Unless you live in an impenetrable bubble, you should be sold on the idea and necessity of having or strengthening your state of inner peace.
But how to get from wanting it, to actually having it?
The ways and tips from getting to “A” to “Zen” are as numerous as the benefits. I have narrowed them down to 10 of the more essential ones. I learned these at self-help classes I used to attend, dealing with anxiety and depression; so you can probably say I learned these “the hard way.” Still, I am ever so grateful that I have learned these:
SIMPLIFY. More is not always better! Cut out that which is unnecessary from your life; these are mere burdens that weigh you down. Keep your daily “To Do” lists as short and essential as you possibly can; schedule your plans and activities as efficiently as you possibly can.
ACCEPT AND LOVE YOURSELF. Realize that you ARE worthy! Worth is something you ARE, and not something you HAVE or ACQUIRE. Worth is your state of being, as a unique and special individual! You cannot work for worth; it is already IN you, waiting to be released, realized, expressed and activated. Sadly, many fail to see this; even sadder, others neglect or throw it away. You ARE worthy!
FORGIVE. For your own sake. Begin with yourself. The most deep-seated issues of bitterness often stem from un-forgiveness of self. This creates a root of bitterness that eventually chokes out the very life of your soul. Forgiveness is the ax that cuts down the bitter root.
BE STILL. Take time for time out. Seek out an environment that allows for moments of stillness. Turn the noise off! Break the vicious hustle-and-bustle, seemingly endless cycle of DOING. In today’s world, there always seems to be “too much to do, and never enough time to do it.” This is the antithesis to nurturing inner peace. Tune the busy-ness out, and tune yourself in. Meditate, listen to soothing music, lie down in a quiet space, practice yoga, indulge in relaxing downtime, go to the spa. The time you make for time out will eventually pay off and translate into more energy and productivity for you. As we learn the art of stillness, we will be able to find that stillness within us, and draw from this deep well when things around us grow crazy.
VISUALIZE AND AFFIRM. Think of your favorite place, or memory; any positive mental image that you can see in your mind’s eye when the you-know-what hits the fan. Close your eyes and visualize the good and positive! Along with your visualizations, activate your affirmations. Write down some positive thoughts and phrases, and repeat them to yourself – out loud, if you have to – until they become like a mantra.
TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOURSELF. Be mindful of your health. Exercise, and set those endorphins free. Eat right! The more junk you take in, the more junk you put out in the forms of health and weight problems, mood problems, etcetera. Get adequate amounts of sleep.
BREATHE! Don’t forget to breathe, and to do it properly: in through the diaphragm, out through the nose. When things start to get stressful, pause and take three deep, cleansing breaths. Keep your positive visualizations going while you breathe.
GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR SPIRITUAL SELF. You are more than just your flesh. Get in touch with your spirit, and its unique expressions: art, music, compassion, love, poetry, God; just some of the many.
DO WHAT YOU ENJOY. Life’s too short to be miserable. This is not mere hedonistic enjoyment, mind you; but the kind that brings true gratification. Nurture the relationships that matter. Connect with loved ones, friends, family.
GUARD YOUR INNER PEACE. Once you’ve found it – guard it! Keep it! Take care of it! As a precious gem amongst fool’s gold, so is your inner peace in the world.
By ANGIE DUARTE