At times, we all experience difficulties finding peace. This may be caused by relationship breakup, missed career opportunities, or reaching certain age-related milestones.
Biblical hope differs from its secular counterpart in that it involves faith and anticipation of good things to come. I hope you’ll find peace in a few ways: 1. Show kindness towards yourself.
1. Be kind to yourself.
Being kind to yourself means treating yourself the way you would treat a friend, accepting that mistakes can happen, and rectifying any mean or harmful behavior, such as changing negative self-talk patterns or finding healthy ways of handling disappointment or failure.
Study after study has confirmed that people who treat themselves kindly experience greater well-being. Kindness can help improve sleep, reduce stress levels, and even enhance immune health. For instance, a February 2019 research collaboration by Exeter and Oxford found that being kind slowed heart rate and turned off threat response similar to physical exercises or meditation, thus protecting immune function against damage during threat response such as exercise or meditation sessions. Being kind also improves immune function because stress damages your immunity system, increasing the risk of illness.
One of the primary challenges of being kind to yourself lies in understanding your needs. If you need guidance in doing this, look to your values and interests for direction; for instance, if helping others is something you care deeply about, then maybe looking at ways to be more helpful within your community or relationships would help. At the same time, athletes might prioritize physical health goals.
Along with identifying your values and interests, practicing kindness to yourself involves attending to basic needs like eating well and getting enough rest. Furthermore, mindfulness practice – focusing on being present while letting go of worry or anxiety- is also beneficial in being kind to yourself.
2. Do something you love.
No one’s perfect, but we all must find ways to feel happy and at peace. If you find happiness difficult in daily life, consider meditation, practicing self-compassion, changing negative thoughts into positive ones, or spending time with those who make you feel good. Additionally, don’t allow past mistakes to define who you are today – learn from them so that your understanding of who you are expands over time.
Find something to make you laugh – research has demonstrated the effectiveness of laughter therapy in overcoming difficulties in life. Consider calling some friends and seeing if anyone would like to watch a humorous film together or find humor in whatever situation.
Have you heard the adage, “Do what you love and never work a day in your life!” While this statement holds for some people, many struggle to find fulfillment in their careers. If this sounds familiar to you, consider making some changes that bring more enjoyment into your career – even if that means finding another position; focus on those parts you enjoy, and you should soon start experiencing greater peace in life.
When going through a hard time, finding ways to help others can help your sense of inner peace. Studies have demonstrated the benefits of eudemonic happiness (happiness derived from helping others). So if you’re feeling down, volunteering or performing random acts of kindness for someone else will do wonders for helping you feel better about yourself – you might even notice less drama in your own life, too!
3. Be in the present.
Being present is crucial to meditation, spiritual, and mindfulness practices. Being fully present involves focusing on the present moment without dwelling on memories or anticipating what could happen later, instead enjoying what’s happening now. Although this can be challenging at first, there can be significant benefits in learning to live more fully in the moment and let go of thoughts that take up too much mental space.
Try bringing yourself back into the present by becoming aware of where and what you are doing; for instance, if your thoughts tend to drift to work or your to-do list too frequently. Recognize where you are sitting, how much light is coming through windows, if your arms rest comfortably on the armrests of a chair, etc., are there any aches or twitches telling you something about physical sensation?
Reminding yourself what is right in front of you can also be an excellent way to stay present. Writing down or verbally saying three things each day that make you thankful can help get out of your mind and into your heart, positively affecting mental health.
Finding a healthy balance of living in the present moment requires lifelong work. You may need to experiment with various strategies until you find what works for you, but once you find the right balance, you will begin your journey toward finding peace. When you find it, worry should lessen, and more time will be spent living fully in each moment.
4. Forgive yourself.
Forgiving others can be therapeutic, but forgiving yourself can be even more challenging. Whether you embezzled from your job, cheated on a partner, or said something hurtful to a friend, forgiveness may not come quickly, but peace is imperative. If you wish to find fulfillment and peace of mind, you must forgive yourself for past misdeeds and errors.
Maintaining guilt over past errors can be tempting, but dwelling on these matters causes more anxiety and suffering. Failing to forgive yourself of wrongdoings can have detrimental effects on both mental health and relationships – and is incredibly challenging when the grudge remains alive between people involved.
Professional assistance may be beneficial if you find it hard to forgive yourself. Letting someone listen to your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs may help facilitate forgiveness. Writing down what might be holding you back may also help pinpoint specific behaviors or actions contributing to your struggle while learning that everyone makes mistakes and accepting that everyone makes mistakes is part of living life.
Remember when struggling to forgive yourself that patience and kindness with yourself are crucial. Though it may not always be easy, it will pay off in the end! When replaying the “I’m such an awful person” tape, try taking three deep breaths or performing a mindfulness practice to break that pattern before thinking of ways to make amends – you might be amazed at how effective that action step will be!
5. Be grateful.
Gratitude is a compelling emotion linked to happiness and well-being. One of the most popular episodes from Chasing Life this season featured a guest who explained how you can see gratitude on a brain scan; when feeling grateful, it lights up “feel-good” neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin while simultaneously decreasing hormones associated with stress such as cortisol.
Research by psychologist Robert Emmons and others has demonstrated the correlation between gratitude expression and an increase in levels of well-being and the practice of gratitude as an aid in dealing with hardship. Studies also indicate how cultivating gratitude regularly may help individuals better cope with adversity.
Implementing gratitude into your everyday routine is as straightforward as writing down everything you are thankful for or creating a gratitude jar containing slips of paper listing what makes you grateful and placing them inside it. Making gratitude part of your routine might mean writing three things daily or reciting them out loud before bed.
Gretchen Rubin, an expert on happiness, suggests adding gratitude into daily activities by setting prompts or reminders – for instance, setting your phone’s passcode or screen saver with quotes about gratitude or using an app that reminds you to be thankful every time you unlock it. Finding an approach that suits you may take some trial and error, but in the end, it will pay dividends; you’ll feel happier while realizing there’s always something positive to be grateful for in any situation – even dark times!