It’s easy to feel peaceful while sitting on a meditation cushion in yoga class. But how do you maintain a state of relaxation when you’re grinding to meet a deadline? What about when you’re challenged with someone who cuts you off on the highway?
These stressful situations can make it difficult to feel peaceful which can lead to adverse health effects.
According to the American Psychological Association, “75 to 90 percent of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints” and that “stress is linked to the six leading causes of death–heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide.”
What can you do in the moment when you know that you’re about to succumb to the stress that is pandemic? How can you maintain a state of calm and peace?
9 Habits to Inner Peace
Peace grows or diminishes depending on how you respond to life. There are habits you can develop that make it easier to choose peace and experience calmness instead of feeling stressed.
1. Give peace a chance. Hold the intention that you want to experience more peace and calm. Make a declaration that you’ll commit to being stress-free. If you do affirmations or visualization work, affirm, “I am peaceful and calm. I am relaxed,” and see yourself as calm. You can affirm, “I see myself peaceful and calm. I am the most relaxed person I know.”
2. Wish other people, especially adversaries, more happiness than you wish for yourself. There will always be difficult people in our lives, and they can easily become great sources of stress. There may be interactions with them that trigger anger, jealousy, frustration, and agitation.
3. The best way to not let anyone under your skin is the wish them happiness and to wish them more happiness and success than you wish for yourself. This is not about them and what they are doing or not doing. This practice is about maintaining your own health and well-being.
4. Be grateful for and learn from adversity. Seeing yourself as a victim can in itself create a life of stress. To live a disempowered life is the most stressful life one can live.
5. Accepting and appreciating adversity can promote growth. Learning lessons from difficult situations can lead to a more optimistic attitude and a sense of empowerment. Ask, “how can this situation help me learn and grow? What knowledge about myself and my relationships can I gain from this interaction?”
6. Be quiet, keep quiet, enjoy the quiet and listen to the quiet. I notice that my blood pressure rises when I’m trying to make someone else wrong. Is it really worth my health to debate, to argue if it’s not a life and death situation? Creating peace and calm can be as simple as keeping your mouth shut. Let someone win the argument. As long as you’re being true to yourself when you’re making choices, be quiet. Just listen and be open-minded and compassionate. Compassion and open-mindedness are powerful paths to peace.
7. Write, write, write–journal, take notes, make lists, write love letters and thank you cards, use a daily planner to write down your goals and tasks. Writing in a journal daily can relieve stress. Write down your worries and frustrations, hopes and dreams, ideas and goals, all of your thoughts and feelings that you would normally keep to yourself. Don’t worry about grammar and spelling. This writing is for your eyes only and a vehicle for expressing who you are in an uncensored way. Writing like this can give you a sense of freedom because you’re validating your thoughts and taking action.
8. Write down lists. Even making a list of groceries you need to get, a list of tasks you need to do for the day or a list of things that you’re grateful for can relieve stress. The less you hold in your head, the more you can access our creative mind and come up with solutions to bigger problems.
9. Write love letters and thank you cards. Handwriting a love letter or a thank you card is refreshing for both the giver and the receiver. Realize you’re never alone.