I was asked today “how do you find peace in life?” Wow, talk about a tough question! I offered up my approach to finding peace in life and we’d love to share that with our readers as well. Hopefully you’ll find it enlightening and, even better, inspiring!
Before I share my philosophy and approach to having a peaceful life, I want to point out that it’s not necessarily a ‘fix all’ or a formula — each of us is unique, so finding the right approach really depends on the person.
So, without further adieu, here is my method for maintaining a harmonious balance in life:
I acknowledge that life is chaotic
The modern world we humans have created has many wonders, but many pitfalls. To be blunt, we’ve build a crazy world. So, my first step is to acknowledge this reality and to recognize that millions (if not billions) of people feel the same way. This helps me to realize I’m not alone in my thinking.
I try to flow with time
Planning is important and can be a huge help in managing our lives. But we can’t control everything and some parts of our day will get away from us — in other words, sometimes, you just have to go with the flow and toss your carefully laid plans out the window.
Here, I want to quote Norman Vincent Peale’s pearls of wisdom:
“Don’t take tomorrow to bed with you.”
“Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
“Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast.”
I work hard every day to be as positive as I can be. I awake with hope and I say to myself “today is going to be an amazing day!” Positive thinking is essential to a peaceful life. No one is immune to negative thoughts, but we have within us the power to overcome those negative feelings and that is vital to feeling at peace.
Cut out the negatives
I’ve become very selective in what I watch, read and listen to. The truth is, we’re being bombarded with negative ideas, words and images constantly — so, turn them off. Our consummation of highly commercialized programs, reality TV, gossip, negative news and views, is taking a very heavy toll on our happiness. I don’t care what the Kardashians are up to and have no desire to keep up with them, so I ignore them. I couldn’t care less about reality TV, because it’s all staged. The point is, our media-obsessed culture is causing incredible harm to us, so if you want peace, you need to tune it out. If negative people bring me down, I avoid them and that includes on TV, the movies, the radio, etc.
Practice giving and kindness
In order to have peace, we must do for others. Suffering in silence over the woes in our world will only serve to cause us more stress and sadness. To get involved and actually do something about the ills of our world, gives us a sense of purpose, hope and ultimately, peace.
Yep, I clean house a lot. I find that when I donate or get rid of things I never needed to begin with, I feel calmer. It also helps me to see that I don’t need to buy things to be happy. But for me, cleaning and clearing out works — minimalism is really taking root and there’s a reason for that.
themimimalist.com sums it up as this:
Minimalism is a tool that can assist you in finding freedom. Freedom from fear. Freedom from worry. Freedom from overwhelm. Freedom from guilt. Freedom from depression. Freedom from the trappings of the consumer culture we’ve built our lives around. Real freedom.
The world, while chaotic, can be a very beautiful place. Getting out there and spending time in nature is an amazing healing tool. Walk through a park, take a hike in the woods, garden…whatever it is, nature really helps to ground us and bring us back down to earth. When you consider the majesty of the mountain, or the sheer magnitude of an ocean, it really puts into perspective what is important in life, and what is not.
You may not be a person of faith, but I am. And for me, my Christian faith is the greatest source of peace in the world. Whatever religion you are, consider learning more about the faith and more importantly, how to really and truly live your faith. If you’re an atheist, perhaps nature is your religion? The point is, find what your inner-most self needs for spiritual/bodily nourishment and go for it.
All of these ‘elements’ help to bring peace and a feeling of calmness and hope. If I had to say which one of these things is the most important to me, I’d have to say they’re all equally important…to me. But for you, perhaps the single most important thing is to start by asking yourself: “what does my soul/spirit/inner-most self tell me I need in order to feel a sense of peace in life?” Until we each know what it is we truly need to feel peace and harmony, we can’t achieve the serenity we so desire.
Another great read is: 11 Big Reasons Why We Embrace and Love the Minimalist Lifestyle