Life is busy, isn’t it? There’s work, family, friends, household chores and bills. And when it’s not busy, it’s distracting, right? Social media, TV, phone calls, texts… there’s always something clamoring for our attention. It can be downright exhausting — and it certainly doesn’t make us feel calm and at peace.
Finding inner peace in the modern world is a significant challenge. Everything about modern society feels like an obstacle to experiencing peace of mind. But there are ways to find and maintain inner peace. Inner peace is a choice and many of your habits determine how much peace you experience in your daily life.
Are you ready to make the choice to find and maintain inner peace?
Experience inner peace and enjoy life on a deeper, more satisfying level with these strategies.
Focus your attention on those things you can control
Why worry about those things you can’t control? It sours your mood and makes you less capable. And yet, we do it all the time. We worry about other people and their behaviors, situations that may or may not happen, experiences that we don’t want to have or want to have but only if they happen in a certain way.
But for all that we worry about controlling and try to control things that aren’t within our control, it never changes anything, does it? Of course not, because it’s not within our control! So we’re wasting all this time and energy on something that we can’t do anything about. It destroys your inner peace and has absolutely no benefit.
Literally ask yourself, “Is this something I can control? Will worrying be beneficial in any way?” When you realize the answer is no, free yourself of that worry and enjoy the feeling of serenity.
Spend time in nature
The original humans didn’t live in a 3-bedroom ranch and eat microwave popcorn. They didn’t have air conditioning and ice cubes for their coffee — or coffee, for that matter. But what they did have was the great outdoors. They lived in the nature where they hunted, gathered, and wandered. And while we may not be able to communicate with ancient man, it’s probably a safe bet that if we could, they’d tell us they don’t worry about anything beyond where they’ll find the next meal and staying out of the jaws of a sabretooth tiger.
Take a long walk in the park or spend a weekend camping. You’ll feel dramatically different compared to sitting in a building 24 hours every day. There’s something peaceful about spending time among the birds and the trees. Even a walk through your neighborhood or some time spent sitting in your own backyard can have great benefits.
Be true to yourself
Few things are more disconcerting than living a life you weren’t meant to live. It continuously gnaws away at you. Live a life that’s congruent with your values. Live a life that you want to live, even if no one else understands or agrees with it. It’s your life!
It’s too easy to allow society dictate your choices. You don’t have to spend your life on a career that’s impressive to others. You don’t have to chase after a fancy house. Make your own decisions about what’s most important to you.
Remember to listen to your own voice before you listen to the voices of others. Instead of asking others for advice on what to do, ask yourself what to do. Even if the answer takes you off the beaten path, it’s much more likely to be true to you and your desires than anything anyone else can tell you.
You might not realize how bad you feel because you’re so used to it. Low-grade headaches, upset stomachs, sluggish exhaustion… when you feel bad all the time, it begins to feel normal. You forget that you can feel differently. So that’s why I have a little experiment for you.
Try eating the way you know you should for just a week. For just one week, eat healthy fruits and veggies, plenty of protein, the right balance of healthy carbs, and healthy fats. Drink tons of water and skip the fruit juices, sodas, and energy drinks. Note the change in how you feel. Write it down in a journal each day so you can see and remember the difference.
Now try eating some junk food and see what happens to your mood and your overall sense of well-being. You’ll feel like you’ve been run over by truck. I promise you, it won’t take a week. It won’t even take one day, I’d bet. You’ll see the difference so quickly that you’ll wonder why you ever ate this way in the first place.
Of course, moderation is important. And we all like certain unhealthy foods and drinks. So you don’t have to give up the less-healthy options completely. But eating the way you should for a week is very likely to open your eyes so much that you no longer struggle nearly as much to keep the unhealthy foods limited.
Have you ever noticed how great you feel as you’re walking out of the gym? Or maybe you’re like me and in the midst of a workout and immediately after, when you’re still sweaty and grimy, you don’t feel so great. But later, you feel amazing. More alert, energized, and ready to take on the world.
Exercise feels good (eventually, anyway), and you feel good about yourself for doing it. So make it a regular part of your routine. It doesn’t necessarily have to be every day, but the more often you exercise, the better you’ll feel.
Whether you go to the gym, work out with equipment at home, or just take a walk, run, or bike ride through your neighborhood, fit in consistent exercise and experience the changes it makes in your life and how you feel.
Do something nice for someone else
This is a great way to take your focus off of yourself. You become more aware that others are struggling, too. When you are kind, you receive kindness in return. You’ll also feel a sense of pride and satisfaction when you help someone else.
You can simply help someone you know, like a neighbor or a friend. Or you can volunteer with a nonprofit. Either way, you’ll get what’s called a “helper’s high,” the good feeling that comes from helping others.
Feel a little selfish helping someone else just to feel good about yourself? That’s okay. Doing good for others isn’t decreased just because it makes you feel better.
Be open and forward with your needs and desires. You’re not only more likely to get what you want, but you’ll also feel more in control of your life. Being passive results in having less control, which runs counter to inner peace. Be bold without being aggressive.
If you struggle with asking for what you want, try practicing before you do it. You can practice in front of a mirror or you can ask a trusted friend or relative to play the other person. However you do this, it’s important you learn to do it so you aren’t just sitting back and taking whatever life hands you anymore.
Meditation is calming. It also helps to see life and its challenges more accurately. Things are often better than they seem. Meditation can prevent your mind from making a situation seem worse than it really is.
Daily meditation offers you a chance to eliminate stress and tension, which by itself makes life more peaceful. But it also offers an opportunity to reflect on the problems you face and potentially find solutions, which also can help make life more peaceful.
Avoid trying to change others
You’ll have as much success trying to change the weather. It’s hard enough to change yourself. Think about it for a minute. How many bad habits do you currently have that you’ve tried to change in the past? How many things do you want to change about yourself right now but aren’t — despite constantly saying you will?
If it’s this hard to change yourself, how will you ever manage to change someone else? It’s stressful just to think about it, isn’t it? So just stop doing it. Accept that people are who they are and there’s nothing you can do about it.
It’s important to take care of yourself mentally and physically. Eat properly, exercise, and be true to yourself. Be assertive and take control of your life. All the accomplishments in the world can’t replace inner peace. Avoid chasing after those things that society has determined to be important. Decide for yourself and live the life you were meant to live.
Wendy Miller is a Single Mom Coach & meditation teacher. She helps moms use mindfulness and meditation to create the life they really want. She lives in Florida with her two sons, where she homeschools while solo parenting, while surrounded by what feels like a zooful of animals.
You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. You can also sign up for her newsletter where she offers more insights, tips, tricks, advice, and information to help single moms find purpose, creativity, passion, and peace.
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