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There is a need for peace in our lives
We have become overstressed and overscheduled doers. Most of us have forgotten how to relax and feel present in our lives. We’re always stretching to reach for the next thing we see along our path. We are constantly under a barrage of external aggravations and noise washing over us. Our stress levels are off the charts. Our bodies are in constant fight or flight mode. The stress hormone cortisol is making us strung out and irritable. Some stress is good in our lives. It makes hit our deadlines, decide what we want (or don’t want) in our lives, and gives us an edge in the business world. However, maybe it’s time to take a good look at adding peace to our private worlds.
I have had a panic disorder over five years ago. The advice the doctor gave me, along with a sanity-saving prescription, was to find my sources of stress and learn how to take a step back bring some peace into my life.
Bringing Some Peace to Your Life
These are the ten key things that I’ve put into practice in my life since 2012. I can’t say that I don’t have any stress but these have made my life happy and productive. I have energy and time for quality experiences in my life. They’ve made me slow down and realize all the good things that are there for me to enjoy.
1. Take Time for Yourself
Someone once told me to “take care of you first and everything will follow”. Women, more so than men, tend to put everyone and everything before themselves. I was no different. Once I started taking ‘me’ time every day I became happier and less resentful.
I established some boundaries with friends and family and to my surprise, they understood. They also appreciated a happier and more well-adjusted me.
Develop rituals that soothe you. Try heading to bed an hour earlier than normal and having a soak in the tub, doing your nails, or prop yourself up in bed and read. Do something nice for yourself every single day.
2. Meditate Every Day
Meditate, but keep this separate from your ‘me’ time. Sometimes the two will overlap because of time restraints, but try to keep this time separate. I tend to use guided meditations after my ‘me’ time and right before I go to sleep. On the weekends I take a little extra time during the day.
Keep it simple. Meditation doesn’t mean you have to twist yourself into a pretzel and try to make your mind blank. Try a guided meditation. There are actually apps for that. Even libraries are carrying audible books with guided meditations. One of my favorites is Wayne Dyer’s Meditations for Manifesting. Repeating a simple mantra or affirmation is another great way to calm your mind.
Make sure you have a quiet space to get comfortable listening to your mind.
3. Practice Appreciation
This is also a very simple thing to add to your life. You can do it anytime Just say the words “I appreciate … ” and follow it what you truly do appreciate. Appreciate the sun for shining, the birds for singing, your mate for being there with you, your house for keeping you warm and dry, or anything that crosses your path. Appreciate all the great things in your life and you will attract more of what you appreciate.
4. Stop Worrying and Live in the Present
“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength” – Corrie Ten Boom
Linda, a co-worker at my day job, gave me a bookmark with this quote on it. It perfectly reflects what living in the present does for us. Most of what we worry about NEVER comes true. Instead, it just makes us inattentive to all the goodness we have now. Worrying about events that happened in the past are just drains on our time in the present. They’re PAST, done with, over, worrying about them now is useless.
Focus on the present moment, it’s all we have so spend it wisely.
5. Limit Information Overwhelm
Limiting the amount of information that comes at us is difficult, I get that. But there are ways to get rid of a lot of it.
Unsubscribe from email lists that send you mail you never open. Limit magazine subscriptions to just those few that you love. Reduce the amount of local, national, world news that you take into a few times a week whether it’s on TV, radio, or online. Be aware of how much time you spend on the internet and make an effort to cut down on going down rabbit holes chasing information that has little relevance to our lives.
We’re so tuned in and turned on to our electronics that they’ve made life overwhelming. Try taking one day a week and not connecting with any of your electronic gear.
6. Create a Sanctuary in Your Home
Sanctuaries are large or small. They can encompass a whole room, a small corner or even a space outside. Make it your own, gather your favorite things there and let your family know that this is your space for quiet and peace.
7. Spend Time In Nature
Find a lovely place to walk, hop on your bike and ride, or just spend time in your yard. Reconnecting with nature can really create a lasting calm. Take your shoes off and walk through your grass barefoot. Go to a beach and wiggle your toes in the sand. Get away to the mountains and breathe fresh air. Reconnect with mother Earth. Listen to what she’s saying. Open up your heart and mind and find peacefulness and calm.
8. Learn to Say No
There are multiple distractions all vying for our time and attention. A lot of us grew up with the notion that you don’t ever want to let people down by telling them no. I don’t know about you, but I always said yes, I was a people pleaser. So I said yes to things that ate away my time, and things that weren’t authentic to me or my beliefs, and for too many years I was over scheduled and over stressed because of this. One little word made my life more calm and happy because I was being true to myself and not stretching myself so thin. No is an empowering word.
9. Simplify Your Life
My husband and I have started an ongoing project. We are cleaning out all the nooks and crannies in our house and “unstuffing”. We’re doing this exercise to prepare for retirement from our day jobs.
Just as there is information overwhelm, there is also “stuff” overwhelm. He and I joined households in 2009. In 2014 my older brother came to live with us because of health problems. In essence, we joined three households with years of accumulated stuff and life started feeling cramped. The sheer amount of stuff shoved into closets and the basement was really causing some friction.
With each room or area that we declutter and clean up, the house seems more welcoming and peaceful. There is also a sense of accomplishment that is soothing.
10. Be Gentle With Yourself
I’m ending with the most important lesson that I learned. Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself room to breathe. You deserve it.
Peace in an Ever-Changing World
In the end, we are only human with all our human faults and strengths. Underneath we’re all just trying to make sense out of the world around us. Peace and happiness are our birthrights. Staying calm during the storm is our way to get there.
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