efforts will be rewarded and seen,” the website says. “On the other hand, your health and relationships will prove to be a struggle. Visit your doctor at the first sign of illness, and work toward creating a loving, open environment for all of your relationships. The year will have its issues, but the positive factors can turn it around.”
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However, Richmond, B.C.-based Chinese fortune teller and astrologer Sherman Tai told HuffPost Canada that if you’re a rat, this year will be unlucky and filled with “struggles, arguments, and opposition,” so you pick who to believe!
If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’re interested in horoscopes, but maybe you’re a bit skeptical — can you take horoscopes seriously or are they just for fun Regardless of where you stand on them, the practice can be beneficial for your well-being.
For whenever you’re feeling: Like you want to be prepared for what’s coming at you this year.
How it can help: Horoscopes hold a deep meaning for many people — a horoscope can suggest what your day, week, and year will look like; when to protect and conserve your luck; when you should work hard; when there will be travel; what your relationships will look like; when there will be an illness; what other signs of the zodiac you should ally with, and much more.
But take these forecasts with a grain of salt — they’re not based in science or fact. That being said, it’s OK to have fun with them!
Aside from giving us a guide to help us navigate your lives, horoscopes can also be good for our wellbeing, even if we don’t believe them. However, you shouldn’t use horoscopes as a substitute for mental-health therapies such as a doctor, a therapist, or medication.
Here are some ways that reading your horoscope can make your day a bit brighter:
1. They can provide comfort
Yes, horoscopes might hint at when you’re going to have a rough month at work/in a relationship/with your health, but they also “predict” your next big opportunity, when you will come into financial stability, that a risk at your job will pay off, that your relationships will be fruitful, or that you will have months of good health. And it’s those areas of focus that people will connect with and find comfort in.
According to Stuart Vyse, PhD, author of Believing in Magic: The Psychology of Superstition, people find comfort in horoscopes because we focus on the parts we can relate to. “Horoscopes tend to have a bias toward positive things,” Vyse told WebMd. “There isn’t a lot of negative material in them. That might be comforting to people.”
There’s no scientific basis for horoscopes although astrology has been practiced for at least 2,000 years — but Vyse said reading your horoscope can provide meaning and order to your life, which is also comforting. Whether you act on it though, can be another matter.
2. They can help you make easy decisions
Sometimes we just want a random, unbiased opinion to help us come to a decision. However, Vyse noted people should not to make important decisions (ie. should I do this surgery or not?) based on a horoscope.
Decisions that can be fun to make based on your horoscope can include things like whether you should join a dating app, what you should wear to work, whether to play the lottery (but don’t spend a lot of money!), if you should go on a second date with someone, and whether you should give up caffeine for a month.
As long as the decisions don’t affect your life in a significant way, letting your horoscope guide some of your day-to-day decision-making can be a fun diversion.
3. Horoscopes can help you become more self-aware
Reading horoscopes, coupled with learning about your zodiac sign, can increase your knowledge about yourself, whether you believe in them or not.
Each zodiac sign has its own particular set of traits and characteristics, and can tell you how to navigate the world and relationships based on these traits. This can make you think more deeply, and with more self-awareness, about your personality and how you navigate life, even if you don’t relate to the assigned personality traits of your zodiac sign.
“While it’s important to work with a skilled professional such as a therapist for deeper or more acute matters, astrology can be used as a personal development tool to help us understand our blocks and where we can self-sabotage,” Katie Sweetman, a consulting astrologer and the founder of Empowering Astrology, previously told HuffPost.
How to get started: Keep it simple: do an online search, pick up a newspaper, buy a book for fun, or look up a popular astrologer.
How it makes us feel: Although I personally don’t believe horoscopes can tell me anything about my future or personality, they’re a fun distraction and make for interesting reading. I’m actually more interested in the history of astrology and how people come up with zodiac and lunar charts than the actual horoscope itself.
And that’s your habit of the day.
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