Peace and Solitude are the ingredients that allow me to be fully present in life.

1. Meditation

The first technique and the technique that I come back to most often is meditation. Meditation is something I started doing on and off about 3 years ago. I would meditate for 15 minutes each night for a week or so, and then forget about it for a month, only to rediscover it again. I remember those times being so difficult. I was focused on doing it the right way, and reaching some sort of spiritual enlightenment. Today, I see meditation in a different light. It’s a moment to sit and let go of the need for productivity that nags me throughout the day. When I’m struggling and my mind is spiraling through negative emotions, those few moments of meditation allow me to shift to a better view of things.

2. Reading and Writing

The second technique that allows me to feel a little more peaceful each day is reading and/or writing. When I read about someone else’s challenges or write about my own, I’m reminded that we all have struggles of our own, and maybe I’m taking things too seriously. It’s way too easy to start to believe that something must go a certain way or everything is lost. When I allow myself to look through different ideas, I often realize that I still have a path to get where I want to go.

3. Listening to Music

One of the best ways to unwind after a long day is listening to music. It can be new music or old music. Sometimes, I dance and sing along. Other times, I just sit and enjoy it. Music boosts my mood. Everybody goes through a lot of different feelings. When I listen to music, I get to hear what those feelings were like for the artist that created it. With each song, I’m reminded that the artist has been through many good times and bad times. People can be very different, but our experiences often have a lot of similarities.

4. Laugh

Wherever laughter goes, so does immense joy. I try to make sure each day is filled with laughter. This laughter can be from talking to a friend, going to a comedy event, or maybe it’s laughing at myself and my quirky ideas. Laughter helps me keep things lighthearted and positive. It helps me put the event that happened in perspective. The silly, quirky things in life remind me that a good portion of my sadness comes when I make things seem more important than they really are.

The Difficult Times Will Come

As I sit here writing this article, I’m in a good mood. It’s been a good Friday so far, and I look forward to the weekend. I know, however, that the hard times will come. When they come, it will be not be easy to get through them. There will be things I don’t feel like doing, things that irritate me a little more than normal, things that scare me. On the bright side, I feel like I’ve prepared myself to not fall too far from my baseline happiness. With these techniques, I know where to go when I’m struggling, and I think that’s half the battle. In society, we create rules and laws to keep people in check when times get difficult. For me, I want to create guidelines that keep me moving in a positive direction when I know I’m struggling.

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