Achieving Inner Peace
For most people, the goal of achieving inner peace is high up on their list. A life of inner peace is generally more valued than a life of constant thrills and excitement. Even thrill seekers don’t want titillation at every moment of their lives. Just about everyone treasures a life of inner peace.
No one can divulge to you the secret to inner peace in a few paragraphs. However, I will attempt here to give you some general guidance and specific tips towards realizing this goal for yourself.
It’s All Inside You
The first point that is crucial to understanding how to achieve inner peace is that your life is lived and experienced inside of you. Inner peace is an internal state. Many people make the mistake of thinking that to be at peace means that you maintain some restful condition of the body. The truth is that even the busiest person can have a high level of internal peace.
We are not impervious to the things that go on around us. However, the primary source of conflict and unrest in a person’s life is the attitude that is present deep inside of them.
For instance, when someone insults us, it is not the insult per se that hurts us. It is the fact that we feel that the abuse may reflect the truth in some way. It is only our attitude towards ourselves that can hurt us. If you don’t believe the insult, then it cannot hurt you.
The famous Stoic philosopher, Marcus Aurelius, stated in his book, Meditations:
“Today I escaped anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions – not outside.”
So, what you must remember is that inner peace is an internal state. However, how does one achieve this internal state?
Learn to Accept the World the Way That It Is
The self-help guru, Wayne Dyer, had this to say about inner peace:
“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be.”
What Dyer was trying to say is that we have very little control over what happens in the world around us. We center our area of control on what is inside of us. We can control our thoughts and attitudes, but not so much the universe.
The world is filled with so much greatness and beauty. We need to learn to appreciate this beauty to achieve inner peace. However, when things go badly for us, how are we to enjoy the world around us?
The answer is that, when we evaluate the universe, we should look at the overall perfection that we see in the structure and design that it has. We should not look at our experiences in isolation from everything else. The overall pattern of the universe has great beauty to it. We should not look at our little corner and reject the whole as bad.
This is the general outlook and framework for appreciating the universe as it is. In addition to this general outlook, some specific tips can help you achieve inner peace as well.
Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin
A lot of the lack of inner peace that we feel comes from the fact that we tend to overcomplicate our lives. When we spread ourselves too thin, we suffer anxiety from trying to manage a complicated life situation.
The first thing to do to help manage an overcomplicated life is to learn to prioritize. The things that are truly important to us in life tend to be a rather small set. You can start by making a short list of the essential elements in your life. Figure out what kinds of things are low priorities on your list and eliminate them from your life or assign very little energy and time to them.
When you learn to prioritize the things in your life, you will improve them as well. You will be able to focus your energies better and cut out the fat from your life.
Unclutter Your Life
While we have focused on the internal clutter that too many goals and involvements can create, your external environment can use some uncluttering as well. It is true that we experience life internally, but keeping your environment simple can have some effect on your state of inner peace.
Start by keeping your house clean and tidy. Clear out the clutter that may have built up over time.
Also, create a clutter-free workspace for yourself. Your desk should not be a collection depot for every note and reminder that has built up over the last year. You can even clean up the files on your computer to make sure that everything is more streamlined.
Learn To Relax
Something that is vital to achieving inner peace is taking some time out of every day to relax and unwind.
For some, stretching and breathing exercises can really do the trick. For others, some activities help them to decompress. Examples of activities that can be helpful are yoga and other forms of light exercise.
Take Time to Reflect
An essential part of achieving inner peace is taking the time to reflect on your life as a whole. You associate inner peace with your general contentment. Therefore, it is vital that you reflect on how well you are achieving your life goals and how happy you generally are. You will need to make some adjustments concerning how you are spending your time if something is off.
Be Careful about Your Health
A lot of a person’s sense of well-being comes from how you feel physically. It is therefore crucial that you be careful about your diet and level of exercise. If you are overweight, consider altering your eating habits and adjusting your activity level. Every obese person who has lost weight will tell you that they feel like a different person when they are in better condition.
Ease Up On Your Ego
While it is important for every person to maintain general life goals, focusing on your ego can create a lot of internal conflict and pressure. Instead of making comparisons in your mind to other people and worrying about where you stand in the pack, focus on your goals for their own sake.
For instance, if you are trying to achieve work-related goals, you should try to view them as ways of gaining fulfilment in life rather than as ways of increasing prestige and rank.
Focus on the Positive
A prevalent issue with people is that they tend to get upset and depressed about the flaws that they have. This produces a lot of negative energy and conflict within their mind.
Instead of focusing on the negative, you should always look towards the positive. Instead of getting mired in negative feelings, you should always think about what you can do to improve your situation.
For instance, if you have a weight problem, try not to spend too much time harboring thoughts about your image. Take all of that energy and focus them on effective plans to lose weight and get in better condition.
Fix Your Relationships
A lot of the conflict and inner turmoil that people feel in their lives has to do with damaged or broken relationships that they have with those who they are close with.
If you have a long-standing beef with someone you are close with, then put some energy into confronting the issue head-on with that person. People generally appreciate honesty and, by facing them openly about the issue, you are likely to do more good than harm.
Learn to ease up on your ego and practice forgiveness with those you love. The only thing that stands between you and the other person is a little understanding.
Identify Your Source of Security
Everyone wants to feel a sense of security in life. A significant obstacle to gaining a state of inner peace is the fear of the unknown in life. For the spiritually minded, creating a more substantial connection and bond with God can aid in getting the feeling of security that you desire.
Having faith in God does not necessarily mean that you believe that your life will be free of concerns. However, those with faith in God believe that the overall design of the universe is useful and beneficial to God’s creatures.
Focus on Happiness
Many people go through life, surprisingly enough, not focused on their happiness. They might have an exaggerated sense of duty or many fears to deal with. For a state of inner peace, happiness must be the focus of the person.
To become happy, a person must put some effort into trying to figure out what gives them bliss in life. When you discover what makes you truly happy, you should focus most of your energy on trying to bring about whatever it is.
Find Your Soulmate
For the average person, it is not right to be alone in life. You should put a good deal of energy into finding that one person who completes you.
Nowadays, the divorce rate and breaking of relationships are incredibly high. While my intention is not to diagnose the cause of this problem here, some general advice on how to choose a partner is in order.
The best strategy to find your partner is to look for a person who complements your personality by virtue of what is inside of them. You shouldn’t look for a person who benefits you the most when it comes to money or even pleasure. You should look for the person who brings out the best in you.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
A real key to inner peace and happiness is the ability to overlook the small annoying things that afflict all of us in life. People who get hung up on traffic jams and other minor disturbances tend not to have a peaceful and restful internal experience.
It would seem to be that people who are annoyed by small things have very sensitive egos. The ugly truth is that the world is not designed to serve the needs of us all individually. The universe does not bend to our every whim and wish. When you begin to realize that the universe has its own aims, you will not be so sensitive to these small annoyances.
Don’t Create Unnecessary Needs
To gain inner peace, people should keep their personal needs to a minimum. The more complicated we make our needs and the more that we increase our cravings for pleasures, the more pain we will feel in our lives. It is better to contain one’s needs so that a constant state of yearning is avoided.
Live in the Moment
Excessive planning and worrying is something that is a real obstacle to gaining true internal serenity. It is better to learn to be present in the current moment than to be constantly fretting about the future.
Also, people should not get overly hung up on their past. A good way of looking at things is only to be concerned about the past when it is something that has left an enduring effect on the person. A person should learn to forgive themselves for past errors and not get overly involved in them emotionally.
In this brief article, I have given some general perspective about how to view life to gain a state of inner peace. I have also highlighted some tips to achieve this state.
There is plenty of suitable material on the internet and in published books and articles on this topic for those who want to pursue the subject further. An excellent place to start investigating the matter is to focus on the ancient stoic school of philosophy. The whole stoic philosophy focuses on how to achieve this state. Many other philosophies are concerned with it too.