Continuing with my How to Be Happier Series, today I will be exploring how to feel peaceful.
When you feel at peace you feel a state of serenity with yourself and those around you and a feeling of stillness and calm.
Peace is the feeling we get when everything feels just as it should be. When we feel peace, we experience a state of serenity with both ourselves and those around us. When we feel peaceful, we experience stillness and calm. It is from that state that we are best able to live mindfully, embracing the present moment. Feeling peaceful is the feeling we get when our mind isn’t flooded with worries, and instead of feeling anxious and in flight or flight mode, our limbic system can revert to the much preferable state this is called the rest and digest state.
It is absolutely possible to live our lives with this inner tranquillity, even when outward circumstances are not as we think they ought to be. Like anything, if you want to get good at achieving a state of serenity, you must regularly and consistently practice these well-being habits. Thankfully, when we do so, the benefits of feeling peaceful are well worth the effort required.
“The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.”
– Morihei Ueshiba from The Art of Peace
Here are my Top 4 Methods for How to Live With Peace:
1. Stop Trying to Control the Uncontrollable aka Arguing with Reality
When things don’t go our way or bad things happen to us, it can seem like the universe is conspiring against us. When this happens, our limbic system goes into fight or flight mode. If we aren’t skillful, we can waste a great deal of time and energy trying to argue with reality and change what can not be changed. When we try to control the uncontrollable, we end up wasting our precious time. We spend it feeling angry, ruminating, complaining, worrying, and feeling sad that things haven’t transpired the way that we think they ought to.
When we overthink and obsess over how to change that which can not be changed, we are doing ourselves a great disservice. We can only achieve peace when we accept that which is out of our control.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference
-The Serenity Prayer.
Here is what you have control over:
a, How you respond to what life throws at you
b. The perspective you decide to take; and
c. Your effort.
It is well worth remembering that you do not have control over anything or anyone else. The more you can accept this, the more peaceful your life will be.
The next time you feel upset about something that isn’t how you want it to be, do your best to take a step back and see the bigger picture.
Don’t argue with Reality
No matter how much energy you waste or how emotionally invested you get, you can not change someone or something that was never in your control.
Instead, accept reality as it is and move on with your life. The only other option is to make yourself miserable, wasting your time and energy spinning your wheels, trying to change the unchangeable and control the uncontrollable.
When we recognize and accept the things that we can not control, we return our focus to our own business, allowing in the process space for feelings of peace and serenity to enter our lives.
When we accept reality, warts and all, and realise that no amount of raging, complaining or wishing on our end is going to make it any different, we let go of trying to argue with reality and make way for serenity, i.e. peacefulness.
You have no control over other people, their behaviour, or so many of the unjust things that happen in the world. I’m not implying that you shouldn’t do what you can to make the world a better place through activism and showing up with wise leadership but to make peace with reality, we must accept that the majority of less than ideal things in life, are actually out of our control and therefore must be taken as if we chose it.
“The only time we suffer is when we believe a thought that argues with what is. When the mind is perfectly clear, what is is what we want.”
~ Byron Katie, Loving What Is
We can bring peace to our lives when we accept things as they are. Then any feelings of anxiety subside. We come to the understanding that things are going just how they need to be going, in order to teach us what we need to learn.
2. Become a Warrior of Your Mind
Work on winning the battle of where your attention goes. Getting your attention where you want it when you want it is a crucial skill for happiness. It’s not an easy thing to do, but meditation is a way that can teach us better mind control as we can working on bringing your mind from ruminating whenever you catch yourself doing it.
When we get good at identifying what we can and can’t control and take control of our thoughts, we can then experience living in a state of peacefulness and tranquillity.
3. Tame Your Anxiety
Having anxiety from time to time is a part of being human. You may be surprised to learn that it isn’t an entirely bad thing to experience anxiety. In fact, experiencing anxiety can be a sign that you live an authentic life of meaning. In this case the anxiety is a result of you facing your fears and living outside of your comfort zone. However, it is not healthy to be in this state at all times. When our anxiety is springing from unhealthy sources, we can’t feel peaceful.
So while some anxiety is OK, we must be sure that we aren’t making it worse than it needs to be to maximize the peace in our life. When we can keep our anxiety in check, it can’t take over our lives’ minds and bodies, make us miserable.
It is not possible to feel peace and anxiety simultaneously.
If you feel you are experiencing excessive anxiety that prevents you from living with peace, see my top tips for taming anxiety here:
4. Cultivate Calm Confidence
When we have the confidence to know that we have what it takes to navigate life’s challenges, we experience peace. If you feel you need more confidence, contact me about my coaching packages so that I can get you on the right track.
By implementing these good habits into our lives, we can live with peace. Who wouldn’t want that?
What makes you feel peaceful? Please leave a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!