Life has its funny, little ways of flaunting its grandeur of intricacy, and it’s anything but reluctant to showcase its ever-changing exhibitions. To be on the receiving end, a vessel for the macro chaos we proudly call “my life,” can only be described as a seldomly tranquil experience. Things happen. Big things, terrible things, beautiful things, or simply – too many, and life suddenly turns into an out-of-body experience, and we – are nothing but mute bystanders. Spiralling out of control? Oh, don’t we know it? Stress, anxiety, depression, and the jolly bunch become our go-to mechanisms for coping with insurmountable perplexities that life so joyously and readily throws at us. Peace? Have I known peace? – for what it’s worth, most of us share the same wound. And now the good news; inner peace is a) attainable and b) sustainable. Here are six simple steps to achieve inner peace.
What is inner peace?
I’m glad you asked. The short answer would be the “yin” to our “yang.” That perfect balance, the doing and the introspection working in unison. Now the long answer: inner peace can be defined as a state of calm we feel within, no matter the external conditions. Once attained, inner peace is difficult to lose since it’s an intrinsic part of the human psyche. We never really lose it. We tend to – misplace it under tumultuous circumstances (fight-or-flight response being our forever favourite pick). Now the tricky part: if we unconsciously or consciously avoid visiting our spiritual parts, the perpetual burnout, exhaustion, hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, and other ungodly mechanisms can, indeed, continue to linger on until the very end of time. So, how to achieve inner peace?
1. Open arms
We don’t have to like it, but suppose we simply embrace the rule of accepting what is and refuse to wallow in sorrow, self-pity, and perpetual lament. In that case, we might be on the right path to attaining the previously unthinkable – our inner peace. We flutter our weary wings when things go awry, hoping the negative aspect will get the cue and surrender without a fight. But life doesn’t work that way. The more we resist the change or the upheaval, the more we will struggle. The principles of the universe boil down to the following: “It is what it is.” Locking horns with the macro plain can only result in our suffering. Surrendering to what is and working with it creates room for ultimate balance.
2. The basics to achieve inner pice: communication
Human beings, masters of communication; true or false? No matter how abundant in nuances, idioms, maxims, or synonyms our language, when faced with verbal portraying, we often fail to deliver the intended thought or emotion. Intangible to tangible – alchemy? Just as delicate and onerous. Clear, unambiguous communication is somewhat of a myth these days. And guess what? It makes our hearts heavy with resentment, fear, and sorrow. Learning how to express our feelings or thoughts respectfully (for both parties) will make room for inner peace. Saying things we don’t mean to spare someone’s ego or allowing others to walk all over us to keep the “peace” momentum hinders our well-being.
3. Nature, always
From nature, we came, and to nature, we shall return. Human beings have become immune to natural surroundings. Stillness is no longer considered a wondrous thing to admire, and ominous clouds are only there to mess up our tight and impossible schedules. We lie awake and fill our virtual carts with dry-fit clothes, all so we can resist the benevolent course of nature with utmost wrath (while remaining immaculately dry). The resistance theme emerges yet again. But, we forget. Nature is our ultimate healer, the only physically accessible metaphysical sanctuary. And it’s free of charge. No matter the wound, be it anxiety, chronic depression, or burnout, its arms are there to offer the much-needed embrace. Spending time in nature is also highly recommended for the ones who have experienced loss and are now in grief recovery. The grand scheme of life dares us to learn some coping skills during turbulent times.
4. The problem of external stimuli
We are prone to wounding. All kinds of wounding. Why? Because we take everything too personally and are addicted to positive external responses. Let’s define addiction: as any want or desire that makes us unhappy or discontent if the need is unmet. Example:
- if we get upset because our friend has other plans after work instead of enjoying happy hour with us, we are addicted to having people respond positively to our requests
- if we turn morose because our favourite donut shop ran out of apple fritters, we are, again, addicted to positive external stimuli
If inner peace is the end goal, we must let go of irrealistic expectations and turn from external to internal. Important reminder: no one is in our debt. We don’t own people, time, and objects; we only have our existence and resources. Not good enough? Let’s think again.
5. Selfless acts
Inner peace is about choosing love over fear. And, as we all know, true love is never selfish. “sharing is caring,” as they say. Cognizing peace is not a lonesome doing reserved exclusively for sages; it’s about action, too. Selfish motives impede our spiritual progression. They limit us. Selfless motives set us free. And ironically, the more we serve others, the more we can extend the love to ourselves. By serving others, we forget about our wants and needs, which can also prove to be a relevant vessel for finding peace.
6. Thought curator
We have the willpower to curate our mental space as we please. So, why do we almost always choose darkness? Negative thoughts and consciousness go hand in hand; still, there are ways to prevent unnecessary turmoil. We should:
- pay attention to our thoughts throughout the day
- identify the ones that hurt us
- pause that thought
- switch to a more positive narrative (peace-inducing thoughts)
Practising it daily, we can restore control over our thought patterns and create mental room for tranquil times.
A few simple steps to achieve inner peace; not that big of a deal, is it? If we choose self-awareness over self-oblivion, peace will come. Guaranteed.