Ahhh, the elusive inner peace… in today’s crazy busy world, how do you achieve bliss? How can you unplug and be happy amid the chaos?
1. Unplug! If you’re attached to the umbilical cord of your smartphone, you are at anybody’s beck and call, you are overwhelmed with information (some important, some not at all) and you are constantly interrupted. You deserve some time to devote exclusively to yourself, to your relationships, to your work and to your passions and goals.
2. Listen to music that makes you feel relaxed and happy. Whatever your genre, music is soul food!
3. Run it off. Exercise, especially outdoors, is a way to promote peace of mind. Not only will you get the endorphins flowing but when you’re focused on a sport, you can’t be immersed in your worries. It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do. Just do it.
4. Breathe! Anytime you bring your attention to your breath, your mind can’t think about all of your worries. Try this: count each breath and try to get to 10 without allowing your mind to wander, even for a second. This is much more difficult than you might imagine!
5. Clean your space. Declutter, organize and get rid of anything you don’t use, need or that you don’t love. Clutter only reminds you of things left undone and it creates more work for you. Commit to a 15-minute daily cleanup and you’ll never have to sacrifice a weekend day to clean your home.
6. Play! Play with pets, kids and/or friends. Be silly. Frolic. Goof off. Be a kid. Romp. Inject a playful attitude into boring chores and let your inner child come out and play.
7. Be in nature. The soothing sounds of birds or flowing water will do wonders for your soul. Traffic noise and other manmade sounds can be so incredibly jarring (like your alarm clock) and a little time in nature will soothe you.
8. Love yourself! Treat yourself with love and respect:
Excellent nutrition, daily exercise and enough rest
Kind and empowering self-talk (don’t trash-talk yourself)
Stand up for yourself (learn to say NO) and be assertive with your needs
Accept yourself and learn to like and love yourself unconditionally
Be true to yourself. Understand your values and act according to them.
Don’t beat yourself up about past mistakes and failures. Learn from them!
9. Be here now. Mindfulness, or present-awareness, is a difficult thing to master. Our thoughts are always racing ahead to the future or wallowing in the past. Become more acutely aware of the information gathered by all five of your senses in any given moment.
10. Smile and laugh! Find the humor in life, and both smiling and laughter are proven mood boosters.
11. Make – and work on – goals. Goals are the carrots that keep you moving in the right direction for YOU. If you aren’t happy with the way things are, don’t complain or worry. Set your sights on something better and work toward it. Make it happen.
12. Accept what you can’t change. There’s really no point in worrying yourself sick if there’s nothing you can do. If you can do even a little (even if it feels like a drop in the bucket) do it. If there’s nothing you can do, it’s more productive to set your sights on making your own contribution in your own way, even in some area that’s totally unrelated. Any and all positive contributions are necessary.
13. Don’t take yourself or life too seriously. Be more flexible and be open to the fact that your way is not THE way. Become interested in alternative points of view and different approaches.
14. Love, all the way. Unconditionally. Freely. Be vulnerable and love without fear. Enter a relationship with NO expectations – just love the person for the person they are, without ever expecting them to fill any “holes” in your life. You are complete as you are. You were born complete and you don’t need anyone to fill any imaginary voids.
15. Focus on the best-case outcome. Worrying is just a habit. You can just as easily turn your imagination to what might go right instead of what might go wrong. Practice this daily and reprogram your mind to think in terms of best-case outcomes.
16. Let it go. It’s not easy to cut ties or cut losses, but why go down with the ship? Think of it this way: you’re just turning the page and moving on to a new chapter.
17. Be grateful. This may be the single most important element of inner peace. Focus on everything in your life that you’re grateful for. Deliberately look for the blessings and lessons.
18. Reach out. Share your life with others. Even if you’re very shy, you can be part of something if you volunteer.
19. Find healthy ways to express negative emotions. Never suppress or deny negative emotions (they come back with a vengeance) and don’t self-destruct because of them. Instead, exercise, play music, do art, practice martial arts, meditate, write… it’s often said that an artist’s best work comes from their “blue period.”
20. Slow down! What’s the rush? Why does everything need to be instant? Challenge your own impatience and that of others. We may live in a world that encourages instant results, but try telling that to a bottle of wine. Everything in its own good time.
21. Don’t compare yourself to others. You are you. Who cares what “everybody else” is doing? Who cares what is trending? Do you have to be a “sheeple”? No! Follow your own heart, do what you want to do, walk your own path. Be you.
22. Stop worrying about what other people think. You may think they’re judging you, but most of the time, people are only concerned with themselves. They are spending time thinking about themselves and what other people think about them, much more so than they are spending time thinking about you.
23. Be kind! Kindness feels good. The inner peace you get from helping someone out is profound.
24. Challenge the norm. We all think in terms of what we should and must do. How many of those “shoulds” and “musts” ring true to you? How many are your ideas of what constitutes a great life, and how many are society’s? How many are hand-me-down ideals from your parents? “Must” you get a college degree? “Should” you buy a house? When you follow your heart and do what you intuitively know is right for you, you’ll enjoy inner peace.
25. Simplify. Less is more! Just think about how much you have to work in order to be able to buy, store, repair, insure and maintain things. If you have less things, you can work less and play more.
Stress can start to feel so normal that we hardly notice it anymore. But once you start practicing these methods to achieve inner peace, you’ll probably see just how chronically stressed you used to be. But no more!