Thursday, December 25, 2008

Finding Inner Peace

We talk a lot about peace. We all want to see world peace. During the holiday season, we often hear it said - "peace on earth and good will toward men".

But as mankind struggles to get along, it seems peace is nowhere to be found.

In general, we'd all like to live quiet, peaceful lives, but all the hustle and bustle of everyday life makes it difficult. We're always running around between home, school, work and errands and coping with work overload and stress.

Where can we find peace?

Peace begins within ourselves. Even though the world around us may not always be a peaceful place, we can achieve inner peace.

We can find inner peace by:

Getting rid of the turmoil in our minds. Throw away all that "mental garbage" you're lugging around - all the thoughts of things that didn't happen for you, all the worries over things you can't control, all the negative thoughts - just pitch it all.

Focus on the things you can control, the realities that you can make happen and the positive, self-affirming thoughts and beliefs you need to get there.

Wiping away anger and bitterness. We've all heard the expression, "I've made my peace with it." If there are people in your life that have angered you, try to reconcile with them. Sometimes you can't reconcile because the person who angered you has passed on. In that case, make your own peace with what happened by releasing yourself from the burden of carrying around that anger.

Don't be bitter over things that didn't go your way or if you didn't get something you wanted. Life doesn't always go the way we want. Focus on being positive and trust that at some point you'll find something else that will make you happy and things will go your way.

Seeking out calm. Stress rattles us and robs us of energy. It may not always be avoidable, but we can control our responses to stressful situations. Take a moment and stay calm. Don't give in to the urge to get worked up.

Slow down the pace and don't make life more hectic than it needs to be. Don't be a slave to your email and cell phone. Set them aside when you're off the clock and go for a quiet walk in the park or on the beach. Spend time taking it all in. Let the sound of the birds singing or the waves meeting the shore replace the cell phone ringing. Breathe deeply. Meditate.

Being happy with who we are. Sometimes we wish things were different. I wish I didn't have MS. I have made my peace with it though, by accepting that it is something about myself that I can't change. It doesn't take away from who I am as a person. It doesn't define me.

Being comfortable with ourselves gives us peace of mind and happiness in life. Accept what you can't change; change the things you can if you need to in order to be happier.

Treating ourselves and others well. Take care of yourself. Develop healthy habits and live well. Show kindness toward others. Give yourself credit for all the good things you do. Knowing that you are a good person and being good to others will help give you inner peace.

If you have peace within yourself, you can be a much happier person and get along better with the people around you. If everyone in the world could find inner peace, the world could be a much better place.

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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