Inner peace is a deep and abiding sense of psychological and spiritual harmony. You may have experienced such a feeling when you were stimulated by an extraordinary event in life. For instance, when you graduated, bought your first car, or went on a holiday with your loved one. But such moments of tranquillity soon disappear when the mind gets distracted by the demands of everyday life. Imagine being constantly interrupted by your kids when you are on an important call or struggling with a project you’ve been trying to finish for weeks. When a situation feels chaotic and out of control, the only place you can find peace is within yourself.
Inner peace is not a transitory feeling, but a natural state of awareness. Many people confuse the quest for inner peace with the life of an ascetic. In reality, anyone, anywhere, can cultivate and experience inner peace. It is simply a way of living that fosters curiosity, acceptance and self-control to achieve emotional wellbeing. However, this doesn’t mean that you avoid, deny or minimise the realities of life. It simply means that you embrace both the negative and positive aspects of life with an open mind.
With practice, you can learn to connect to this reservoir of inner peace even in the face of adversity. Inner peace can help you control your stress, depression, anger and resentment. But, how can you find a sense of harmony and emotional wellbeing in the midst of chaos?
You can start by practicing these 6 valuable habits that can bring you closer to inner peace.
Take deep breaths
When things seem to be getting out of hand, take a break from the chaos around you. Focus your attention on your body and take a deep breath to collect and release your thoughts. Mindful breathing is a source of relaxation and can elevate your mood, provide mental clarity and reduce stress. Start with unconscious shallow breaths and gradually control them to take deeper breaths. Deep breathing can be especially useful when you are stressed. Whether you’re trying to get your kids to eat or handling a tough situation at work, deep breathing can bring an instant sense of calm during stressful situations.
Be present in the moment
No matter how much you plan and focus, you can never be sure of how life is going to play out. The only thing you can control is the present. So, avoid cluttering your mind with negative thoughts from the past and the fear and uncertainty of the future. Be present in the current moment and stay mindful of everything you do or say. When you think too much about the past or the future, you’re less likely to take action to solve the issues in front of you. Focus on how you can improve your present situation. This way, you can keep chaos from taking over your mind.
Trust that things will be fine
Mental strength and inner peace go hand in hand. Mentally strong people are confident to handle any situation life throws their way. That’s not to say they don’t feel pain or sadness. They just don’t lose hope at any cost. Trust and believe with conviction that no matter how difficult a situation seems, things will work out in the end. When you have faith, you can emerge from a chaotic situation because you are calm and not flustered by the outcome.
Make meditation a part of your life
Finding inner peace, especially when confronted with difficult situations is tough. Your mind tends to get caught up in a flurry of emotions, which in turn makes you lose your focus. By making meditation a part of your life, you not only increase your focus but also reduce stress and anxiety. You develop a sense of inner peace and balance that benefits both your emotional and physical wellbeing. Meditation can also help you get rid of all the unnecessary thoughts that cloud your mind. Meditation allows you to unplug and refocus and is a useful coping mechanism for dealing with stressful situations.
Practicing gratitude is one of the best ways to attain inner peace. You can start with two simple habits to develop a gratitude mindset—maintain a gratitude journal and smile as soon as you get up in the morning. Ashley Davis Bush, a psychotherapist and author of The Little Book of Inner Peace: Simple Practices for Less Angst, More Calm, says, “When you smile, it signals your brain that things are good and that you’re happy.” If you are struggling to remember the things you’re grateful for in the midst of chaos, you can start by listing out the brighter aspects of the situation you are in. Gratitude helps you feel positive emotions, relish good experiences, deal with adversity and build strong relationships.
Take a break from time to time
It is important to make time for yourself if you want to cultivate inner peace. Take a quick break from your work to listen to your favourite song or play with your pet. You’ll find that such relaxing activities have the potential to calm you down and make you feel refreshed. Give yourself a moment to enjoy the simple pleasures of life that are a source of pure happiness. It can be in the form of reading, cooking, taking a walk, spending time with your family, or just taking a nap. Whatever you do, make it a way to de-stress and relax.