These days, finding ways to be more at peace can be as challenging as finding a pair of perfectly fitting jeans...on sale. The world is more vibrant and eclectic than ever before, which is a wonderful thing. But with that comes more noise, more decisions, more pulls at your available time. These ways to be more at peace will help you to partake in all of the joys in life, while still keeping your center sane.
1. Say No!
Are you a stay-at-home mom whom everyone asks for favors? You’re at home, thus you have nothing to do, right? Wrong! Are you one of those people who always seems to get everything done perfectly and ahead of schedule, yet you have no time for you? One of the best ways to be more at peace is to say no. No explanation necessary. As Suze Orman loves to say, it’s only generosity if you can afford it. This concept goes for time as well as money. If all of your do-gooding hurts you, is it really doing good?
2. Try under-booking Yourself
We want to work our job, have time for our family at home, go out with our friends, and work towards our goals. This is a great goal in a seemingly well-rounded life. However, this could also drive you to the brink of choking yourself if you choose to take huge bites of each group instead of little nibbles. With more and more people in our lives as we get older, yet the same amount of hours in every week, the goal is not to spend the same amount of time as we always did with everyone separately. Instead, have get-togethers of friends and family at the same time, invite your girlfriends to do the library fundraiser with you, and sometimes, just skip a week. Others will often understand about your life more than you do, because they’re performing the same balancing act in their lives!
3. Choose Not to Get Mad
When we are short of time, it’s so easy to get short-tempered too. It’s not someone else’s fault that you are stressed because your boundaries need adjusting. Perhaps they did something off-base, unfair, or thoughtless. Call them on it without losing your cool. The person it will hurt the most to lose it, is you. When you feel your temperature rising behind your ears, and serene peace is leaving your ever-loving heart, play ‘What-if.’ What if I pretended not to be mad right now? What if I pretended that an acceptable reaction to the situation would be a smile? After a while, you’re not pretending anymore, and you are staying under control as part of the New You. What you choose to do about a situation is under your control - leave a relationship, put your child in time-out, call your insurance company regarding the fender bender you were in beyond your control. How you react to it is also under your control. Once you’re in control of knowing you’re in control of your reactions, peace will be yours.
4. Accept What is
We are powerful beings, able to keep the plates of life spinning in the air at an amazing velocity, all the time. Yet sometimes, a plate drops. Try as we might to pick up the pieces and get it back in the air, it’s just not possible. But you’ll keep trying (you know you do). Sometimes, let it go as part of the bigger plan for your life. A relationship that seemed perfect doesn’t work out because there were lots of cracks below the surface. The most wonderful job wasn’t what it promised to be once attained. The friendship was more of a ‘take’ than a ‘give and take.’ Accept, and move on. There will Will WILL be something better. And you will be better for all that was, and appreciate all that will be because of what was.
5. Take You-Time
It’s so important to not just have down time, but to have down time just for you. Take some time to go to the library or bookstore, get a cup of coffee, and read only for pleasure. Sit on your porch and leave the phone off. In your purse. In the kitchen. Go for a run or walk in a safe place without anyone else. You missed you! Now reconnect for some peace of mind.
6. Breathe, Seriously
Could there be anything taken for granted more than breathing? There is a right way to do this, believe it or not. When our days have us stressed, our breathing is one of the first things to take the brunt of it. Our breaths get shorter and faster. Exactly the opposite of what we need to stay calm and focused on the peaceful parts of life. Exercising your lungs doesn’t just mean getting in enough aerobic activity regularly. It means taking time to breathe fully, slowly, deeply. The perspective you gain from this is beyond amazing.
7. Guilt is Another World for Garbage
Think of one thing guilt ever accomplished in the pursuit of more peace in your life. It is a mechanism of control, not of letting go of the stress in your life. Take your responsibilities seriously, and let go of what you can’t control. This is the first step to releasing the hold guilt can have on your life. Believe that when you are committed, what you offer may not be perfect, but it is enough. This is step two. Acknowledge that you cannot be everything your boss, spouse, children, or friends want. This is step three. Let go of guilt, and just do the best you can. Embrace this, and the worthless guilt will drop away.
Finding peace is a lifelong mission, and a worthwhile one at that. Even in this world of more, bigger, higher, and loftier expectations, the ability to ground yourself in a peaceful existence is absolutely possible and necessary for a happy life. How do you ground yourself and find your peace?