Recently I was reflecting on peace of mind and what that means specifically to me. Many of us carry burdens in our lives, particularly from our past and the fear that the future will be a repeat of the past. Or sometimes we go through a tragic life change which makes our lives feel chaotic and pathless. There are ways to rediscover ways to gain peace within your life that you can implement right now.
1. Walk away from the idea that everything lasts forever. Things change. People change. Situations change. Friendships and relationships change, evolve and sometimes don’t last forever. Even when things feel easy, in just a moment your circumstances can change. The best way to cope with these changes is to accept and embrace them. Over your lifetime you will adapt to change. You have probably already been through circumstances where you were forced to adapt and move forward. Accept that when there is change, even when that change is particularly difficult, you will be able to take steps forward. You can push through. You will be okay. You will survive this.
2. Let go of the belief that your self-worth is measured by how much material wealth you have. Success can mean many things to different people but living a successful and peaceful life has little to do with how wealthy you are or how much stuff you have. When you let go of the idea that you need the best car, the biggest house and other material items to be happy, you allow yourself to embrace the things that genuinely bring joy into your life. The things that truly bring peace are the people around you and the beauty that the world naturally provides. You don’t need much else other than sharing love with the people around you, exploring your passion, staying true to your values and appreciating the world and people around you.
3. Give up on the desire to be right. Being right is overrated. Actually wasting so much time trying to prove you are right only weakens your connections with others and even prevents you from evolving as a person. The more time you spend trying to one up someone, is less time you spend listening to someone else, respecting their beliefs and learning something new that can change your entire perspective. Even if you don’t agree with this person, there is peace in taking a deep breath and accepting that you and this other person hold different views on certain aspects of the world. You can’t change people or their views, but you can work on accepting that it’s okay not to be right this time and it’s okay if you agree to disagree. You open your heart to an abundance of peace when you reduce unnecessary conflict based on needing to be right.
4. Give up on the idea of having all the answers. You won’t have the answer to everything in life. Some people know right away what their passion is. Many of us struggle to find our passions throughout our lifetimes. Some of us find our passions, but then many years later, realize that we aren’t as passionate about that thing anymore. There is not a road map for life. There is nothing wrong with you just because you haven’t found the answer to what you want your life to look like right now.
5. Let go of the idea that you are not enough. You are enough. Many of us have dreams that require risk, perseverance and doing something that feels downright scary. It’s normal to doubt yourself and wonder if you will succeed or if you are making a mistake. However, realize that deep down you have the necessary skills to achieve that goal. You can go to college and get that degree. You can learn the skills necessary to become talented in that specific area. With the right amount of determination, you can complete that triathlon. Remember that the toolkit is within yourself. Just give yourself a chance. You can achieve peace by realizing that everything you need is within yourself. The first steps begin with you.
6. Walk away from those who treat you badly. Unfortunately, all of us will encounter people who hurt us on all types of varying levels. An old friend might betray you. A romantic date might be insensitive and disrespectful towards you. A loved one may repeatedly disrespect and devalue you despite all the efforts you make to try to keep the friendship alive. Trying to change these people is not the answer. Nor is changing yourself to try and attempt to achieve their approval or respect. As difficult as it may seem right now, walk away from these people. Peace can thrive in your heart when you surround yourself with people who treat you with respect and kindness.
7. Get rid of the clutter in your life. You might have a varying idea of what clean and tidy looks like to you, but create a personal space that makes you feel good every day. A place that you feel comfortable in. When you come home and feel overwhelmed by the mess or find yourself hoarding items that are not relevant to your life anymore, it might be time to do a declutter. Create an environment that makes you feel peace and contentment.
8. Let go of the idea that you are alone and abandoned in the world. Right now you may feel terribly alone, like nobody can understand the despair that you are going through in your life. Trust that there are others who share a similar journey to you and who are struggling and persevering through these challenges just like you. You may even meet these people someday who will help open your heart to the strength and love already within yourself. There are many people out there who crave the connection that you can provide. You are not alone.
9. Let go of the idea that a peaceful life means you will never feel pain. Pain is a healthy part of being alive. There will be times where you struggle, fail or when things you love are suddenly taken away from you. Sometimes change and just moving forward involves pain. Relocating to a new city can be terrifying and painful at first. Realizing that a relationship isn’t working out can be very difficult. Pursuing a new career can be downright scary. Stepping out of your comfort zone can be intimidating. Life grants us an abundance of joy and happiness, but life will also have its share of struggles and trials along the way. Embrace and accept the good and tough parts of life. You can still live a peaceful life knowing that with each struggle you will get through this part of your journey, adapt and become stronger in the process.
10. It’s not about the destination, but the journey. Many of us chase goals around and around, wondering why we feel discontentment with life. Filling up your schedule with goals and ambitions may feel great at the time, but leads to a cycle of believing that achieving a goal will lead to peace and happiness which is far from the truth. What is most important is creating a life that honors and respects your values. For instance, you will feel much happier creating a life where you prioritize your health consistently rather than trying to temporarily be healthy to achieve a weight goal. Goals are a great way to set milestones and measure how far you have come, but achieving a goal does not lead to fulfilment and peace. The journey along the way is what creates a peaceful life. Fortunately, peace is not dependent on if you achieve a goal, but you can create a lifestyle that you are happy with.
11. Accept that peace already lies within you. You may feel angry right now, depressed, stressed, terrified and have so much negativity towards the world and even yourself. But regardless of how you feel, I guarantee that there is peace within you and you can reach it. Feeling peace is not dependent on your external circumstances but something you can reach within your mind, anywhere and anytime.
Finding peace is a journey and you may struggle along the way as you let go of unhealthy attachments and battle your own weaknesses. Taking care of yourself is very important to living a peaceful life. Stay positive and focused on the larger things of life. You will thrive when you realize that you already have what you need to live a peaceful life.