LEARN HOW YOU CAN OBTAIN PEACE OF MIND THROUGH THESE SIMPLE STRATEGIES
You could have anything in this world- health, wealth, love, success- but if you lack ‘peace of mind’, none of the rest would matter. The lack of peace of mind can easily degrade your quality of life.
But what exactly does this term mean? Let’s understand.
Peace of mind, or inner peace, refers to a state of being where you are psychologically calm and free from worry. With peace of mind comes a happy and blissful state of being.
Your peace of mind is not just determined by your external circumstances- it also largely depends on how you perceive them. You could be in the midst of experiencing difficult life events, but if dealt with appropriately, you can keep yourself from losing your peace of mind. On the other hand, if handled badly, you can also lose your peace over little everyday troubles. While what happens to us in life may often be beyond our control, our interpretation of these circumstances and how we respond to them are in our hands.
While we all seek peace of mind, many of us wait for such a feeling to set in, rather than actively seeking it out. In truth, attaining a peaceful mindset comes with sustained effort and focus. It may seem strange to think that we can achieve peace of mind while in a stressful situation, but it is not impossible. If fact, it is during such times that we need a peaceful mindset the most.
There are several ways by which you can create peace of mind for yourself. Listed below are 25 ways by which you can slowly, but surely, teach yourself to develop your inner peace.
One of the most preached and popular ways of attaining a peaceful mindset is through meditation. Practicing meditation can help improve your focus on the present and the future. Focusing on your breath is a common way of going about it. Just five to ten minutes of your day spent on meditation can go a long way.
2. Live in the moment
Sometimes we need to be reminded to slow down in life, and practicing mindfulness can help us with it. Mindfulness entails being present in the moment and making yourself aware of all your senses, rather than pondering over the past and the future.
When you are mindful, you become conscious of where you are and what you are doing. Mindfulness can reduce stress by helping you distance yourself from your worries. It helps your body and mind relax.
3. Avoid dwelling on the past
When you dwell on your past, you become disconnected from the present. Unless you can use the knowledge of the past to improve your present, thinking about the past will get you nowhere. Instead, it will keep you from having a peaceful mind. Unless you move on from the past and turn towards the present and the future, you cannot acquire peace of mind.
Journaling involves maintaining an account of your thoughts, experiences, feelings, ideas, and observations. It is a great outlet for putting down everything that is on your mind, including your concerns. Looking back on these accounts can allow you to see things from a new perspective and make way for insights in the future.
You might also realise solutions to your problems that you hadn’t even considered previously. Additionally, it may sometimes help to write down what’s bothering you and rip it or set it afire, as a symbol of letting the worries go.
5. Schedule some alone time for yourself
Sometimes, all you need is some time alone to declutter the mess inside your mind. You could do anything! Re-watch your favourite movie or read the book you’ve had on your nightstand for months. Cook a lavish meal for yourself and nap the afternoon away. Go on a solo trip or a long drive. If none of that helps, just try to find some quiet and do nothing. The point is to do something for yourself without bothering with other people’s opinions that may mess with your peace of mind.
6. Connect with people
Our peace of mind is irrevocably linked to the kind of relations we have with the people around us. From family members to strangers we pass on the streets, people have some sway over us. Our feelings about these people may impact our mental state. Make sure that the relationships you maintain in your life are healthy and those that help you grow as a person, rather than relations that hold you down. Further, ensuring honesty and transparency in your relationships will help reduce stress and allow you some peace.
7. Be assertive and express yourself
Personal connections are an important part of life but sometimes, you may face issues. Maybe your friend’s teasing makes you uncomfortable, or your colleague talks over you in meetings. These behaviours may make you uncomfortable and stress you out.
Therefore, to do away with this negative feeling, you must be assertive. Tell your friend that their teasing makes you uncomfortable. Let your colleague know that their interrupting you is disrespectful. Be assertive about your wants and needs. Unless you express yourself, these problems will persist, chipping away at your peace of mind.
8. Do not hold on to grudges
Holding on to the wrongs that have been done to you, whether big or small, can ruin your peace of mind. As the proverb goes, forgive but don’t forget. While you cannot change the past, forgiveness can help let go of negative feelings and ease your mind.
9. Self-love and acceptance
Having a good relationship with yourself is as important as having good relations with others. Your self-acceptance and self-love may help put you at ease with yourself and make way for a peaceful mindset. Allow yourself to be imperfect. Evaluate your worth on the basis of the qualities you possess rather than those you don’t. Once you let yourself just be enough the way you are, you may acquire peace of mind.
10. Have fun!
We tend to get carried away in the rush of life. We suppress the child within us and forget what it is to have fun. So, remind yourself to enjoy life as much as possible. Listen to your favourite band while doing the dishes. Have a movie night with your friends. Read a cheesy novel in between your serious academic readings. Recharge your batteries by engaging in the little things you enjoy to uplift your spirit, so you can be ready for the not-so-fun parts of life.
11. Find healthy outlets for your emotions
Engaging in different activities can act as a release for your stress and worry. Some people prefer physical activities to vent their feelings, such as playing sports, dancing or going for a run. Some engage in creative tasks such as painting or writing poetry. The point of these activities is to act as a healthy outlet for your thoughts and feelings, rather than bottling them up and letting them accumulate and ruin your peace of mind.
12. Don’t compromise on your core values
We all have a set of core values and beliefs. These values- honesty, loyalty, humility, etc. - guide our lives and form a vital part of our self-identity. The decisions we make in our life are often in line with these core values. However, sometimes, we may be faced with situations where we are asked to compromise on these values for the sake of others. When we agree to ignore our values, we put ourselves at stake. Avoid making these compromises to accommodate others, for it may come at the price of your peace of mind.
13. Take care of your health
There is an undeniable link between our physical and mental health. When you are physically unfit, it has a considerable impact on your peace of mind. Thus, physical fitness is critical for a calm mindset.
Go for an evening walk. Attend a yoga class. Play badminton with a friend. Go for regular health check-ups to ensure that you are in the pink of health. Try breathing exercises. In essence, take steps to improve your physical health and put your mind at ease.
14. Let go of things out of your control
No matter how much we try, some things in life are bound to be outside our control. Often, unexpected incidents can evoke negative feelings in us, from frustration to sadness. We must learn to accept that some things cannot be changed.
Once we accept that there are things in life that are beyond our control, we can be happier and more relaxed. Instead of worrying about them, we must learn to make the best of it.
15. Don’t compare yourself to others
We have a tendency to compare ourselves, our lives, our achievements and our aspirations with those of others. In comparing ourselves to others, we forget that each individual is unique and no two lives are the same. Then how is it appropriate to draw the value of our life based on comparisons to others? When you accept this and stop comparing your life, you reduce your own stress and solidify your peace of mind.
16. Limit the use of social media
Today, social media is essentially the place where we, knowingly or unknowingly, compare our lives to those of others. We see the lives of our friends and family, as well as influencers and celebrities, and compare them to our own.
The trouble is, we end up comparing our unfiltered life experience to the highlights of someone else’s lives. In that process, if we find our lives to be less interesting, we may experience a fear of missing out and that may become an added stress for us. Besides, the need to constantly keep up with our social media feed becomes a major distractor, keeping us from paying attention to the work we ought to be doing. That’s why limiting your use of social media can improve your mental peace.
17. Perform selfless acts
Sometimes, doing something without being motivated by things such as money or grades can feel good. It could be as simple an act as helping your friend with something without expecting anything in return. Even the act of loving someone unconditionally without bothering about the other person’s extent of feelings can help attain a peaceful mind. Volunteering at NGOs, be it for children, the elderly or for animals, can also benefit you.
When you don’t set conditions on your actions or expect reciprocation from others, you avoid feelings of disappointment and that gives way to peace of mind.
18. Learn from your failures
Failures are an inevitable part of life. No one succeeds at everything on the first try. Allow yourself to fail at your endeavours. There’s no shame in failure because with each failed attempt comes a treasure-trove of lessons. Armed with these lessons, you can strive to do better on your next attempt.
Understand that failure is not a bad thing and is a normal part of life. Once you accept that, your failures won’t feel devastating and simply a step closer to actually achieving your goal.
19. Repeat positive affirmations
Positive affirmations are essentially positive statements that are repeated over and over again to help beat negative thoughts. Repeating positive affirmations to yourself can help you develop a peaceful mindset and feel more rooted in the moment. These statements can help assert confidence and faith in yourself even when your negative thoughts plague you. They will help remind you to stay positive and calm.
20.Take a break
Sometimes, all you need is a break from your normal routine to gain some peace of mind. It could be as simple as not reverting to work emails in the evenings, or more obvious ways such as going on a vacation. Time away from your worries can help you regain energy and motivation before facing them again with renewed spirits.
21. Spend time with those you love
Spending some time with the people you love can help calm your mind. These people could help you see your problems in a new light and suggest ways by which you could deal with them. Even spending time with friends and family while not thinking about your worries can help rejuvenate you. Besides people, spending time with pets can also help bring about a peaceful mindset. Playing with your pets can help ease your stress and increase your sense of calm.
22. Avoid things that cause anxiety
You cannot always predict how things will play out. However, when you know that a certain situation or event makes you feel anxious, try and avoid it. It could be the constant bombardment of news on your phone, your friend’s last minute exam doubts, or concerns about your diet on your health.
Make changes to your lifestyle that help you avoid those anxiety-inducing circumstances. Mute your news notifications. Let your friend know that you don’t have time to respond to her. Switch your diet out for a healthier one. While making changes to your habits is not always easy, it will aid you in keeping a peaceful mind in the long run.
23. Connect with nature
Sometimes we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle of modern day life that we get disconnected from nature. Reconnecting with nature can rejuvenate you and help clear your mind of its worries. Go for a trek with your friends, spend an afternoon on the beach, or just take a walk in your neighbourhood park. Being around nature can bring over you a sense of calm. Simply feeling the sun on your skin and the wind in your hair can make you feel peaceful.
A clean, decluttered environment can help declutter your mind as well. When troubled by worries, try cleaning up your room or your desk. It not only helps tidy your living space but also becomes an activity that keeps you distracted from your troubles.
25. Remember the ‘Big Picture’
Of course, it’s easier to say “Just stop worrying!” than it is to actually stop worrying. However, it could help to remind yourself to look at the big picture. How significant is this problem to you? Will it have a serious impact on you in the long run? Can you overcome this struggle? If you realise that the problem you are worrying about is not as consequential as you originally made it out to be, avoid pondering over it and allow your mind some peace.
The bottom line is this- you can attain peace of mind when you are kind to and honest with yourself. Remember that no matter how bad things around you seem, you can change how you react to them and how you cope with them. Once you realise this and change your thinking accordingly, you will find it easier to achieve peace of mind.
What do you do to enjoy some peace of mind?
A personal account of how an anxiety attack affected a student and what she did in that situation