Peace of mind is inner calm. When everything around you is spinning, you can be untouched if you have cultivated a deep abiding tranquility at your core. Peace of mind is a part of happiness, because no external success or wealth can soothe a restless or tormented inner life.
There’s more to the cultivation of happiness because tranquility by itself could be equated with hiding away from the world or denying it. We must also have movement to be happy, we must be involved in our journeys. To walk with humility and compassion is the ideal mode of those travels, and peace of mind is the soil from which such flowers grow.
Here are the 10 tactics I consider most essential for peace of mind.
- Meditate every morning. Each day can grow spontaneously from a calm and blissful seed. Each day can be punctuated and free from any anxiety of the day before. Turning within, you can open your mental receivers and partake of the blissful infinite. These are just the beginning blessings of a daily meditation practice; ultimately it becomes about expansion of awareness.
- Read spiritually before you go to bed. Your last “inputs” of the day will carry into your rest. What dreams of beauty and grandeur await the spiritual seeker in slumber! Visions of work or mundanity may well preoccupy your sleeping mind if that’s the last thing you mentally partake, so choose consciously. Primarily, I mean the scriptures of your choice – but you may also find my book recommendations helpful.
- Actively seek to forgive others and yourself. Most of the wrongs and regrets are mere fabrications of our egos. We seek to control life and the world, essentially, in a struggle for power that is at root a tiny heart of insecurity. Accept what others have done, accept what you have done! Accept how other people are, accept that you are not owed anything, accept that you can’t control or rescue every sinking ship. Just here – right now, you can be sure to make choices consciously. You can choose to heal, and you can choose to make amends. The stranglehold of resentment (whether against others or ourselves) ruins all peacefulness, but throwing it off starts as simply as a commitment to a choice. From there, it’s an exercise of mindfulness and will… a perfect target for affirmation or prayer.
- Regularly spend time in nature. The slow waving of the trees. The march of an ant in his line, stopping for an instant to greet each companion going the other way. The lazy flight of satisfied birds passing overhead. All this things are within you, if you break your inner dialogue to witness them. If there’s a window near you, consider yourself hyperlinked, my friend.
- Rest well. When you live with a sleep deficit, everything becomes difficult. Creativity, sharing, compassion, perspective… everything is disturbed when you try to yank more personal time or productivity out of life in the sacrifice of sleep. Sleep is a time when you retreat back to formlessness and regather the healing light of creation into yourself – that renewal is more essential than any late-night television program or extra hour on a work project. 99u wrote a summary of a helpful article on this topic.
- Make time to explore and play. Children are ever the best guides to the world, since their visions aren’t barred with preconceived notions. Pets are ever the best playmates in the world, since they act without premeditation or motive beyond sheer delight. Against everything else on this list, this tactic creates exceptions.
- Consciously manage your email and phone activity. Don’t check your email in off hours. Don’t check your email in the last hour you’re working. Mute your phone most of the time, so that you aren’t summoned or disturbed when you’re creating, meditating, or spending time with your children. If you won’t have time to address or respond to people, why set your mind spinning and become preoccupied with the latest inquiries and requests? Or worse, the possible negative or disagreeable proposals of people. Limiting your exposure is a hugely important step in setting limits.
- Skip the news most of the time. That means the mainstream media and all that negativity about the state of the world, sure, but also your own little private world of news – website statistics, for example, and social media accounts. Most of the time those things just create a little whirlwind of reactivity and self-talk your days are better off without. When you do check in, do it with enough time to be comprehensive in your responses, so that you can easily let it all completely go. This is the spiritual principle of discrimination of intake, the fifth point of the 8 Pointed Path of Eknath Easwaran.
- Create distance from negative people. There’s no reason you have to accept negative input or people who constantly complain as a nearly constant presence. There’s dignity in the closed gate and the closed door. It’s good to be open when you’re able to spend enough time to help out to the best of your ability, but it’s just as good to be unavailable when your effort goes to different ends. Healing wounded people or getting out of negative relationships is the most important part of improving your happiness baseline.
- Write down all your ideas and concerns. When we write the things inside of us to our notebooks or our journals, they are purged out of us. They are set to order – the mind no longer ceaselessly repeats the things that worry us, when we put it out there so that we know they won’t be forgotten. Writing empties the queue and steadies us to fresh introspection. It is a personal truth for me that writing is medicine.
Need more? Here are some more perspectives to help you find peace of mind:
- 40 Ways to Create Peace of Mind – tinybuddha.com
- 9 Ways to Find Peace of Mind in Tough Times – marcandangel.com
- Peace of Mind Tips and Advice – successconsciousness.com
- Ten Commandments for Peace of Mind – hinduism.about.com
- Quotes About Peace Of Mind – goodreads.com
- Peace Bible Verses – biblestudytools.com