It’s the goal for most adults: peace of mind. So often we find ourselves trapped in a hurricane of deadlines, issues, bills, and personal anxieties, to the point that the only choice is to keep struggling through the hurricane or break down, and the latter isn’t much of an option.
We think of the idea of peace as this far-off destination that requires a struggle to reach. “If I just buckle down and get through this, I’ll find peace eventually,” we tell ourselves.
But peace isn’t a place we have to reach. Peace is a state of mind that we can adopt right now, as long as we know what to do.
Even in the toughest and most stressful times, peace is just a state-of-mind shift away.
Here are 40 ways you can better shift into that perfect peace of mind at will:
- Love yourself. Be the best friend you always wanted. Talk to yourself, share your thoughts and anxieties and wishes with yourself. You might discover something new.
- Positive affirmations. Repeat those soft but smart positive affirmations that give you a sense of power and presence.
- Connect with nature. Give yourself time every week to sit beside a tree or hike up a mountain.
- Give yourself a You Date. No one else, just you. Watch a movie, go to a restaurant, buy some clothes. Do what you want to do.
- Read a book. Action, adventure, self-help. Anything. Just give yourself that experience.
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- Clean up. There’s a part of your home that you haven’t touched in years. Clean it up.
- Stretch. Reconnect with your body. Spend 5 to 10 minutes a day just stretching. You’ll be surprised how stiff you’ve become.
- Go out. Ride a bike, get in the car, or hop on the train—see the scenery and take it all in.
- Walk on the beach. We don’t all live next to the beach, but whenever you can, give it a shot. The fresh ocean air and the sand in your toes is always a refreshing experience.
- Dance. Let the music sink into you, and let your body respond naturally.
- Apologize and forgive. If you made a mistake, don’t hold it over yourself. Apologize to yourself and forgive.
- Let go of a grudge. Any grudge, no matter how old. Call them up and let them know you want to move on.
- Let it out. If someone frustrates or annoys you, let them know about it. Don’t hold it in.
- Write what you learn. When you go through a weird or tough situation, write down what you’ve learned and study it. This deepens the lesson.
- Burn your weight. All the anxieties and issues holding you down? Write it down and burn the paper. Tell your brain that these things are nothing.
- Serve others. Serve those around you because you want to, not because you are being paid to.
- Help others with your talents. If you have certain skills or talents, figure out ways to share those skills to the community.
- Unconditional kindness. Learn to help other people without worrying what you will get back from it.
- Volunteer with animals. Is there a nearby animal shelter? Go volunteer; you will love it.
- Help charities. Choose one with an advocacy you believe in.
- Don’t judge yourself. Don’t say “I should/shouldn’t have.” Instead, say, “I did my best, I’ll be better next time.”
- Appreciate others. It can be easy to try to make those around us perfect instead of adapting to them ourselves.
- Appreciate yourself. Write a list—things you like about you. Make it as long as you can.
- Enjoy the present. Take time every day to smile and enjoy the now, instead of always building for the future.
- Be compassionate. Even if others have wronged you in the past, try to look at life in their shoes and understand their issues.
- Blog. Write your thoughts, your goals, your ideas.
- Walk and photograph. You don’t have to be a pro to take pictures. Go around the neighborhood and photograph the pretty things you see.
- Meditate. Get a quote that you love, sit down, and think about it.
- Peace collage. Create a collage of pictures that give you a sense of peace and satisfaction.
- Art therapy. Reconnect with art, even if you haven’t touched it in years. Paint, crayons, pens—put your colors to paper.
- Breathe through alternate nostrils. It might sound unusual, but it helps you become more intimate with your breathing. Hold down one nostril and inhale through the other, then reverse.
- Guided meditation. If you don’t want to go to a class, then try a YouTube video that will guide you into meditation.
- Slow walk. Take a slow walk around the block, absorbing everything from the motions of your body to the feeling of the earth under your feet.
- Breathe a hundred times while counting.
- Meditate. Spend 5-10 minutes a day just sitting down to meditate.
- Self-care with others. Ask a friend to join you with your self-care; going out to walk or to a gym session.
- Find friends online. You can find everything on the Internet, so find someone who can understand what you are going through.
- Bond with your loved ones. Take off the adult stress for a day and invite your best friend or loved one to a fun date. Be a kid again.
- Stop self-critical thoughts. Stop blaming yourself or those around you.
- Be truthful. Never tell a lie in your relationships; it only serves to weigh you down.