The quest for inner peace in this chaotic world is a noble one.
By finding peace within ourselves, we make it easier to navigate the turmoil of others, whether it’s society or dealing with an uncertain future.
It’s much easier to cope with these external stressors when you have peace within yourself.
You become more in tune with who you are, better understand what is right and wrong for you, and can go with the flow of existence much more easily.
People have searched, debated, and tried to create peace of mind for as long as they’ve been around. After all, philosophy – which has inner peace at its core – is thousands of years old. And that’s just what we have written record of!
A search for inner peace is long and storied, but in this modern age, it really boils down to several key points.
May they help you along your path to freedom from inner turmoil.
1. Identify that which disturbs you.
That seems like an obvious, unhelpful point, doesn’t it?
The crucial element is the details of the statement.
What is it that disturbs your peace of mind? And why does it disturb you?
You need to identify and specify what the problem is before you can fix it.
As an example, let’s say that you have problems with your family that cause you regular stress, sadness, and pain.
Why? Why are those interactions causing you stress, sadness, and pain?
Are your family toxic people?
Did your family experience a terrible loss that is causing them to act differently than they did?
Is there unresolved trauma or pain that isn’t getting dealt with?
What is making you upset? Anxious? Sad? What is disturbing your peace?
Journaling is a fantastic way to get these emotions out and put them into an understandable format.
2. Fix what is fixable.
There are some things we can control, and some things we cannot.
We often do not have control over what we experience in life. Sometimes these things are harsh and traumatic. Other times they are small and benign.
As for working on those problems that disturb your peace of mind, you need to be able to separate what you can control from what you cannot.
You cannot control the life experiences that will visit you. You cannot control the actions and emotions of other people.
You can try, but it usually only ends in resentment and frustration for everyone involved. No one wants to be controlled.
Instead, you have to focus on developing your ability to control the emotions surrounding the thing that is causing you distress.
In doing that, you make their impact smaller, which disturbs your inner peace less.
The process is more complicated when you have a mental illness that might be changing or amplifying what you feel and how you interpret the world. In that scenario, you may need additional help from mental health professionals to limit those extremes.
3. Act in a right and just way as often as you can.
It’s tempting to take the easiest roads when you’re trying to navigate life.
But those easy roads may not be the right roads to take. They may lead down a path of dishonesty or taking the easy out to avoid present pain and suffering.
Unfortunately, this can cause future pain and suffering as you have to sweep up the pieces of whatever broke by choosing to take the wrong path.
Deception is a tangled mess that’s nearly impossible to keep straight. The person eventually slips up, says the wrong thing, reveals the mistruth, and then it undermines their own credibility.
Needing to keep up with and continue to work around wrong actions is mentally and emotionally exhausting.
You may expose yourself to some present strife by trying to act in a right, and just way, but the long-term payoff is so much better.
You need not worry about the future repercussions of your actions if you are striving to do things in a right way.
There is an exception. You do what you need to do if you feel that your safety is at stake.
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4. Consume news and mainstream media in limited amounts.
Do you want to be an informed citizen of the world?
Many people do.
The problem is that we are bombarded – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – with all of the awful, horrific, scary things that are going on in the world.
This unending news cycle in a world that never sleeps is not good for your peace of mind and mental health.
It’s not like there are lots of news stories about the positive and good things people are doing in the world.
No, it’s a constant flow of information about the awful and horrific.
And for the most part, it is unnecessary.
It is outside of the scope of what we can control.
Sure, you can feel bad for people suffering in another place. But what does that actually do? It mostly just robs you of your peace of mind.
You can sympathize with that suffering, but you can’t dwell on it. It’s not even a good idea to dwell on your pain and suffering too much.
Dwelling excessively on your pain and suffering is called ruminating. And ruminating in the negative keeps your mind in a negative mental space, which contributes to a disruption of your inner peace.
You have to be a little selfish with your mental and emotional energy, so you don’t burn out from the ugliness of the world.
5. Reduce your time on social media or quit it altogether.
Social media creates a competition where no one wins any meaningful prizes.
We are continually comparing our daily lives to the highlight reels of our friends and family, even if we are not actively trying to.
People pose and smile for the camera, regardless of how unhappy or ugly things may be in their personal life.
Those lovely beach and hiking pics look great, but that’s just a single vacation in the same kind of difficult life that you might be leading.
Furthermore, social media causes us to waste so much meaningful time when we could be working on growing and improving.
Many of these sites are designed around “ludic loops.” That is a loop of action that provides just enough reward to keep you doing and wanting to do a thing for the scant reward that it offers.
Slot machines are the best example. A person sits down, puts in their money, and pulls the lever. Nothing happens most of the time. But when something does happen? Oh boy! All the lights and sirens and reward that comes from winning! And now you want to win again, so you put in more money and keep going.
Ludic loops are why you may find yourself endlessly scrolling social media. It’s easy, convenient, and provides just enough reward to keep you going.
And if you are going to use social media, limit your use to keep yourself from mindlessly scrolling.
6. Forgive yourself for being human.
The most powerful thing you can do to help your peace of mind is to forgive yourself for being human.
Human beings are messy, emotional, sometimes illogical creatures.
Many people strive to do the right thing, but fall short or make bad decisions in the process. These kinds of decisions can keep a person up at night, the guilt eating away at them.
“If only I’d tried harder!”
“If only I knew this or that!”
“If only I’d done this or that!”
On and on it goes.
The fact of the matter is maybe you couldn’t have tried harder. Maybe you couldn’t have known this or that. Maybe you couldn’t have done this or that.
Maybe you did try as hard as you could and things still went badly, because that certainly happens too.
Or maybe you didn’t. Maybe you slacked off when you shouldn’t have, and things didn’t go according to plan because of it.
All you can do is the best you can. And if you can’t do the best you can, ask yourself why, and forgive yourself for being human.
You can’t be on point and in top form all of the time. It’s impossible. No one can do that.
Reinterpret the setbacks you experience in life as learning experiences to grow from instead of negative ends.
Forgiving your flaws and faults is a big step toward developing peace within yourself.