9 things you don’t even realize you do that brings you inner peace

I have a confession, I used to believe that inner peace required constant quiet. 

I used to believe that I needed to remove everything chaotic in my life before I got a taste of peace of mind.

Not anymore, though. No longer do I think inner peace is something I need to chase.

As I get older, my idea of it stops being something I constantly need to run towards even when it continues to elude me. Suddenly, it became something within reach. 

And I just might convince you, too. 

Here are 9 things you don’t even realize you do that bring you inner peace. 

1) You talk to yourself kindly

The Kentucky Counseling Center gave this definition, “Inner peace is defined as the state of physical and spiritual calm despite many stressors.” 

“Finding your peace of mind means attaining happiness, contentment, and bliss no matter how difficult things get in your life. Finding happiness and inner peace does not depend on a problem-free life or the absence of conflict because we all go through challenges in our lives. “

Inner peace is not the absence of chaos, it is learning how to exist calmly despite it. 

Talking to yourself kindly comes into play here. Why? Because when things start going wrong, you owe it to yourself to remain kind to you.

Positive self-talk, affirmations, and being understanding of your faults are some ways of talking to yourself kindly. 

2) You plan

For my fellow planners, you will probably agree with me when I say that planning removes so much anticipatory anxiety. 

It lessens uncertainties and allows for a clearer way forward. I’m not even talking about Life Planning here, although that’s certainly included. 

Writing to-do lists or keeping a daily, weekly, or monthly planner helps me center myself. It lessens distractions and it reminds me of my purpose and the task at hand. 

3) You slow down

Life is so fast-paced nowadays that it’s impossible not to feel like you’re being dragged around by the circumstances. 

Intentionally slowing down can help with inner peace. Switch off your phone. Disconnect. Explore nature.

Read a book. Have afternoon tea by yourself. Take the time to learn a new skill.

Meditate. Lie in bed. Rest. Unwind. Do nothing. Just breathe.

Il dolce far niente, bestie. The sweetness of doing nothing. The deliciousness of being idle. 

4) You show up exactly as you are

You show up exactly as you are, cringe and all. You are not extraordinary despite your imperfections, but because of them.

Inner peace is in that acceptance of your humanity. That acceptance that you are the sum of your parts.

When you experience inner peace, you accept who you are — your strengths, flaws, desires, dreams — everything that makes you uniquely you. You also feel more accepting of the world around you and the situations that are unfolding so you’re less negatively impacted by anxiety, worry, and stress. | from Calm.com

5) You take care of yourself

Taking care of yourself shouldn’t be an afterthought, it should be a priority. 

The National Institute of Mental Health defines self-care as “taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health.”

Adding that “self-care can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy. Even small acts of self-care in your daily life can have a big impact.”

These are some of the tips they’ve listed:

  • Get regular exercise
  • Eat healthy, regular meals, and stay hydrated.
  • Making sleep a priority.
  • Trying a relaxing activity.
  • Setting goals and priorities.
  • Practicing gratitude.
  • Focusing on positivity.
  • Staying connected with your support system. 

Developing a self-care routine will be different from one person to the next and might take some trial and error, but remember that you’re worth the time and effort it will take to develop it.

6) You live in the now

  • To improve your performance, stop thinking about it (unselfconsciousness).
  • To avoid worrying about the future, focus on the present (savoring).
  • If you want a future with your significant other, inhabit the present (breathe).
  • To make the most of time, lose track of it (flow).
  • If something is bothering you, move toward it rather than away from it (acceptance).
  • Know that you don’t know (engagement).

The Art of Now: Six Steps to Living in the Moment | Jay Dixit, Psychology Today

One of my favorite sayings that I’ve adopted as some sort of motto is this: “The past is just practice.”

And while the past is somewhere I can’t go back to, the future is not guaranteed either. What I can control is the “now”. 

This brings me comfort. It allows me to let go of what I can’t control. Do I manage to do this all the time?

No, not really, but I always try. And that gives me peace, once again, that acceptance. 

7) You stay out of drama as much as you can

I think this one is pretty evident and self-explanatory: staying away from drama. Especially from drama that you’re not a part of. 

The unnecessary time you spent getting tangled up in drama could’ve been time you spent doing other things you love. 

You don’t need to participate in every argument you are invited to, especially if it’s one without basis. Sort between what’s valid that requires your attention and what’s unfounded and unnecessary.

Some people just want to watch the world burn, don’t let yourself get caught in its path. Your peace is worth more than that.

8) You step away from social media

I’ve been on social media for over a decade now. In recent years, I utilized different platforms to showcase my work and my art (which, in most cases, are one and the same.)

I used to be very active on Twitter—now X–and I even had thousands of followers on there. I felt like I had a platform. That was, truly, an illusion.

And it was at the cost of my peace. It became a burden. Creating content became a burden. 

Suddenly, it was performative. Suddenly, I cared about likes. At one point I scoffed at tweets that only got 500 likes when I’m used to at least a thousand. 

I beat myself up for not being funny enough or witty enough. 

So I had to consciously remove myself from that situation. Now, I only keep that account for posterity and the occasional fangirling. 

I exist online mostly on Instagram now with my two-digit likes from friends who genuinely like me and my work. 

While I haven’t completely stepped away from social media, mostly because of my work, I have carved a more quiet space to exist in. 

I have gained some semblance of peace. 

9) You don’t take yourself too seriously

And lastly, not take yourself too seriously

When you’re wound up so tightly that you can’t even see what’s around you, you fail to see that things are better than you first thought.

How will you be able to see the humor? How about all the good you have? 

If you keep yourself on a pedestal, not allowing yourself to just live and let loose, how will you see the wildflowers by your feet? 

They say it’s ideal to stop and smell the roses, but how do you go about that when you won’t let yourself do so?

Hence, not taking yourself too seriously. Being exactly who you are, letting loose, having fun, and doing things not for acknowledgment or reward but just because.  

Before you go

There are very few people in the world who do not long for calm and comfort. Lucky for us who do wish for tranquility and moments of peace, it’s possible. 

Inner peace is less complicated than I was first led to believe. Inner peace *is* possible and it is within our reach.

It was silly to try and constantly chase it when it could’ve existed within me at any moment. I just wasn’t paying attention. 

And now I have and just in case you haven’t yet, then I hope that so will you. 

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