“Anything is possible when you have inner peace.” – Master Shifu in Kungfu Panda 2
If you have watched the movie Kungfu Panda 2, you would be familiar with quotes on inner peace by Oogway and Master Shifu. Or else, you may have come across it in the wise words of great minds who lives/lived amongst us.
Some say finding inner peace is hard. As Master Shifu says, “Some choose to meditate for 50 years in a cave just like this… …without the slightest taste of food or water. Some find it through pain and suffering, as I did.”
There is no doubt about the need to find inner peace. The only question is how to find it.
If you are considering meditating in the mountains, vacationing in the Maldives, going to a wellness retreat, or something similar to find inner peace, wait! None of these places sell inner peace in packages tied with red ribbon. You need not go bankrupt in pursuit of inner peace either.
Inner peace is something you have to dig deep and find within yourself.
And, the way to find peace in life is not the same for everyone. It is not a one-size-fits-all kind of proposition. The process of discovering inner peace involves a compilation of practices for self-care and self-love tailored to accommodate individual habits, traits, inclinations, and preferences.
This article offers you some common practices that you may find suitable for finding inner peace.
What exactly is inner peace and why is it important?
“Outward peace is useless without inner peace.” – Gandhi
Inner peace can be defined as the state of being calm despite turmoil all around. It is the ability to stay calm physically, mentally, and spiritually despite the potential presence of stressors.
Inner peace is considered the precursor to the emotions and feelings of happiness and contentment.
Having inner peace doesn’t mean an absence of stressors or conflicts or a problem-free life. It is the ability to handle the negative situations and emotions that are inevitable in our lives.
Mental peace is something most of us are after all our lives. Like a mirage, it keeps eluding us. Peace translates to less anxiety, stress, fear, and worry. Here are some of the benefits of achieving internal peace.
- Better balance in your life
- Improved way of handling everyday affairs.
- Increased energy levels
- Better control over your emotions
- More positive thinking and less drama in life
- Empathetic, kind, and compassionate attitude towards others
- Ability to remain impervious to the negative elements around you
- Ability to deal with difficult situations and emotions
- Ability to make unbiased judgments and clear decisions even when stressed
- Better restful sleep
7 ways to find inner peace and happiness
“If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu
When you come right down to it, practicing inner peace is not that difficult a proposition. It is all about understanding its true meaning and finding a way to connect with yourself.
Here are some tried and tested methods and practices to find inner joy and peace.
1. Deep breathing exercises
With every breath, you are taking in the life-giving air and when you breathe out, you are expelling the toxins from the body. Being aware of one’s breathing process and raising one’s control over it can help make the best of it.
Yoga recommends deep breathing techniques that are simple and easy to follow. These involve breathing in deeply to the count of five, holding the breath to the count of five, breathing out to the count of five. The number of counts can be increased or decreased as per your ability and convenience.
Deep breathing is proven to help slow down your heart rate and thereby bring in calm and mental peace.
2. Reassure yourself that you are safe and cherished
When anxiety wells up in your mind and your inner peace is disturbed, remind yourself of the people you love and those who love you. The thoughts about your loved ones will bring joy and warmth and help you calm down your nerves. This will allow you to work on the problem at hand and find a resolution.
3. Visualize scenes that makes you happy
Visualization is one of the most powerful techniques to gain control over your mind and maintain positive thinking. In your mind’s eye, imagine something that will make you happy, elevate your spirits, and transport you into the seventh heaven.
Stay in this imaginary world as long as your mind tells you to. Visualization experience can raise your positive energy sky-high and help you ward off negative impacts from your environment. You feel as if you are floating high up among the clouds and you feel happy and light-hearted.
4. Face the issues head-on
Running away from problems or resisting them cannot make them go away for good. Unless you invest time and energy in understanding them and try to resolve them, the problems will persist. You can push them away but they keep coming back to haunt you forever.
Take a step back and look at the problems as an observer. Try to make sense of it and find a permanent solution. Even if you are not able to find a lasting solution, this technique helps. You know you have done your best.
Sometimes, when you look at the problem from a different perspective, you will find that it is no longer a problem. Often self-talk can be helpful.
5. Be kind and compassionate to yourself
Most of us are the hardest on ourselves. We are hyper-critical and unforgiving about our mistakes and missteps. Take action to change this approach.
The first step in the right direction is to acknowledge your struggle and suffering. Look around and realize that everyone is going through similar hardships and you are not alone. Treat yourself with love and empathy. Don’t reserve these only for your loved ones. You need it the most from yourself.
Self-talk is found to be immensely helpful in calming your anxiety levels. Tell yourself that you have your back and will always love yourself and stand by yourself. When you are going through hard times, tell yourself that this too shall pass.
6. Make a list of happy things to do
So that when you are stressed and unhappy, you can easily pick one from the list and follow it. You may feel that this is not necessary but the truth is when you are stressed your brain rarely works well nor can you think straight.
Having a ready list can make it simple. Maybe it is cooking or gardening or cleaning or going out for a walk. Do something that you enjoy.
7. Feel grateful for all your blessings
We often find ourselves complaining when things go wrong. How often do we say thanks when things work out fine? This is mostly regarding everyday happenings and not bigger and life-changing events. We are used to taking things for granted when life is flowing smoothly.
This is something that needs to change. You may ask, “Do I need to say thanks for reaching the office on time? Whom shall I thank?”
Yes, you should. If someone gave you a lift, you can thank them. If you are unable to figure out whom to say thanks to, thank the Universe. The more important point here is the feeling of gratitude in your mind. Make it a habit and your energy levels will remain high throughout the day.
Some more suggestions to find inner peace
- Help others without expecting anything in return
- Lend a helping hand to a stranger
- Connect with others
- Do voluntary work
- Practice mindfulness
- Learn to accept things that are beyond your control
- Spend time close to nature
- Try mediation and yoga
- Take responsibility for your actions
- Let bygones be bygones; don’t allow the past to define you
- Love yourself unconditionally
- Learn to be content with what you have
“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” – Dalai Lama
Many people are looking for ways to find peace in their lives. People are always asking, “How can I find peace?” or “What does it mean to be at peace?”. One answer is to align yourself with the Universe.
Peace of mind doesn’t require a peaceful and quiet environment. The whole purpose of gaining inner peace is to remain equanimous in stressful situations. So, don’t wait for things to calm down before seeking inner peace.
As you can see, there are numerous methods for practicing inner peace. What works for some may not work for others. Choose the ones that are best suited to your temperament and situation. Looking for peace is not as hard as it is made out to be.