Don’t Disturb the Peace
Don’t you find life to always be filled with stress? Doesn’t it seem like there is always something that happens which encompasses our entire attention, and thus drain our positive energy? As our society grows more and more complex, finding true peace becomes more like trying to find an oasis in the desert. My life is a busy one as well, being a wife, mother, working full time, and running a company and all of the stress & demands that comes with it, definitely takes its toll over time. Today was one of those days that it seemed my peace as destined to be disturbed but I finally took a moment to reflect on all that was going on around me and focus.
Therefore, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you seven of the methods that I use to find peace and disconnect from all that may be falling apart around me:
Be One with Nature
We spend so much time confined in buildings of steel and concrete and bricks that we quickly forget that it is natural for us to be in nature. This is why it feels so good and it is so peaceful when you take a walk in a park or bike on a local trail. As I am typing this blog, I am looking out my window to this gigantic tree in the back of my house. Watching its stillness, with the wind blowing through its branches calmly, it is a sight that not only inspires me, but also relaxes me. If you feel overwhelmed, take a stroll outside where there are many trees or go to a remote area far from the city. Just enjoy the sights, the sounds, and the peace.
Laugh a Little
Whenever you are laughing or smiling, something interesting happens. Not only does something happen on a chemical level to make you feel better, but it also stops all stress and negativity from entering your psyche. A simple smile can make such a difference. For example, I have a friend that I talk to almost every day and we laugh until our stomachs ache. It’s such a great part of my day that we have now decided to call it our “ab workout” for the day. I know I’ve been doing boot camp but I believe laughter with this crazy friend has contributed to the formation of my abs! So whenever you find yourself in a funky mood or things just aren’t going right, just think of the silver lining in the cloud that you think is following you, and don’t be afraid to just laugh until you cry. You will quickly realize that peace finds its way much more easily to you when you don’t take life so seriously.
When all else fails. Just breathe! Some days you may not have time to get outside and walk or laugh with your friends but one thing we all must do is breathe. Any time you bring attention to your breath, your mind can’t think about all your worries. I close my eyes and breathe in slowly for 8 seconds and then exhale for 8 seconds. Depending on the day I’m having I may need to repeat the deep breathing many times until I feel calm and centered. Breathing is healing. I have been interested in mediation for years but have not been able to sit still long enough to feel I can do it effectively. I discovered that by just closing my eyes and being aware of my breath is meditating. I have stopped pressuring myself to become a master yogi and decided that inhaling and exhaling with my eyes closed and being fully present is good enough for me.
Live in the Present Moment
Most of the time, what we worry about is relating to something either in the past, or something that hasn’t happened. Living in the present moment erases all such thoughts. Why worry about something in the past that we cannot ever change? Why worry about something that we are not even sure will happen? This is why in the present moment, you find true inner peace. In the present moment, there are no problems and no concerns. There is only stillness, and it is within that stillness that you can uncover peace.
Embrace your beliefs
Faith is a belief that God will, as my grandmother used to say, “Make a way out of no way.” Faith has sustained me in good and bad times. Faith is much more than just comforting rituals to religious people. It has the ability to have a positive impact on mood and mental health. We need faith to navigate this world today and must embrace our faith with our entire being. Having a solid, healthy faith is crucial in guiding us towards peace and wisdom. There is a reason why research has shown that people that are deeply devoted to their faith have a higher life expectancy and are less likely to manifest disease in their bodies. Faith can play a major role in the reduction in and protection from stress. A scripture that helps me know how important faith is to me in my times of stress is one that my mother said to me often: “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (Jesus in John 14:27).
Care about Others
You will never find peace by being self-consumed and only worrying about your own needs and wants. When you begin to genuinely care about other people, so much goodness comes right out. This only helps into solidifying your inner peace. It can be people close to you or pure strangers, but any act of kindness and goodwill eases your way towards peace. When I help other people, I stop focusing on my so-called problems and realize that my life isn’t so bad after all. This rids my entire being of all the stress and feelings of overwhelm. There is great peace and wisdom in thinking and caring about other people, which we are blind to when we are too deep within our own selfish ways.
Accept What Is
There is only so much we can affect. What we cannot change, what we cannot influence no matter what, should not be a concern to us. This is what I notice with so many people, in that we focus and linger on things in which we have no control. Why worry about something that all the worrying in the world will not change? Why care about what other people think of us when we’re not even sure what it is they are actually thinking? Once you understand this fact and start accepting what is that you cannot change, you automatically relieve yourself of a mountain of stress and anxiety. It’s like a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders. Taking this path is following a road towards peace.
Having peace is based on our ability to let things go and to understand that we can control and what we can’t control. Let the small stuff go. Focus on what is good in your life and spend your moments appreciating what you have instead of ruminating about what didn’t go your way. My new goal is to practice being mindful, staying in the present and enjoying the little things that fill up my day with joy- because those things are there! No matter how situations may throw us off our game, we cannot let people disturb our peace.