“Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.” -Pema Chodron
When you think of inner peace, images of monks sitting on top of snowy mountains or yoga practitioners mid-Vinyasa might come to mind. While these people have their own version of nirvana, there’s more to inner peace than this.
In truth, finding inner peace allows you to approach life with a refreshed, collected mindset. Because your sense of balance comes from within, you aren’t as easily swayed by outside problems. You know better than to let things get to you — instead, you keep a clear, steady mind, even in the face of hardship or adversity.
But of course, like a muscle that requires flexing in order to work, inner peace needs effort, too. The good news is that it’s certainly attainable for everyone, regardless of your religion, gender, or age. Here are a few habits to give you a head start on your road to inner peace.
1. Always say thank you
It’s easy to get carried away with life when you’ve got a job, a personal life, and other things to balance. But taking the time to be grateful for the blessings you have goes a long way.
According to writers Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine, who wrote The Power of Thanks, gratitude promotes well-being. By framing both good and bad experiences in another perspective, you are able to look at the situation more objectively. Moreover, if it was a negative outcome, you can look beyond the disappointment and take it as a learning experience to be thankful for.
As busy adults, we are accustomed to short, shallow breaths that may fill our chests, but not our bellies. These shallow breaths are actually linked to stress.
Lifestyle writer Maria Lally reveals the importance of proper breathing to our well-being. This is often overlooked and is not only free and easy to do, but it also comes with even more benefits such as helping reduce your stress levels and making you more productive.
3. Keep your home clutter-free
There’s a reason why many people have jumped on Marie Kondo’s KonMari train. This decluttering method entails you to ask the question “does it spark joy?” before deciding to keep or throw away an item. However, it is more than just a manual on how to clean your home.
In truth, this method empowers you to trade the excess clutter in your life for a sense of peace that comes with owning, keeping track of, and seeing fewer things occupying space at home. The KonMari isn’t about removing yourself from your material belongings, but radically redefining your relationship with them. The clean space is just an added bonus.
4. Plan your days
Planning your days provides you with a sense of control. Because you already know what to expect, you’re less likely to become overwhelmed or veer away from important tasks at hand. Whether you prefer to jot plans down on a notebook or keep track of your day via your mobile phone, staying organized with how you spend your time helps you keep a clear head.
5. Be open to surprises
In relation to the previous point, sometimes things don’t always go according to plan, and that’s okay. You can try to plan your days down to the last second, but there’s no guarantee it will follow through. Don’t let it frustrate you. Instead, be open to all possible results, even if they are bad. This is what will allow you to grow and be better prepared next time.
6.Find a relaxation technique that works for you
In today’s modern world, brands have redefined the term “self-care” to equate to expensive face masks, spa days, and scented candles. While these things are all well and good, it’s not really for everyone.
Therefore, it’s good to find the relaxation technique that makes you feel recharged in your own way, whether it’s taking a walk outside or reading a book.
7. Be comfortable with silence
For people accustomed to the hustle and bustle of urban life, silence can feel like a chore. However, there is inner peace to be found in stillness. People tend to feel awkward during quiet moments, but do your best to revel in the peacefulness and allow it to relax you. You might find that it’s all it takes to put you in the right head space.
8. Don’t forget your physical health
Of course, it’s harder to achieve inner peace when your outer self isn’t in its best shape. Looking after yourself means making sure you’re healthy so you’re better equipped to handle whatever life throws at you.
So go to the gym, eat your vegetables, don’t put off doctor’s appointments, and say no to junk food. These are all important for your body, so avoid looking at them like a chore. Aside from the junk food, of course.
9. Dress to your liking
Clothes are much more than just protective threads for our bodies. An article on Brain Fodder suggests that what we wear has the power to alter our mood and perceptions— a phenomenon called “enclothed cognition.” This is why you might associate people in suits as powerful, or someone clad in bright colors as fun. But before you consider getting dressed up to impress someone, never forget the first person who should be the most comfortable: yourself.
Don’t be afraid to wear what you like, because squeezing into trendy jeans that don’t fit you will only make you self-conscious later in the day. Just like body positive women’s brand Woman Within emphasizes, comfort is key when wearing clothes that make you feel your best. Prioritize your personal fit over sizing, because numbered sizing doesn’t define the perfect body. When you realize this, it’s easier to define your own style standards and have fun with it, instead of letting something as mundane as fabric get in the way of your inner peace.
10. Keep the digital clutter at bay
Just like keeping your physical environment clean, it’s important to filter the kind of content you consume online as well. We live in a digital world where content comes and goes in seconds, making it easy to get overwhelmed and let digital clutter affect your mental state.
Don’t be afraid to hit that unfollow button on accounts that only bombard you with negativity, or weed out your social media friends list of people who have nothing substantial to add to your life. You’ll be surprised at how light you’ll feel afterwards.
11. Surround yourself with the right people
You are the kind of company you keep. More often than not, friends and family play a huge role in shaping our identities. Sadly, there are people who might loom like a cloud of negativity, dragging you into their whirlpool of drama.
While you might not be able to avoid them completely, you can make the active choice to surround yourself with positivity through people you can learn from and help you become your best self. Choose your friends well and keep them close.
12. Get enough sleep
No amount of caffeine can ever substitute for good quality sleep. It might seem like no big deal to miss out on a few hours of rest, but Healthline outlines the many bad effects of not getting your eight hours of shut-eye.
This includes draining your mental abilities and making you feel tired and grumpy. When this happens, the smallest things can get blown out of proportion and make you feel like your life is in shambles. So when your body tells you it’s tired and needs a reset, listen and hit the hay before you collapse into a ball of fatigue.
13. Enjoy slow mornings
There’s something about mornings that fill you with hope for new beginnings. When you wake up, resist the urge to reach for your phone and check your email. This can make you feel unnecessarily overwhelmed before the day has even started.
Instead, set yourself up for a peaceful and balanced day by giving yourself the space to fuel your tank. You might think you’re not “a morning person,” but it pays to get up earlier and not have to rush anything. You will feel a lot less stressed, more productive, and more present — all the makings of inner peace.
14. Have a sense of humor
Laughter is a good stress reliever and instantly delivers a jolt of happiness to your brain. Call up a friend who makes you laugh, sit down with your favorite comedy sitcom, or go downtown and catch a comedy show. Don’t let a day pass without laughter, because it is what can keep you sane when the world keeps trying to drown you in sorrow.
15. Make time for the things you enjoy
The saying “all work and play makes Jack a dull boy” holds quite a lot of truth. Not letting yourself enjoy the things you are passionate about will only set you up for a burn out. It could be as small as buying yourself ice cream after a long day, or setting aside time for you to write.
Remember: balance is key. Knowing when to take a a break is what will also bring out the best in your work.
And there you have it — with these 15 small habits, you can be well on your way to achieving inner peace that lasts. For more articles on personal development and growth, be sure to explore the articles here on the Great Big Minds site.
What other ways have you used to find your inner peace? I’ll love to hear from you. Leave your comments below.