Inner peace is not some elusive state of being reserved for saints, sages, and mystics. Anyone can tap into their innermost self and feel the causeless peace that lives there. For some, this state arises spontaneously, then comes and goes. For others, inner peace comes from taking specific actions.
Here are a few I recommend to any inner peace seekers looking for concrete action steps.
- Resolve unresolved conflicts
When we let resentments pile up, even when we don’t come into daily contact with the people and institutions whom we resent, we’re letting them take up residency in our minds, hearts and even our bodies!
Take stock of all your unresolved conflicts and take an honest look at what you can do to resolve it on your end or with that person (or organization.) It’s like a spiritual housecleaning! I’m not suggesting you put yourself or anyone else in harm’s way. If you can’t resolve something directly, there are plenty of indirect ways to heal from a conflict that’s keeping you stuck.
2. Respond vs. React
The majority of people in this world react rather than respond, which is why there is so much chaos. Recently I heard a story about a man who has a developmentally disabled daughter who speaks a language she more or less made up herself. He is the only one who can understand it but sometimes he can’t even! When this happens she begins to get so frustrated she screams and even physically strikes out.
He likens this to the entire human population. When we’re not heard, we yell, and when we’re still not heard, we strike out. In order to respond rather than react we must first HEAR. We must listen to our inner voice, and to others as well. This is a first step in creating responsive behavior and more inner peace.
3. Spend more time in nature
Ever heard of negative ions? Some people think they’re better than a day at the spa! You know that “feel good” feeling after a good swim in the Ocean, hike at a waterfall or time in a forest? That feeling comes from negative ions. Don’t mistake the word negative for what it sounds like. Guess what positive ions come from? Computers, phones, electronics and EMFs. Get your negative ion on!
4. Take daily or weekly walks
Walks are known to improve mood, circulation, and energy. Committed walkers have been known to have a much higher quality of life. Add mindfulness into your walking and notice the feeling of the air as it touches your skin, the color of the sky, the movement of each cloud, the sound of birds or even cars. If you can’t walk daily, try a weekly walk! Notice if you feel more inner peace afterwards and over time.
5. Distinguish your yes from your no
One big reason so many people are anxious in this world is because we’ve been conditioned to be “yes” people. If the boss asks you to stay late, even when your kid has a baseball game, you may feel terrible guilt if you say no. But what if learning to say no when you mean no, and yes only when it’s true for you is the key to inner peace? Try it out and if there’s resistance to this, explore what’s in the way of that. Talking to a friend or counselor may help.
I recommend trying out any of these that resonate! Or make your own list. There are hundreds if not thousands of ways to build a more peace filled life, one action or state at a time.