“Peace is the process of retaining your mind to accept life as it is rather than as you think it should be.” ~Wayne Dyer
Inner peace is something we all want and sometimes desperately crave. However, most of us think that finding inner peace is difficult, and that it is by sheer luck that we experience it once in a while. We tend to think that true inner peace is reserved for the “special few,” people like Ghandi, Mother Teresa, or Depak Chopra.
I have learned that inner peace is no respecter of person or position, and is available to each of us at any time. Sound too good to be true? I thought so at first, too. Below are 10 practices that, in many cases are backed by science, that increase peace and decrease suffering.
Use this list and experiment for yourself. One thing to remember is there is a “dose effect” meaning the more you take, in this case the more you practice, the better you feel.
Before you get started, spend a moment reflecting on what inner peace means to you. Imagine, in as much detail as you can, what your life look like and feel like when you have peace? This will give you more incentive and momentum to begin the practices of cultivating inner peace.
For me, inner peace means feeling calm, centered, and having clear perspective. An important note is that inner peace is not related to my external circumstances, but rather to my inner state, regardless of what may or may not be happening in my life.
You may want to approach this experiment in several different ways. You could choose one practice per day, or if you are more ambitious, you can try to do several or all of the practices in a single day. Or, if you have a favorite practice, try focusing on it for a week or a month to really deepen your practice. Remember, what you focus on grows!
There is no right or wrong, and finding what works for you is what is most important. You might also want to spend some time reflecting on your experiences through journal or sharing with others. (That includes me, I would love to hear from you!)
So, without further ado, here are my top 10 practices for creating a consistent and steady stream of inner peace.
- Gratitude – take time to acknowledge the people and things you are grateful for.
- Kindness – be intentionally kind to yourself and others.
- Tend to your thoughts – if you’re having negative or unhelpful thoughts, shift to something more positive or helpful.
- Take care of your body – rest, exercise, nutrition, and water are the basics.
- Accept what you cannot change – there will be things in life that we can’t change, and we have a choice: we can resist, which creates suffering, or we can choose to accept and find ways to cope.
- Unplug – try an electronics fast and use that time for something that nurtures you.
- Do what feels good – spend time engaged in activities that encourage, uplift, or inspire you.
- Practice mindfulness – as often as you can, bring your attention to the present moment, rather than being worried about the future or distracted by the past.
- Meditate – calm your nervous system through meditation. You can find one minute, three minute, and other meditations right here!
- Connect to a higher power – through reading, reflection, prayer, or ceremony, contact the beauty and mystery of your life and the universe in which we live.
Inner peace is not something to only dream about, it can be yours with awareness, intention, and steady habits.