It is unlikely that anyone wakes up one day and says that they hope the day is chaotic, but unfortunately, our lives often end up in chaos. Perhaps it is due to a job, extended family, or even children or maybe, it is the consequences of our own actions that bring this about. Regardless of the reason behind the chaos, when it happens, it tends to take over everything. It seems like peace is suddenly unreachable and you may struggle not to totally lose your cool. If this sounds familiar, then you are not alone. Almost ¾ of all Americans regularly experience symptoms that are caused by stress. Of these, almost 80% regularly have associated physical symptoms. Almost half of all Americans feel that stress has negative impacts on their personal and professional lives. A little over a quarter feel they are always under some type of stress. This just shows that we are stressed out and if this is a daily thing, it can be tough to think we can ever find peace.
The truth is, inner peace is not dependent on circumstances. Sometimes peace is easy to find because everything in life is calm and wonderful, but other times, it seems like one terrible event follows the last without a break. The great news is that you can learn to cultivate peace regardless of your circumstances. This is true peace.
Tips to Find Peace
- Meditate – Spending just a few minutes each day using meditation can reduce the stress and anxiety you feel. This is a mental exercise that quiets the mind and brings focus to a single thought or action, like a mantra or breathing. Meditation cultivates awareness, increases calm, and improves overall focus. It has proven psychological and medical benefits that include lowering heart rate and blood pressure and increasing intelligence and stability.
- Gratitude Practice – Cultivating gratitude is free, simple, and can make a huge difference in your world view. Several studies have shown that those people who are grateful are healthier mentally and physically speaking. Those who practice gratitude are less aggressive, more empathetic, mentally resilient, and have higher self-esteem. To practice gratitude, you can keep it as simple as jotting down a few things each day you are grateful for or even just noting it in your phone. Some people prefer a gratitude board that serves as a daily reminder. Focusing on gratitude helps you focus on what really matters and provides perspective when things are going poorly.
- Fill Your Mind with Goodness – There is a great deal going on in the world that can cause stress. Some days, the news is nothing but the negative. Staying informed is important, but when you get overwhelmed it can leave you hopeless. If you start to feel down, break the cycle by listening to some upbeat music or a podcast. Check out the media for good news to shift from a negative perspective to a more peaceful one.
- Declutter – Physical space can profoundly affect our feelings. A disorganized, cluttered space can leave you overwhelmed and steal inner peace. Start small if needed with some trash bags and boxes to separate out donations, trash, and unwanted items. Decluttering can quickly have you feeling better.
- Stop Comparing – It is tempting to compare our lives to those around us, but we need to stay self-focused. This is in part because we are comparing our real lives with what we perceive of others, which is often different from their reality. Comparison can leave us feeling jealous and taint our relationships with others. If we can learn to put aside envy and replace it with happiness for others, we will find deeper peace.
- Outdoors – Spending even a few minutes outdoors can be uplifting and bring about peace. Go for a short walk or run or even just stand outside in the sunshine to gain benefits. Make it a point to spend a few minutes outdoors daily.
- Healthy Boundaries – Difficult people in our life can be a roadblock to peace. If we establish healthy boundaries, we can stay distanced from toxic people who steal our peace.
- Don’t Dwell – If you have ever met someone who can tell you every bad thing that has ever happened to them, but has nothing positive about life, then you know they are miserable. Stop dwelling on the past and holding to grudges because this will steal your inner peace. This doesn’t mean allowing people to hurt you continually, but to let go of what has hurt you and focus on the present instead.
- Turn Off Notifications – Society is “always on” and focused on electronics. Being constantly notified of everything can take away every peaceful moment. Take a few hours each day or week to disconnect and watch how much can be accomplished.
- Stop Worrying About Others Opinions – Whether you are the most incredible person in the world or horrible, what others think of you does not matter. You cannot find peace if you are trying to live up to the standards of others. Be proud of who you are and what you are trying to be for your life. Be confident in your decisions and make good choices for yourself to find inner peace.
Most of these suggestions are easy and can begin right now. You may be shocked at how quickly you see and feel a difference in your daily interactions.