We could all use a little more peace in our lives, here are a few ways to get it.
We’re living in difficult times right now. Although, I think you could make the argument that we’re always facing difficult times. We’re always living in a world filled with challenges, those challenges are just more apparent right now. People throughout the world are facing struggles surrounding health, economics, and prosperity.
Given these troubles, it’s easy to feel like peace or happiness lies outside ourselves. It’s easy to feel like we have no control over our situation. If the people around you are panicked, stressed, or frustrated, you can easily be pulled into their concerns. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be the case. You have a lot of control over the peace in your life.
Choose to create peace for yourself, don’t let the world take it away from you.
Start Your Morning and End Your Day with Peace
There are two important times during your day that you likely have complete control of: the beginning and end of your day. A great way to spread peace throughout your day is to choose peace during your free time. You could choose to meditate, read a book, take a bath, dance, etc. There are so many options for enjoying these moments. As long as it puts you in a comfortable state of mind and allows you to shut off the outside world for a bit, you will notice a difference in your daily life.
Think for a moment: you just woke up. You’re a little tired and slightly anxious for the day ahead. Instead of checking your phone or rushing to get dressed, you realize you have 20 minutes to spare so you decide to read, write, or take a moment for yourself. You do this activity for 20 minutes, then start to get ready for work at your own pace. How do you feel?
For most people, this small bit of control can make a huge difference. One of the greatest causes of stress is feeling like we’re rushing against someone else’s timeline and goals. We have to be at work by a certain time to complete a task which will help our boss with their company. Sure, the time constraint and having to complete a goal has a certain amount of stress tied to it, but they aren’t the greatest source of stress. The greatest source of stress is the feeling that we aren’t doing it for ourselves. We’re doing it for our boss and their desires, or to gain a higher status in our family’s eyes. Studies have shown that we’re happier when we have more autonomy. Sometimes, for the sole reason that we chose our path instead of having it determined by someone else. This often remains true even when the decision doesn’t work out as we had hoped. Having a sense of autonomy over our lives is integral to our peace.
“Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion” — Simon Sinek
We can’t always quit our job or overhaul our lives, especially if we have others that rely upon us. We can, however, control our time and resources outside of the workplace. We can control our morning and night. Just being in control of these times gives us the power to expand peace throughout our lives.
Reframe Your Beliefs
One of the things you have control over at every moment in your life is your belief system. This is true no matter who your acquaintances are, what you do every day, or how your life is going at the current moment. You always have the opportunity to consider and consciously shift your beliefs. Creating a life of greater peace requires beliefs that support those beliefs.
If you want to feel peaceful during your days you have to hold certain beliefs about yourself and the world around you. You have to learn to believe that you are worthy of peace. You must believe it is something you deserve and something you’re capable of creating. I can assure you that both these things are true. The path there may be very different depending on your situation, but once you create habits to support yourself you will no doubt find more peace in your life than when you started.
Secondly, you must believe you are in an environment conducive to creating peace. This means reaffirming your strengths and trusting those strengths through challenging times. Your ideal conditions may never be met but you always have the opportunity to surround yourself with better people and avoid things that lead you to react emotionally. Look for those opportunities to make your surroundings a better match for the life you hope to live. New perspectives hold a wonderful opportunity for extraordinary growth.
So how can we begin the process of establishing these beliefs? I think the simplest and possibly most powerful option is just the act of asking questions framed toward what you would like to see. If you think the world is hectic or out of control, ask yourself if you can find any safe things. If you feel like it’s impossible to live peacefully, take a few moments to consider what your form of peace looks like. Do you know someone that displays these qualities? If so, what do they attribute their peace to?
It’s Okay to Struggle
While peace is our main goal, we also get the opportunity to choose how we view our stress and worry. Do you avoid negative feelings? Do you tend to hold onto them? Do they bother you for a little while, but then you’re able to move on? As important as it is to try to create peace, it doesn’t do any good if we don’t know how to handle the moments when peace is nowhere to be seen.
When I feel stressed or afraid, I like to start by taking a moment to consider it. I identify the emotion that I’m feeling and try to figure out what may be the cause of the emotion. If I can’t come up with something, that is completely fine. If I do find something, I know where to focus my attention to avoid feeling this way in the future.
Once I have identified the emotion, I work out something I can treat myself to at that moment. These are often very simple, but helpful things. I go for a walk because I like the movement or I meditate because it brings focusing on my breath reminds me that the current problems aren’t as big as I make them out to be. Ultimately, my goal isn’t to remove or distract myself from the struggle I’m having. I just want to remind myself that there are good things in life too. The good and the bad go hand-in-hand. It’s hard to feel one without having felt the other at some point.
Peace Is Deserving of Being an Utmost Priority
Establishing a sense of peace is important enough to make it a top goal in your life. Peace is a crucial part of being happy and performing to the best of your ability. Without it, it’s easy to close off and avoid amazing opportunities that might be just out of sight. Luckily, our peace is within our control. Just one or two habits a day can make a huge difference over a few years.