This article will share with you 20 no-nonsense tips on how to (finally) find your inner peace.
Because we’ve all been there.
At one point in our lives, we’ve battled internal and external chaos.
Stress, hectic schedules, negative emotions, and overthinking are just some of the things that make us frantic and preoccupied.
You and I both know how overwhelming and draining life can be. At times, it seems hopeless to find silence and inner peace.
But don’t worry.
Thanks to western psychology and eastern philosophy, there are several tried and true techniques you can use to realign your mind with inner silence and begin clearing it up from within.
But before we go into those essential tips, let’s discuss what inner peace truly means.
“The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being that places harmony in one’s life.” – Peace Pilgrim
What does inner peace mean?
Inner peace is more than finding quiet in this modern world. It doesn’t mean passivity and making life dull.
To describe inner peace, it is a state in which you are mentally and spiritually at peace.
On the other hand, what you have is enough knowledge and understanding to keep yourself calm and strong during stressful times.
True inner peace is independent of external conditions and circumstances. It means truly knowing yourself and what you are capable of.
When you have inner peace, you fully accept yourself so you do not waste your time, energy, and attention on unimportant and meaningless thoughts. Inner peace is the opposite of anxiety, rumination, and worry.
Actually, we don’t have to be anywhere else, do anything else, or be anyone else to find inner peace.
Here are 20 practical actions to find inner peace:
1) You need to set your limitations.
Most of the time, we get busy because we don’t know how to set our limitations.
You can minimize being preoccupied with knowing when to stop yourself – especially if you know that it doesn’t matter that much.
For example, if you only use social media to see what’s the new gossip in town, then you can set a limit for how many times you will check it.
The time you use to browse your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feed are better spent on things meant for self-improvement.
2) It’s not about defeating your anxieties
The shaman Rudá Iandê writes:
“Making peace with anxiety begins with the realization that your anxiety is not something to be defeated.”
It’s easy to feel anxiety if you aren’t feeling inner peace. Yet trying to avoid anxiety may be preventing you from feeling at ease with yourself.
According to Rudá Iandê, fulfillment comes from embracing all aspects of our being—including so-called negative emotions such as anxiety, fear, and insecurity.
“You can take your anxiety as a gentle reminder that it’s time to leave your protective shell and embrace a more chaotic aspect of your being.
Learn more about Rudá Iandê’s approach to inner peace in his free masterclass on turning frustrations to personal power.
3) Try to relax
You need to relax. For example, deep breathing helps release tension.
“Deep abdominal breathing encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide. Not surprisingly, it can slow the heartbeat and lower or stabilize blood pressure.”
The best bit?
Deep breathing is something you can do anywhere, anytime.
To practice deep breathing, breathe in slowly through your nose, allowing your chest and lower belly to rise as you fill your lungs. Let your abdomen expand. Hold for at least 4 seconds. Then breathe out slowly through your mouth (or nose, if it feels more comfortable) for 6 seconds.
If deep breathing doesn’t work for you, you can find another relaxation technique that works for you. Maybe a workout or a long walk will recharge you during the day. Or it could be music, yoga, meditation or going for a swim.
The key is to find out and then do it.
(If you’re looking for more mindfulness techniques to help you find inner peace, check out Hack Spirit’s eBook: The Art of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Living in the Moment)
4) Don’t make the issue bigger than it is.
Making a fuss about nothing can create a lot of unnecessary stress for you.
When facing something that you think is a major disaster, ask yourself if what is going on will still matter in 5 years.
Answering the question will help you look at the bigger picture. Most of the time, we are the ones who are making things worse – even when they are just trifling matters.
5) You have to slow down.
Being frantic all the time has negative effects on your mind and body. But if you slow down, you start to feel less stressed.
Most of the time, what we need to slow down is our overthinking. However, slowing down goes for many other things you do in everyday life too like multitasking or riding your bicycle.
6) Learn to practice modern meditation
If you want to experience inner peace, then there really isn’t a better technique than learning how to practice meditation.
Because meditation helps you become aware of your present reality without engaging in it emotionally or reacting to it.
When you practice meditation, you learn to simply observe and acknowledge things as they are.
In other words, you need to learn how to sit with yourself, observe your thoughts, and stop attaching to your emotions.
Meditation isn’t easy.
In this day and age, we’ve grown up thinking a million different things at a time and never stopping to sit with ourselves.
But here’s the irony.
When we try to learn how to meditate, we turn to techniques practiced by Buddhist monks with thousands and thousands of hours of experience.
The kicker? They’re far too difficult for novices like us!
So when we try Monk Meditation…We get frustrated when a thought pop-ups. We become easily distracted. We struggle to maintain our focus. We become more stressed and anxious…it goes on and on.
And because of these obstacles, not only do we not find inner peace, but we give up trying to make meditation a habit.
But it’s not your fault.
According to meditation guru Emily Fletcher, there are 2 types of meditation:
1. Meditation designed for monks, and:
2. Meditation for the modern world.
Many people get stuck because they chose meditation designed for monks.
Yes, these practices work but they have a more difficult learning curve.
On the other hand, the modern meditation designed by Emily Fletcher is easier to learn and more enjoyable. It allows you to practice using your Observer Mind in a more practical way.
This is the actually the meditation technique that kick-started by meditation habit (I’ve been going for over 5 years now!).
The best way to learn Modern Meditation is with this free masterclass. Emily Fletcher gives a terrific introduction to her techniques. If you can stick with modern meditation, then you’ll start to see results pretty quickly.
7) Unclutter your world for a stress-free mind.
I don’t know about you, but for me, I can’t work when my desk or the house is cluttered. In this situation, my focus is divided between cleaning and working. And in the end, I always choose the former. Why? Because clutter makes me irritable.
What works for me may not work for everyone. But I found that taking a few minutes to declutter my workspace or the room I’m in brings back my focus.
An uncluttered, simplified, and ordered space makes my mind clearer so I can think better.
But, don’t stop there. You can always declutter and organize your home for a more relaxing environment. You can take it up a notch and do it in Marie Kondo’s style.
8) Be a minimalist.
For others, the minimalist approach to living seems cold and devoid of life. But for its advocates, being a minimalist takes away the unnecessary distractions which brings peace of mind, clarity, and focus.
9) Be prompt.
Practicing promptness maybe a small habit. But its effect on your schedule is huge.
When you are early, it can make what used to be a stressful time into a period of relaxation and recharging. Promptness also gives you enough time to adjust to sudden unwanted changes.
10) Learn to accept and let go.
What happened in the past should stay in the past. No matter how negative it is like something that someone said or did, you need to let it go.
Accept the fact that nothing will change even with a lot of rumination. Let that feeling and thought in instead of trying to push it away because when you do, it starts to lose power.
I am not saying you can forget the details of what happened, but the negative feelings will become less powerful.
Instead, you can direct your focus to the present moment and something better.
11) Do not guess. Ask.
Sometimes, what causes us stress are our assumptions.
Here’s the thing:
Reading minds is pretty much impossible. However, we still try to do it which creates anxiety, uncertainty and misguided conclusions for ourselves.
So even if it is a bit hard, try to communicate. It will save you the headache of trying to analyze every action.
12) Escape for a while.
Escaping doesn’t mean quitting. It just means you’re recharging yourself, doing some soul searching, and there are a lot of ways to do this. You can travel, watch your favorite movie, travel, or take a walk.
13) Stop procrastinating and solve it.
Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till to-morrow what you can do to-day. – Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield
Procrastination won’t do you any good so stop doing it. Start solving your problems immediately and release the underlying stress with it.
You probably already know what to do, but you’re just not doing it yet. Remember that the longer you wait, the worse the tension inside becomes.
So whatever your problem is, get started on doing it NOW.
14) Disconnect when it’s not time to work.
Your work does not belong in your home – leave it where it belongs. Assign your weekends for recharging by limiting your internet activity.
Try to spend more of your Saturdays and Sundays with undivided attention on your family, friends, hobby or out in nature. Trust me; it’ll do you good.
15) One thing at a time.
Multitasking can give you stress. However, doing one thing at a time will keep you more focused.
This mantra will guide you through your day and will help you do a better and quicker job at pretty much anything.
16) Focus on the good memories
Sometimes, we focus on the bad memories instead of the good ones. Maybe you have experienced a failure in the past, but you have to remind yourself that you are strong.
One way is to implement selective memory into your life by focusing on the good memories. You found the strength once; I am sure you will find it again.
17) Try mindful eating
Have you ever looked down at an empty plate, only to wonder where your food went? You don’t even remember eating it, and you definitely didn’t enjoy it.
Mindful eating puts you in tune with your body so you can listen to its signals. It will help you lose weight without the constant stress of dieting, and prevent you from snacking mindlessly. Mindful eating helps people cope with eating problems like anorexia, and reduce the anxiety
and guilt some of us feel around eating.
Here is how to bring a mindful attitude to the next meal you eat:
- Don’t eat in front of your computer. If you’re concentrating on work that’s a guaranteed way not to taste what you’re eating.
- Turn off the television and eat at the table, using real flatware
- Totally focus on at least the first three bites.
- Take a moment to savor your food. What does it taste like? Is it spicy? Is it sweet? Use all your senses and be attentive to the color, texture and smell.
- If you normally shovel food into your mouth, then eat more slowly. Smaller bites help you to really taste the food. Stop every so often to take a few breaths or a sip of water.
- Try eating as though you had paid a lot of money for the food in a fancy restaurant. If this was world-class cuisine, you’d want to enjoy every bite and remember it, right? Even if you’re not a great chef, the aim is still to enjoy what you’re eating as much as possible.
- Done properly, mindful eating does take longer. But it leaves you feeling full and satisfied, so that you’re not tempted to snack during the day or get up for something to eat because you’re bored.
(If you want to learn more mindful techniques to help you live in the present moment, check out my eBook: The No-Nonsense Guide to Using Eastern Philosophy Wisdom For a Better Life)
18) Only speak truth, necessity, and kindness
The endless chatter that plagues us throughout the day is one of the biggest enemies of our inner peace.
We often find ourselves lost in a sea of mindless jibber-jabbering, saying things and talking about things that mean nothing at all, often just to hear ourselves speak.
And many times, much of what we say means nothing at all.
Think about it like this:
Are your conversations truly important? Do you really need to gossip about your neighbor’s affair with your friends; does your opinion on a certain reality TV show episode really matter?
While we’re not trying to dissuade you from talking about anything at all, it’s important to at least be more mindful of what you say and how much you say it.
The more you talk, the more energy you use. By conversing with other people, we need to make sure that our conversations actually mean something.
If they don’t, then we are doing nothing but adding to the noise in our mind, and who needs that?
19) Only speak things that everyone can hear
Gossip. For many of us, it’s our one true bad habit.
And it’s easy to understand why: it’s so fun.
It’s fun to be “in on it,” to know a secret that others shouldn’t know, or even to talk badly about someone that you might not be very fond of.
Gossip is our solution to a tiresome, boring day at class or the office because of course, you want to hear about how so-and-so messed up or how so-and-so cheated on their partner or failed a test.
Not only does it make you feel closer to your fellow “gossipers,” but you also end up feeling better about yourself by talking about other people’s issues.
But the truth is, you don’t feel better about it.
By sharing drama that isn’t ours to share, we end up regretting it and feeling guilty, especially when we are confronted with our own words.
Conversations such as these accomplish nothing, doing nothing to feed our mind and soul.
By spreading these conversations, we only work towards spreading negative energy, and this negativity pollutes our space and corrupts our inner peace.
If you see those around you gossiping, avoid it. You don’t need to be a proponent of that toxicity.
20) Only speak what you mean, and mean everything you speak
White lies, excuses, roundabout explanations.
There’s something about most people that you need to understand:
We hate dealing with awkward situations, and we don’t know how to handle them.
Let’s say someone you don’t really like invites you to a party. You know that you won’t enjoy the party, but you don’t want to offend them.
So you make up an excuse to get out of the invitation. You dream up a story about leaving town or being busy with work, and you end up safely navigating out of that potential storm.
But are you truly satisfied with yourself? One lie becomes two, and two become three: eventually, you find that lying has become a normal part of the day.
Sooner or later, your words mean nothing, and no one trusts what you say.
And if people can’t trust what you say, how can you trust what anyone else says?
An important part of keeping a quiet, peaceful mind is trust. We must be able to trust those around us and believe in their self-proclaimed honesty.
If we can’t, then we are filled with nights of guilt and second-guessing, wondering the truths about certain things.
And if you want to build that trust, the first person to start with is yourself.
21) Only speak inside what you can speak outside
As they say, a person is their own worst critic. No one judges us more unfairly than ourselves.
We are the first to call ourselves fat, stupid, ugly, lazy, pathetic, and so on, and we tear us up inside with the words we would never say out loud.
While you might not be able to avoid self-doubt right away, there is a way to counter it: don’t listen to the inner voices.
Whenever you hear a toxic, self-deprecating, hateful inner voice raging at you from within, ask yourself: would you actually call yourself these things out loud? Would you call other people these names?
The answer? No. Reply to that inner voice with your outer voice and say, “That’s not true.”
22) Learn to observe your mind – and not believe your thoughts
There’s no denying it.
As humans, we think countless thoughts a day. Most of them are limiting, or autopilot thoughts.
But do your thoughts really matter?
But when you start believing all of your thoughts, they can become a problem.
Here is Eckhart Tolle describing why it’s a liberation to realize that you are not your thoughts, and how it helps you find inner peace:
“What a liberation to realize that the “voice in my head” is not who I am. Who am I then? The one who sees that.”
“The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not “the thinker.” The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter – beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace – arise from beyond the mind. You begin to awaken…The moment you realize you are not present, you are present. Whenever you are able to observe your mind, you are no longer trapped in it. Another factor has come in, something that is not of the mind: the witnessing presence.”
Why is inner peace important?
You don’t need to be a monk or hermit to need inner peace in your life.
You will need inner peace every day but much more in times of trouble, difficulties or danger. It will eliminate your anxieties, fears, negative thoughts, stress, lack of satisfaction, and unhappiness.
When you have inner peace, you are in control of your mind and emotions and nothing will tilt its balance.
“The pursuit of inner peace is more important than the search for happiness or success.” – Chris Shea
If we seek happiness, we need to have inner peace because the two are closely related. Now if you cannot find inner peace within you, you will never find it anywhere else.
NEW EBOOK: If you liked this article, check out my eBook The Art of Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Living in The Moment. This guide is your doorway to the life-changing benefits of practicing mindfulness. No confusing jargon. No fancy chanting. No strange lifestyle changes. Just a highly-practical, easy-to-follow guide for improving your health and happiness through mindful living. Check it out here.
You may also like reading:
- I was deeply unhappy…then I discovered this one Buddhist teaching
- Why I quit my job and went to a meditation retreat (but you don’t have to)
- How a regular guy became his own life coach (and how you can too)
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