I don’t claim to be a self-help guru or to know all the answers in the universe, but I do have a pretty good understanding of what it’s like to be at peace with yourself and your surroundings. If I had the power to grant one thing to everyone in the world it wouldn’t be gold, silver, or diamonds. It wouldn’t even be world peace, it would be individual inner peace. From that peace within their would arise great wealth and world peace. Peace sounds like such a nice thing to have, but how do we go about getting it?
The first thing we must know is what peace is. Have you ever defined it? I looked it up on Dictionary.com and it listed many definitions, but the one I want to focus on today is this:
Peace – freedom of the mind from annoyance, distraction, anxiety, an obsession, etc.; tranquillity; serenity.
Imagine a life like that! No annoyances or distractions, no anxiety, no obsessions. Sounds like a wonderful dream, but is it possible? In my life I’ve always maintained a pretty even keel when it comes to getting angry or losing my temper. I seem to have been bore with a pretty calm demeanor and personality. So I do have that advantage. 🙂 BUT I still believe that anyone can find themselves in a happier more peaceful place by taking a few easy steps.
1) Find a Belief System
I’m a Christian and have been for about as long as I can remember. While I personally believe Christianity is the ultimate way to achieve peace, I want you to discover that for yourself. Forcing people to believe a certain way is not a path to peace, so take your time and examine your current situation. I will say, however, that having held these beliefs has helped me through thick and thin. Anyway, the important thing is to realize that there is a force at work we cannot see. Call it God, the universe, whatever, but it does exist.
2) Find the good in all things.
There is a lot more good out there then bad, but for some reason we humans always seem to focus on the negative. Ever wonder why we call traffic lights “stop lights”? Why don’t we call them “go lights”? Just a personal question there, ;-). The news is full of war stories, murders, death, and unsolved mysteries. That’s why I try not to watch the news too much anymore, it creates a bad frame of reference. Instead look for what’s good out there. Volunteer, give to others and serve others. You will find that serving others is the ultimate peace maker.
3) Don’t Focus on the problem
This goes with # 2, but it still merits having it’s own category. When bad things happen, don’t focus on it and definitely don’t let those feelings control you. We have emotion and logic to guide us. Emotion can be a powerful tool but it can always make you a powerful fool. Don’t say things you’ll regret or do things you don’t really want to do. This will be a giant step in finding peace. To do this, break the old thought patterns you’ve used in the past. When you get angry, odds are you follow down a similar path every time.
Let’s say you’re in traffic and somebody cuts you off. Before you would have yelled, screamed, and displayed your sign language skills. But now you’ll do something totally different, like laughing. Yes, make yourself laugh! You will be amazed at how doing this seemingly crazy thing will work wonders. I won’t go into it here, but it has to do with Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Try it out!
4) Practice everyday
Notice I said practice. I believe that even inner peace contains an element of practice. This sort of taints the “spiritual” aspect of it, so I don’t want to say that it’s a chore or work. I just want to convey that as in all things, there is a stage where you have to act out the experience before it comes into fruition. Make yourself focus on finding peace in everyday life and soon you’ll be well on your way to living a life of peace and serenity.
5) Write it Down
I could add this to every single one of my “how to” articles. Writing down goals makes you 1000 times more likely to follow through with your goals. I’m making that figure up, but you get the point! Decide how you want to experience peace and how soon you want to experience it, and voila, you will.
Inner Peace begins in the mind, manifests in the physical, and transcends into the spiritual.
So, let’s in the words of the immortal poet John Lennon, “Give peace a chance.”