Do you ever feel like some days are so busy that you just don’t know what to do next? Do you ever feel like just crawling back in bed because it is easier than facing the day? These are just a couple of warning signals that you may need a more peaceful life.
Although it seems impossible some days, you can have peace. It just takes some dedication at first, and eventually it becomes a natural part of your day.
You may wonder, how in the world can it be a natural part of my day? Well, some things in life take a little bit of time and practice to achieve, but once you achieve them, you’re good to go. An example is riding a bike. You learn and work toward being able to spin the wheels, steer, and brake, and once you master it, you no longer need to practice. Not all things are like this, though. Some things require a consistent effort to reap the benefits. What category do you think inner peace falls under?
Easy as riding a bike? Guess again. Cultivating inner peace is like a muscle; you need to be constantly practicing it and innovating your approach as life brings you new challenges. The beauty of cultivating inner peace is that it is found within the practice. No perfection is required. Here are five ways to find that inner peace you may be lacking.
It’s time to sit cross-legged and practice your ‘ohms’ because meditation is one of the top “activities” to cultivating peace of mind. Just kidding.
You don’t have to cross your legs and chant for hours at a time! Practicing the simple meditation of paying attention to your breath for a few minutes a day is all it takes to reap the benefits of reduced anger, less reaction to undesired situations, and lower stress levels. In other words: Inner peace.
If you prefer, there are many guided meditations available via the internet, or on YouTube. Click here for a special meditation I recorded in Rockford, Michigan.
It only takes twenty minutes of outdoor time daily to encourage more inner peace. The benefits of spending time outside are two-fold: It calms the left side of the brain that tends to grow restless, and it stimulates the right hemisphere, resulting in greater happiness and peace. Enjoy your time in nature-marvel at birds flying, see deeply the beauty of the flowers, and smile as you watch the clouds float by.
Are you a city dweller? Then find a local park and go for a quick walk, or a nice outdoor view of the city where you can soak up the sunshine. Maybe you prefer to be outside at night and gaze at the stars. Whatever works for you, the important thing is to get outside of your every day environment and appreciate your surroundings.
3) Be grateful
Find ways to be grateful. Daily gratitude journals are trending for a reason -they really work! Several research studies prove that people who document 2-3 things they’re grateful for everyday are much more likely to be positive-minded and less likely to venture down the pathway of negativity.
Show your gratitude to others. Thank the person who waits on you in the store or in line at the coffee shop. Send someone a thank you card, or a thank you text letting them know something you genuinely appreciate about them. Thank you doesn’t take much time to say or write, but it can make someone’s day. The gratitude you share with others will come back to you many times over.
Inner peace naturally develops when you focus on all the amazing things you have in your life.
4) Spend time with yourself
When I had my super stressful corporate job, I had a little sign in my office that I would use the first few minutes of each morning. I would hang it on the doorknob and close my office door for a few minutes. It said “Planing and Solitude in Process. Please do not disturb.” It was just a small little sign, and made many of my co-workers laugh. However, it was the most important part of my morning. I needed a few minutes of silence, and then some time to plan the workday.
If you don’t have the type of job or lifestyle that lets you have a few minutes in the morning, then look for other times of the day. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily hustle and forget that you’ve had no quiet time to yourself all day. Even spending 10-15 minutes at lunchtime, after work, or whatever time of the day works, with yourself will help you unwind from the stresses and worries from the day. Do something you enjoy – read a good book, enjoy your favorite hobby, or just sit in the stillness with no interruptions. Whatever you choose, make it a priority and schedule it just as you would a doctor appointment or other important event you cannot miss.
On a side note, if you schedule it with the same priority as you would schedule a doctor appointment, the chances are you may need less doctor appointments. Studies have shown that people with more peaceful lifestyles have less need to get medical care than those who are constantly in a state of stress.
Ever heard of loving-kindness? This term is common among yoga and mindfulness practitioners because exercising kindness is part of the life-altering journey on the path to serenity. It’s not always easy to remember to do, but it’s an integral part of the daily Practices that go into achieving a peace-filled life.
Being kind is not something that has to be elaborate. Much like showing gratitude, you can show kindness in many ways. Send a small gift to a child, call a shut in to let them know you are thinking of them, pay for someone’s order in line behind you. The possibilities are endless.
At first it may seem like this is a lot to take in. Don’t feel you have to implement all five practices at once. Maybe try one a week for awhile and see how it goes. Experiment with other peaceful life tools, and find those that work best for you. The key is consistent, daily practice mixed in with a little grace on the side for when you might get distracted.
It is my sincere hope that these five tips will help you on your journey find your peace.
Find your purpose – find your joy!