The most important thing about peace of mind is this that it’s not situational. A lot of us look for peace of mind by trying to predict the future, by controlling everything and everyone, or by putting our faith in a political candidate who makes us feel safe.
But when we try to anchor our sense of well-being to an ever-shifting, chaotic world, we will constantly feel anxious and unsettled.
True peace of mind is not contingent upon circumstances. It’s a way of being a choice to rise above your situation.
You have to be a person of peace and choose to live a life of peace, which paradoxically means you have to be ready to encounter difficulty.
Ways to Find Peace of Mind:
Face uncomfortable truths head on
Finding peace of mind isn’t about erasing every uncomfortable emotion or thought. It’s about braving the rapids for stiller waters. Numbing, suppressing and avoiding disappointment and anxiety will only make everything worse.
Don’t run from or judge your feelings. Instead, be compassionate and curious. Sometimes, simply giving yourself permission to call it like it is will allow you to feel tremendous relief.
Try a meditation
Meditation is a woo-woo practice for yogis and granola people that only eat kale. But in reality, meditation is the practice of paying attention to and controlling our thoughts. It’s learning where your body and your mind connect and how you can take a bird’s-eye view of your desires. It’s a game changer. My team and I put together a free meditation that will help you find peace of mind.
Clear up your schedule
You cannot outrun or outperform your anxiety and depression. Being rushed and overcommitted will destroy your peace of mind. Look at how you’re spending your time and find things you can say no to. Slow down, create boundaries around your calendar and find time to breathe.
Throw your screens out the window
Our devices are stealing our attention, our joy and our ability to be present with ourselves and with others. But it doesn’t mean you go off the grid and live in the woods without electricity or smartphones or plumbing. For most of us, technology is an important tool for our work and our lives. But we need to have major guardrails around technology use.
Reevaluate your relationship with technology. Is it serving you, or are you serving it? Treat your attention as your most important commodity. Treasure it. Value it. Protect it.
Prayer is important. If you’re a person of faith, You should make regular time to pray and calm your spirit. Regardless of your faith tradition or your relationship (or lack of) with God, we must all internalize one important truth: The universe does not revolve around you. We’re small, and our time on earth is short. There are much bigger things going on. Prayer reminds us to sit in our smallness and helps us remember that we all need help getting through each moment.
One of the best ways to get stress out of your body is to be active. Lift weights. Ride a bike. Join a team. Do anything you can to be active. Exercise will clear your mind and heal your body unlike anything else.
Spend time outside
Be outside whenever possible. Get a blanket if it’s cold or wear shorts if it’s too hot. But get outside. Nature is healing and restorative for your heart, mind and body. Put your bare feet in the grass, listen to the birds, take a hike, sit by a lake or a river and just breathe in the air.
Getting a full seven to nine hours of sleep every night is ridiculously important because sleep fixes so many health issues including stress and anxiety. Sleep is about as close to a silver bullet as you can get.
If you have trouble actually getting to sleep because your thoughts are spinning, create a wind-down routine an hour before bed where you get off technology, dim the lights, take a relaxing bath, take pure supplements (not medications), read a good book, and meditate and journal to help calm your mind.
Along with sleep, nutrient-rich foods are a foundational pillar of health. There’s no such thing as “mental health” and “physical health.” It’s all just health. And food has a direct impact on your mood, as well as your body’s ability to function, respond and recover. A diet that’s high in sugar and processed foods and other trash will contribute significantly to your anxiety levels. Be a good steward of the one body you have and eat well.
Unresolved conflict can be a huge source of anxiety. Do you need to forgive someone for the hurt they caused you? Do you need to forgive yourself for a mistake that haunts you? Unforgiveness leads to bitterness, and it’s been said that bitterness is the poison we drink hoping someone else will die. Don’t carry the bricks of bitterness or anger. Set the bricks down. Choose to forgive.
Listen to music
Music is healing for the soul whether you’re jamming to ’80s hair metal (one of my personal favorites) or some lo-fi beats to create some Zen. Find a playlist or an album that brings you joy and turn up the volume.
Do something creative
Creativity is a remarkable outlet for stress relief and peace. I love this quote from Brené Brown: “Unused creativity is not benign . . . It metastasizes into resentment, grief, heartbreak.” Is there a creative outlet you’ve been missing? Dust off your guitar. Start that business. Plant a garden. Cook a meal for your neighbors.
Getting lost in a good novel is another great way to increase creativity. Pick up a book and give your brain a break from problem-solving mode.
Practice gratitude every day
I keep a gratitude journal every single day. I know this feels cheesy and Pinteresty, but it’s powerful and transformative. Anxiety keeps us fixated on past experiences or worried about future ones, but gratitude is grounding because it centers us in the present. It reminds us to stop complaining and whining and internalize our blessings.
(Dr. John Delony)