Stress? Inner Peace? How do these two things relate to one another? Besides being opposites.
Achieving inner peace is one way of managing the negative stress in your life. And being able to manage your stress is the first step in being able to care for yourself, your loved ones and even the world through things like acts of kindness.
So, when you make strides toward achieving inner peace, you’re really contributing to humankind on a larger level. Feels like a big responsibility, right?
But it’s really not. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to contribute to the betterment of the world. And if you start with yourself by cultivating your inner peace, you’ll have enough energy left over to contribute your gifts for the betterment of the world. Read on for four strategies to help you cultivate inner peace as a way of managing your stress before your stress manages you.
Mindfulness is all about being fully present and paying attention to things purposefully. When you’re mindful, you’re able to focus fully on the one thing that you have. This moment. Ask yourself:
How do I feel?
What’s happening around me?
What sensations am I experiencing?
What’s the joy that I can find in this one moment in time?
These questions are important to ask yourself because they help you get deeper into the moment. And that’s important because you’re never gonna experience this exact moment again.
You might be asking yourself what are the benefits of developing a mindfulness practice?
When you develop and engage a mindfulness practice, you come alive. You’re no longer living on autopilot, staying stuck in the past, or worrying about the future.
As with most things in life that are worthwhile, it won’t necessarily be easy; especially if mindfulness is something new to you. But the good news is that in each moment, you have another shot at being mindful again. You just have to make the time to begin your practice.
Don’t Take It Personally
In life you can’t control how other people behave, but you can control your response to other’s bad behavior. If you have an encounter with someone and they’re being a little grouchy, let it be. At its core, whatever they’re dealing with probably has nothing to do with you. They may have just had a rough day or fought with their spouse this morning. Although we don’t like to believe it, honestly, other people rarely think about us as much as we believe that they do.
Try taking a deep breath and counting to 10. Remember the saying, “this too shall pass.” Hopefully, that’ll allow you to not let your emotions take over so that you can continue to foster your inner peace and not be stressed.
If you’re used to being busy it can be hard to be still and fully present. But It is do-able, and peace can be found in the journey. Take time to sit outside, whether it’s in your backyard or at your local park. Spend time in nature. Instead of looking at all the people passing by and watching where they go, just sit still. Close your eyes and let the images of the people pass by like clouds in the sky.
Be present; don’t overthink. Enjoy the sensations of the breeze blowing your hair and the sun on your face. If you hear people talking that’s okay. Just don’t let yourself get caught up in what they’re saying. When your mind starts going every which way, just bring it back to your breath. Now, that’s inner peace.
Let Your Actions Speak Louder Than Words
"When deeds speak, words are nothing." -African Proverb
This quote leads back to where we started – cultivating peace in the world by finding it within ourselves. When you’ve developed your sense of inner peace, it’s natural that you’d want to share it with others.
Your actions can show others that peace isn’t as elusive as we sometimes believe in this fast-paced modern world. Your inner peace is spread by being kind, compassionate and loving to others and especially yourself (talk that positive talk).
So, there you have it, four easy ways to cultivate a feeling of inner peace which should lower your stress levels and allow you to engage in self-care.
Let’s talk – what are you gonna do to cultivate a feeling of inner peace? Let me know in the comments section.
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. In her spare time, she enjoys papercrafting, volunteering and travel. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In