Life can be busy and stressful, so it’s common to have feelings of anxiety and worry. But looking after your mental and emotional health is just as important as taking care of your physical health.
Having peace of mind isn’t about not facing problems in your life, it’s about actively nurturing a sense of calm and emotional stability within yourself even in the face of hard times. When you have peace of mind and inner calm, you can deal with problems, stress, and daily life more effectively.
Tchiki Davis, MA, PhD explains that peace of mind is a state of a mental state of calmness or tranquillity, free from worry and anxiety.
So how do you achieve peace of mind despite the stressors of daily life? Let’s take a look.
1. Be Yourself
A big part of finding peace within yourself is being true to who you are. It’s so easy to get caught up in changing yourself to please others or trying to be something you’re not, but you deserve to be who you truly are inside.
Be your true self, without comparing yourself to others or feeling you have to put on an act to please those around you.
2. Set Boundaries With Others
Boundaries are how we let people know what we want and what we don’t want, especially when it comes to how we’re treated by others. You have a right to set clear, healthy boundaries with people in your life, including in both your personal and professional life.
Psychologist Joaquín Selva explains that setting boundaries in your personal life prevents resentment, anger, and burnout. He explains that setting boundaries is a crucial part of self-care.
Likewise, evidence shows that at work setting boundaries prevents you from overloading yourself and taking on too much. Boundaries allow you to have a healthy work-life balance.
3. Reduce Stress in Your Life
Life can be stressful: it’s undeniable and stress happens to all of us. While it’s impossible to completely avoid stress, you can proactively reduce your levels of stress to enhance your peace of mind.
So how do you do that? Well, there are lots of ways you can reduce stress, starting with taking good care of yourself. Practicing self-care (such as doing regular exercise, having a regular sleep schedule, and eating well) helps to reduce stress and increase emotional wellbeing.
Who you spend time with greatly influences your mental health. Therefore, it’s important to surround yourself with positive people and move away from people who are a negative influence in your life.
Talking about your feelings rather than bottling things up can help to ease tension and make you feel more at ease.
Finally, what we see and read on social media and in the news can have a significant impact on our emotional wellbeing. If you find that your viewing habits are making you feel negative, try controlling your viewing. You can turn off notifications, limit the time you look at the news or social media apps, and mute keywords of topics you find stressful.
4. Make Time for Yourself
This is quite an obvious one, but it’s something we often forget when we get busy. To have inner calm and happiness, you need to make time to take care of yourself.
Try to make self-care a priority, just as much as other responsibilities in your life. If you have a busy schedule, try not to overload yourself, as this will only lead to burnout both emotionally and physically.
It’s also really important to make time for things you enjoy. Even setting aside half an hour a day or one day a week to do something that you find fun can be beneficial.
5. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is all about achieving peace of mind and creating a deep sense of inner calm. Practicing mindfulness helps you to be present in the moment, letting go of worries and stress.
The American Psychological Association explains that mindfulness influences pathways in our brain which reduce stress, promote a calmer mind, and help us with emotional regulation.
There are lots of types of mindfulness you can try, including mediation, guided visualization, and breathing exercises. Even just a few minutes of mindfulness a day can be beneficial.
The World Peace Initiative has a great mediation guide for beginners to help you get started.
Why not try this amazing guided meditation for inner peace and calm?
6. Be Proud of Yourself
It’s easy to be hard on yourself, we all do it when we make mistakes or when something goes wrong. But focusing on the positives and cheering yourself on is far more productive.
Focus on what you’ve achieved, rather than what you haven’t, and be proud of those achievements. Work on building your confidence and being kind to yourself.
Studies have shown that self-acceptance and peace of mind are deeply linked. Self-acceptance refers to accepting yourself for exactly who you are and being happy with yourself as a person.
7. Practice Gratitude
Research shows that gratitude reduces negative emotions and promotes increased peace of mind.
Try to focus on the things you’re grateful for in your life. Maybe you have a safe place to live, a loving partner, or great friends to support you. Perhaps you’re working on improving your life and can be grateful for how far you’ve come.
Something that I find really important is not comparing myself to others, as this can lead to feeling ‘not enough’ if their life looks different. There’s no one right way to live your life: focus on your own life and your own achievements.
8. Don’t Dwell On The Past
When we dwell on the past, we stay ‘stuck’ and can often miss the positive things happening in our present. It can prevent us from planning for our future and feeling hopeful.
Try to let go of the past and of what you can’t change. Don’t hold onto grudges or negative feelings, either towards others or yourself. Accept what’s happened and focus on your present and future.
9. Focus On What You Can Control
We just talked about letting go of what you can’t change. Instead, focusing on what you can control is productive.
If there are things within your life you aren’t happy with, you can work on changing them. You can be the best version of yourself. You can go after your dreams and shape your life in a way that’s going to make you happy.
10. Make Your Home Your Sanctuary
Your home should be your sanctuary, so if you do have a safe place to live, try to make it your own. You can make your home reflect your personality by decorating or adding furnishings that suit you.
Try to make your surroundings as comfortable and calming as possible. Often decluttering your home can help you to relax, but remember not to be hard on yourself if life gets in the way of housework sometimes.
11. Make Connections
There is lots of research that shows that feeling connected with others and engaging socially increases our happiness and reduces stress.
By making connections with people you have things in common with and can trust, you feel part of something. You’re more likely to feel accepted and supported by those you love.
Whether it’s friendships or a romantic connection, making connections can improve your quality of life.
12. Do Something Nice For Others
The Mental Health Foundation states that being kind to others has a ton of benefits, including making us feel happier and more optimistic, increasing our confidence, and generally improving our emotional wellbeing.
Why not do something nice for your loved ones to make them smile? You could also do something kind for strangers, by donating to a charity, doing some fundraising, or getting involved in volunteering.
13. Get Out in Nature
There’s so much research that proves being out in nature improves your mental health, decreases stress, and promotes a sense of inner peace.
For me, being out in nature is one of the main ways I maintain my mental health. As soon as I get to the countryside, I feel my shoulders drop, the tension leave my body, and I just feel at peace.
Why not try a short nature walk and really take the time to notice your surroundings? Listen to the sounds of nature, notice the colours and beautiful views around you, and breathe that country air deeply.
14. Set Goals
The Action for Happiness movement explains that setting goals and feeling positive about the future are pivotal for our happiness.
Setting goals for your future can help you feel hopeful and keep you motivated. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams: if you’re willing to put the work in, you can make your life what you want it to be.
Having peace of mind and inner calm isn’t about your life being perfect or not having stress in your life: it’s about appreciating what you have, knowing what you’re working towards, and being kind to yourself.