What is “Inner Peace" and Where Can I Get Some?
Those of us in our seasoned years have been hearing about achieving “inner peace” since the 1960s and “the summer of love.” Unlike a lot of the popular lingo from those days – like “flower power,” – the term “inner peace” has stayed around over the decades, evolving, widening its appeal, and becoming embraced by younger generations. Even though the words are very familiar to people in their “seasoned” years, plenty of us have little or no idea what exactly achieving “inner peace” is supposed to mean. Is it about achieving constant happiness? Is it a way to escape the emotional demands of living? Could it be some kind of internal ticket to our very own nirvana or trouble-free paradise?
If you google “inner peace,” you’ll find more information than you can possibly sift through in one sitting. From many viewpoints, finding “inner peace” seems to be about finding balance and a sense of resilience in life. It’s about constructively managing the stress, anxiety, tension, and worries that can so easily overwhelm us. Medical science supports the benefits of living a balanced, less stressful life style. Studies have proven that finding effective ways to deal with the stresses of daily life can have a very positive impact on overall health and well-being.
So how do you go about finding inner peace? There are many popular practices and techniques to try. Some are centuries old, while others are more recent discoveries. Some people have found the following tips helpful in achieving “inner peace.” Perhaps you’ll find one or two of these techniques beneficial as well. If you are feeling especially overwhelmed by the stressors in your life, please make sure to let your doctor know.
A few ways can help achieve some inner peace…
- Live in the present. Be mindful of, appreciate, and enjoy today. Remember, yesterday is gone and tomorrow is never a “sure thing.” Try to concentrate your attention on what is going on right here and now instead of regretting or fretting over the past or worrying about or anticipating the future. Take a few minutes each day to ground yourself in the moment. Really listen to the sounds around you, notice the colors, taste the smells, feel the textures, etc.
- Just breathe. Close your eyes, sit quietly, and simply breathe. Clear your mind, focus on your breathing, and relax your body. When thoughts come into your head… and they will… acknowledge them and then let them go like clouds passing in the sky. Feel your breath enter your body as you inhale, pay attention to your breath as it fills you lungs and belly, and feel your breath leave your body as you exhale. Do this for a few minutes every day with the intention of letting go of your stress and worries and you’ll feel more peaceful.
- Connect with nature. Many people in the seasoned years of life remember when most of the hours in a child’s day were spent outside. We recall the sense of peace and contentment we felt as kids as we played surrounded by fresh air, grass, and trees. Scientific research has found a strong correlation between spending time in nature and improved mental and physical health. Studies suggest that connecting with nature can help reduce stress, muscle tension, and blood pressure. It can also help improve self-esteem and boost the immune system.
- Find a reason to laugh. It’s almost impossible not to feel good when enjoying a real belly laugh. Laughter can help lighten your mood even during the most trying times. Laughing helps create a more peaceful feeling by lowering stress hormones and increasing endorphins within the body. A good laugh can boost blood circulation and soothe tension. Try to find some humor in everyday life. Spend time with fun, funny people. Watch television shows and movies that make you laugh. Go to a local comedy show.
- Put on some tunes. Research has proven that music influences disposition and temperament. Listening to soothing music is calming. It can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and anxiety. Listening to upbeat, high-spirited, or lively music can help relieve tension, dissipate anger, strengthen resolve, heighten self-esteem, foster a positive outlook, and inspire action. Put on your favorite tunes next time you’re feeling low – or even mediocre – and see if it helps put you in a better and perhaps more peaceful mood.