Not that we totally believe in them, but superstitions are fascinating. Where did these odd rituals come from? And why do we continue to carry on these traditions? Are our bodies and minds just trained to knock on wood so we don’t jinx something, or to frantically make a wish when the clock strikes 11:11? The sanest reasoning behind why we have certain superstitions surrounds feeling safe and a sense of comfort. They can even trigger nostalgic memories with our families and childhood friends when we have carried the practices into our adult lives.
To weigh in on the topic and shed light on why we have superstitions to begin with, we tapped Jennifer Galvan, a licensed clinical psychologist. “In essence, superstitions ease anxiety by creating a false sense of control over external (or outside) conditions. It allows us to feel as though we have some power over a hectic world, which in turn creates comfort. Positive or luck-enhancing superstitions provide a psychological benefit that can actually increase performance in activities, such as sports and academics. The superstitious behavior increases perceived self-efficacy and therefore increases self-confidence,” she adds.
Aging back to Greek and Roman mythology—many of their myths came from fear and trying to explain it—as humans, we have a natural urge to try and control the unknown. Fast-forward to present day and enter the superstitions we continue to “believe” in. Below, team Poosh shares the superstitions we still catch ourselves practicing.
-If you accidentally run through a yellow light, with two fingers, kiss your lips, hit the dashboard, then the ceiling of your car.
-If you go through a tunnel, lick your finger, touch the ceiling, hold your breath, and make a wish.
-If you hear a fire engine, touch your hair.
-Similar to Kourt’s, if you accidentally run through a yellow light, hit the dashboard and the ceiling.
-When going over train tracks (as a passenger), hold your feet up and make a wish.
-Growing up, my mom told me that when sweeping, you should never sweep the dirt or dust from inside the house to the outside of the house. For example, you shouldn’t open a door and sweep the dirt out. By doing this, you are also sweeping away your good fortune! I always sweep it into a dustpan and throw it in the trash instead.
-I come from a Filipino background, and one of the superstitions I grew up with has to do with cooking and hot water. When draining hot water from a pot into the sink, you say “kayu kayu apo.” This roughly translates to saying “excuse me, pardon.” You say this while pouring the hot water out to make sure you don’t burn any spirits that could be present. Even though I’m older now, I still catch myself saying this when I’m cooking.
-At the start of the month, the first thing you should say when you wake up is “rabbit rabbit.”
-Make a wish at 11:11.
-When you see a black cat cross a street, say “buttermilk” three times to pass the bad omens.
-Don’t share your dreams before you eat breakfast.
-Make a wish when you lose an eyelash.
-Don’t put shoes on a table.
-Hold your breath when you drive through a tunnel.
-Hats on a bed are bad luck.
-Purse on a floor is bad luck.
-When you cheers or clink glasses, you must look the person in the eye.
-Knock on wood.
-Knock on wood to reverse bad luck.
-Toasting with water is bad luck.
-Don’t open umbrellas indoors.
What superstitions do you “believe” in? Let us know in the comments on Instagram.