How to Find Peace of Mind
How to Have Peace of Mind
Does your life seem too complicated sometimes? Do you feel overburdened? It can happen to anyone. Fortunately, there are things you can do to rid your life of negative influences and cultivate peace of mind. Many people don't know where to begin, but there are several steps you can take right now to generate more peace in your life. Whether that's small changes in behavior or big changes in lifestyle, find out how to get the peace you deserve.
Developing Peace of Mind
Breathe.Intentional breathing is a simple activity, but it's one of the most powerful ways to create peace of mind. Emotions and breathing are closely connected. If you slow your breath and learn to breathe evenly and fully, your emotions will calm down as well. Breathing practices have been shown to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. They also activate the "rest and digest" part of the nervous system, known as the parasympathetic nervous system.Here are steps you can take:
- Find a comfortable place to sit.
- Put one hand on your belly and one on your chest.
- Breathe in deeply from your belly, so that your stomach extends out but your chest stays in place.
- Hold this breath for a couple seconds and then breathe out.
- Repeat this sequence until you find a steady rhythm. Try to do this practice for 10 minutes every day.
Exercise.Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. You should do 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise (walking, running, bicycling, swimming, etc) 3-5 times per week for good results. Here are some of the things exercise does:
- Lifts your mood by flooding your brain with endorphins and serotonin, which are "happy chemicals" in the brain.
- Boosts your energy and reduces fatigue.
- Improves sleep, even chronic insomnia.
- Reduces your risk for diseases such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Get enough sunlight.Sunlight produces Vitamin D in your body, which also increases your serotonin levels. You can't get the same effect from indoor lighting, so try to spend time outside when you can.Here are some activities you can do:
- Play sports.
- Go for a swim.
- Pack a picnic.
Pursue the "flow state." One of the best ways to experience peace of mind and happiness is to get into a flow state. A flow state is where you are completely involved in an activity without overthinking things. You enter flow states when you are doing things you love and when you are being challenged in a way that's suitable to your abilities.
- Do what you love to do. This could be anything from playing darts on the weekend to landing your dream job as an accountant.
Be generous.Generosity actually causes us to be happier and increases peace of mind.Giving away money can decrease the stress hormone cortisol. It can also extend how long you live, and it can even promote mental health. People who are more generous are less likely to be depressed.How you want to be generous is up to you, but here are a few suggestions:
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen or another community service organization.
- Donate to your favorite charity.
- Offer to help friends and family members with finances, home development, or babysitting.
Cultivate gratitude.Being grateful for what you have in life is a great way to develop peace of mind. Gratefulness decreases stress and increases things like optimism and life satisfaction. You don't even need to have a lot to be grateful; there's always something you can be grateful for. Here are steps you can take to be more grateful:
- Keep a gratitude journal. People who have a gratitude journal feel better about their lives as a whole. Each day, write down what you're thankful for.
- See the positive side to challenges. For example, if you have a noisy neighbor, this can improve your patience and ability to deal with irritation.
Join a community.People generally prefer being with others to being alone. Also, connecting with other people gives us an endless stream of peace and happiness. Many sources of "quick fix" happiness or peace of mind tend to go away the more we engage in the activity, but spending time with people we are close to seems to be an exception.
- For example, if you identify with a particular religion, find a good church, temple, mosque, or synagogue to attend.
- For more examples, join a sports team or a reading group.
Express yourself.Creative arts can be a powerful source of happiness and peace of mind.Different ways to express yourself artistically can help you feel better about your life. Here are a few suggestions for things to do:
- Draw, color, or paint. You don't have to be amazing; you'll get the benefits of catharsis and engaging your imagination either way.
- Dance. Join a dance class or just make a habit out of dancing to music in your home.
- Play an instrument. Guitar, piano, and other instruments are a great way to express yourself through music.
Working on Areas of Challenge
Identify your areas of challenge.If something is preventing you from achieving peace of mind, it's a good idea to figure out what it is. That way, you can make a game plan for overcoming these obstacles and reaching a peaceful state. Try making a list of things in your life that you're unhappy with. Writing them down is a good way to brainstorm more effectively.
Make peace with your past.Is there an event in your past that still haunts you? Maybe you made a mistake that derailed your career or didn't tell someone you loved them? Try to make peace with your past in order to exorcise those old ghosts that may still be haunting you. Peace in the present moment can sometimes be blocked by a past that hasn't been dealt with.
- Forgive yourself if appropriate. You probably didn't have the same knowledge that you do now.
- Let go of your anger. Write about your inner rage privately. No need to hold back or censor yourself because no one will see these thoughts. It’s important to not keep your angry feelings bottled up inside and let the negativity fester.
- Accept what has happened. Playing events over and over in your mind only continues the cycle of hurt feelings. Acceptance and moving forward helps to begin the healing process so you can focus on your future.
Work on your relationships.If your relationships with parents or loved ones are strained, repair these connections so that you can more fully accept yourself and your life. Sometimes the best way to create peace of mind is to fix the current issues that make it difficult. Close relationships are one of the most important sources of happiness and peace of mind, so it's worth it to try and iron these things out.
Forgive other people.It's easy to hold grudges, but forgiving people who have hurt us is really important for mental health and better relationships. If you want peace of mind, you'll need to let go of any bitterness you have toward people from your past. You don't actually need to reconcile with these people if you don't want to; forgiveness is something that happens inside of you rather than between you and another person.
- When you forgive, you are allowing yourself to heal because you are letting go of your grievances and negative judgements.Holding onto grudges can negatively affect you by bringing anger and bitterness into every new situation, not being able to enjoy the present, losing connection with others, feeling like your life lacks meaning, and becoming depressed or anxious.
- A good exercise is to write down the names of people you're angry at and the reasons you're angry. You can then say "I forgive you" to each of the people. Lack of forgiveness can hurt you more than the other people, so do this for your own sake.
Avoid materialism.Buying things is not a good method for creating peace of mind. You may feel a surge of happiness when you first get a new belonging, but this will wear off more quickly than other sources of happiness such as strong relationships.Materialism increases competitiveness, and people who have more tend to have higher rates of depression and marital dissatisfaction.If you want peace of mind, avoid the trap of buying things to feel good.
Make changes where necessary.You may need to make significant changes in your life in order to feel at peace. For instance, living in a bad neighborhood can negatively affect your mind, causing things like depression.If you feel really stressed by life circumstances such as your current job or where you live, it's recommended that you take steps to changing your surroundings. A job that makes you miserable or an unsafe neighborhood may seem tolerable, but they can have strong effects on your mental health and prevent you from having peace of mind. Here are some tips to help you make lasting changes:
- Make plans that you will stand by. Make sure when you're in the planning process that it's what you really want. For instance, if you want to move to a new place, make sure it's somewhere that you'd enjoy living in terms of culture, food, political affiliation, etc.
- Start with small, reasonable steps. Avoid planning to move across the country this coming weekend. If you do want to move, start small by researching housing options, school options, and more.
- Involve the other people in your life. Don't do it all on your own. Enlist help from friends and family members. If you want to move, ask what they think and see if they will help you pack up.
Deal with toxic people.Toxic relationships can be a powerful obstacle to having peace of mind in your life. These people may drain your emotions and never give anything back. They may take advantage of you. It may feel like everything is about them in the relationship. You may feel uncomfortable being yourself around them. Here are some tips for how to deal with these kinds of toxic relationships:
- Avoid being in denial. It's easy to make excuses for the people we enjoy being around, but ask yourself how you feel after you've spent time with them. Ask yourself if you actually want to spend time with them or if it feels like you have to. Ask yourself if you expect something from them that you never get.
- Identify what you get out of the relationship. Even toxic relationships have some kind of draw, or you wouldn't be in them. Maybe the person makes you feel comfortable, even if they hurt you. Maybe they buy you things to make up for their negative behavior.
- Find alternative sources. The likelihood is that you can find other ways to fill these wants and needs for yourself. You don't need to stick around in a friendship or romantic relationship that's toxic; you can find the same perks elsewhere without all the baggage. Try meeting new people.
QuestionHow can I forget the past?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerInstead of trying to forget the past, try to make peace with it instead. Forgive yourself, and let mistakes serve as a learning experience, and challenges as a growing experience.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I deal with a toxic relationship when we both want it to work?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's not easy, and it will require a lot of introspection and willingness to work on your own flaws. If the relationship is toxic, then that means one or both of you has some behaviors that are harmful to the other person, so you have to identify those behaviors and do your best to eliminate them. If you cannot fix the relationship on your own, then you may have to seek professional counseling.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I say goodbye to the one I truly love?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt is not easy to say goodbye to a person you truly love, so it will be more appropriate never say goodbye, and rather to settle the differences you may have.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I overcome depression?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThanks!
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