Inner Peace In Six Steps
Life is hectic and demanding. Your head may be buzzing and your body exhausted, yet still, the onslaught seems relentless.
However, it is possible to find peace by getting into the habit of practising these six steps.
- Look after your body
- Do one thing at a time
- Let nature heal you
- Meditate/be mindful
- Stop comparing yourself to others
- Be grateful
LOOK AFTER YOUR BODY
You may feel that it’s all a mental thing and if you could only calm down and take a different attitude, all would change. That may be true, but don’t forget body and spirit are one entity. What affects one affects the other. So if you aren’t looking after your body your mind will struggle.
The first thing you should make sure of is that you get enough sleep. Everyone is different, but a minimum of seven hours is good to aim for. If you often feel tired and sleepy in the middle of the day then probably you aren’t sleeping for long enough – it’s that simple. Lack of sleep will cause poor concentration and irritability. If you are seriously sleep-deprived it can make you a tad paranoid, generally negative and anxious. Don’t let that happen.
Plenty of fresh air, moderate, regular exercise and a diet of natural foods should also be your goal. That way you’re creating the foundation for a peaceful mind.
DO ONE THING AT A TIME
Multi-tasking has become the measure of a busy, important person. However, this is a misconception. The brain can’t actually do two things at once and if you try this you’ll be very stressed and find you achieve less.
Whatever the demands on you, realise that you are only human and you can only do what you can do. It may seem rather morbid, but imagine what would happen if you just dropped dead tomorrow. The world would most certainly go on and everyone would manage. So if things don’t get done, too bad.
Prioritise your tasks and be ruthless. Switch off your phone if needs be, so you can concentrate. When you have completed one task, cross it off your list and take a minute or two as a break before starting the next. At the end of the day, you’ll not only feel calmer, but you will also have achieved more!
LET NATURE HEAL YOU
Outdoors there awaits a vast, wonderful therapy centre for mind and body. Every flower, every tree, each hillside and stream, every park and field can calm you. Even the scent of the breeze can act as a balm to your soul.
Don’t leave contact with nature until the weekend, when you trek off to some crowded place with hundreds of other families. Have personal, private contact with nature each day, for at least twenty minutes.
If you can, stand or sit with your back to a tree, focus your eyes on the distant horizon, be aware of your feet making contact with the earth, and just be. If you have to spend all day in an office, go out in the evening. Moonlight is very calming and enchanting. If all else fails and you’re stuck in a built-up area, grow herbs in pots and focus your attention on them. Stroke and smell the leaves, notice the colour, shape and growth pattern of the plant, breathe deeply and be aware of the incredible magic that makes this wonderful little plant grow out of the soil.
THE ‘M’ WORD
Meditation and mindfulness are very popular – real ‘buzz words’ for remaining calm and uplifted in a stressful world. But if you’re really busy the obligation to meditate may be just another pressure. If you do find the time, meditating might be extra hard, as you may be one of those people – and there are many! – whose minds won’t switch off.
Realise that meditation is just a shift in the state of mind to a place of detachment, and although some people do it more easily than others, it’s perfectly natural. You don’t have to sit in the lotus position or commit lots of time to this. Here are some points about meditation:
- You can do it for five minutes, or even two minutes – anything is better than nothing
- You can play music, do a guided visualisation or repeat a mantra or affirmation
- You can sit or stand in any position that’s really comfortable, to meditate
- Just being peaceful and noticing your surroundings for a few minutes gives you a mindfulness space and will calm you down
- You can meditate while walking by being in touch with your surroundings, experiencing each step and having your mind in the ‘now’
Make meditation work for you by being realistic about the time you can give, and in your choice of type of meditation. For instance, if you have a very wandering mind, a guided visualisation may be best. Never worry if you get distracted. Just keep coming back whenever you realise you’ve strayed, and you’ll benefit anyway.
COMPARISONS ARE ODIOUS!
One of the most stressful things you can do is to compare yourself to others. How can you find inner peace if you’re so often competing with people you fear are better than you?
We are all on a journey. We are all unique souls, gifted with this life, to do our best and to enjoy. Material success is no indication of how meaningful your life is going to be on your path to the Source and the Light – in fact, if you’re competing with others how can you be in touch with the significance of your own precious life?
Social media are very much to blame for making everyone more competitive. Limit your time on social media and take it all with a pinch of salt. Every time you catch yourself comparing yourself to others, stop. Think of something great that you’ve done and see yourself surrounded by light. You are a star – and there’s room for an infinite number in the sky.
Feeling grateful is deeply soothing to the soul, flowing through your being and healing so much. It is one sure way to inner peace.
Start and end each day by focusing on what you’re grateful for. Set yourself a target of three things, six things, ten – whatever you think you can manage. Dwell on your good fortune and amplify the joy you feel. Be grateful to whatever Power you believe in, or simply to life itself. So, peace be with you!