“Peace of mind is not the absence of conflict from life, but the ability to cope with it.” – Unknown
What is inner peace?
Inner peace (or peace of mind) refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being “at peace” is considered by many to be healthy (homeostasis) and the opposite of being stressed or anxious. (source)
According to the research of Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University, a human being has approximately 60,000 thoughts per day—and 90% of these are repetitive!
WHAT? Yes, 60,000 thoughts and 90% are repetitive.
It’s like a huge factory producing the same thought over and over again.
We lead busy, demanding lives at work and at home. There is hardly ever a quiet, peaceful moment. And if there is, we usually fill it with things like reading a book, watching tv, Facebook or taking care of other things that got left behind.
When are our minds ever at peace? And if the mind is not at peace, neither is the body.
Below are a few ideas of how you can help your mind and body find some peace in your busy life.
SOUND / MUSIC
When babies cry, nothing soothes them more that the sound of their mother’s voice, singing to them softly.
So when you need to find peace, try to listen to some soothing sounds or quiet, acoustic guitar or classic music.
“One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” – Bob Marley
Remember that wonderful feeling you had the last time you selflessly helped out a friend in need? Compassion for others makes us feel part of this world and creates a oneness. The Dalai Lama can show you How to be compassionate.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama
Accepting what is, is the first step to inner peace. Accepting yourself, accepting things and people the way they are.
“Peace of mind comes from not wanting to change others.” – Gerald G. Jampolsky
“Nothing external to you has any power over you.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Visualization is like watching a movie in your head, only you control the scenes. It helps to be in a quiet place with no outside distractions. Lie back, close your eyes, and try to picture vividly the scene you want to visualize. After you get a clear image in your head, start to add people and noises to the ‘movie’. Slowly build the image until you have a whole picture of the scene and can really feel yourself being involved in the action. (source)
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Gautama Buddha
Here are 17 ways to practice affirmations.
“Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.” – Eckhart Tolle
Do I really need to tell you that meditation is good for you? Well, if you want to try it, let the guru of meditation, Deepak Chopra, guide you through it.
“Meditation is the soul’s perspective glass.” -Owen Feltham
Research shows that when we count three blessings a day, we get a measurable boost in happiness that uplifts and energizes us. It’s also physiologically impossible to be stressed and thankful at the same time. If you are focusing on being thankful, you can’t be negative.
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” – Melody Beattie
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” – John Burroughs
Smiling makes you feel better even if you are not happy. Just upping the corners of your mouth makes life easier. Trust me. And laughing can cure the worst diseases.
“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”- Phyllis Diller
We have agendas that are full of things to do. But we often also have houses and minds that are full of stuff. There is no need to become a minimalistic zen master, but simplifying things by decluttering is a very good first step. You can read some tips on how to get rid of clutter here and here.
“The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.” – Hans Hofmann
A bit like getting rid of clutter, forgiveness gets rid of anger and bitterness. It is a difficult, yet necessary step to inner peace. Read more here.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi
DO MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE
This is actually rule number one to find inner peace and be happy. DO WHAT YOU LOVE. Make a list of (simple) things you love. Then go out and do more of them.
“A happy life is just a string of happy moments. But most people don’t allow the happy moment, because they’re so busy trying to get a happy life.” – Abraham Hicks
GET A WORD OF THE YEAR
Each year I choose a word that represents who I want to be or grow into. Whenever life is off kilter, I breathe and remember the word. It’s like an umbrella as it spreads over all areas of my life and protects me from veering off course.