Finding Inner Peace in Stressful Times
We all live busy lives, and typically, the busier we are, the more stressful life typically is. The American Psychological Association’s (APA) Stress in America™ survey revealed that 77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress, and 73% regularly experience psychological symptoms caused by stress. And 48% feel their stress has increased over the past five years, and that was before the election. Ugh! Work, family and countless demands compete for our attention in what often feels like, too short of a day. Add self-doubt, uncertainty, emotional reactions, a crazy political climate, and inner peace seems like a far-fetched fantasy.
But, what if it didn’t have to be that way? Instead, what if you could bring a sense of grounded, calm and ease with you throughout your day? Breathe that in for a moment. I’m serious.
We’re so conditioned to feel stress, pressure, and resistance. Everywhere. But, if you’re like most people, you’re sick and tired of living on adrenaline, feeling pressure from every direction (including yourself), and living on fumes! Your mind and sense of well-being is hijacked by bosses, customers, the media, Facebook, and even friends and family. I want to give you the secret to taking back your life.
It’s making inner peace your #1 goal. And, it’s easier than you might imagine.
I invite you into a new experience.
Imagine for a minute, you can easily access inner peace within yourself at ANY moment. You’re able to quickly return to inner peace in any moment you choose. You embrace a handful of daily practices and systems to allow inner calm to flow naturally. Your most important business and personal goals are clear and they are fueled by inspiration and enthusiasm. And you actively take steps each week to eliminate and evolve through stressors, allowing that sweet, centered, powerful part of yourself to guide your ever-amazing unfolding life.
Remember the scene in “When Harry Met Sally” and all the ladies in the restaurant watched Sally in ecstasy, and said, “I’ll have what she’s having?” If you’re ready to embrace an alternate reality, I can help. You really can enjoy the ecstasy of inner peace anytime, anywhere.
Here are 4 ways to start finding more inner peace, even in stressful times.
1. Make inner peace your #1 goal.
Years ago, when a friend shared the notion of making inner peace my #1 goal, my first reaction was “inner peace, inner shmeash.” The idea of inner peace seemed boring, unexciting to this fast-moving, Type A, goal-oriented gal. But months later, stress mounted from every direction, financial and career pressure, relationship break-ups and moving into a new home. All of a sudden, inner peace sounded VERY appealing. If you want to find more inner peace, you’ve got to make it a priority. And it feels a gazillion times better than annoying stress.
2. Notice the relationship between resistance and stress.
Life circumstances aren’t inherently stressful, but thinking makes it so.
“People are disturbed not by a thing, but by their perception of a thing.”
If you aren’t experiencing peace, you’ll quickly notice where there is stress, there is resistance.
Resistance is pushing mentally or emotionally against something. What are you pushing against? Worry is resisting a future that hasn’t happened. Self-doubt is resisting your competence. Loneliness is resisting being by yourself. Regret is resisting the past. Stress is resisting what is. When we resist reality as it is, we diminish inner peace.
Often, by simply becoming aware of resistance, we can consciously relax it, allowing the connection to our inner calm to return.
3. Be willing to respond to stress with calm.
Instead of tolerating stress as an underlying resistance to your day, what if stress became a little reminder to return to your calm and peaceful center? How cool would that be?
Breathing is your greatest ally.
Take this mini inner peace challenge.
Noticing afternoon stress creeping in? Stop and BREATHE. Take a DEEP breath in. HOLD 1, 2, 3, 4 and exhale, and drop your shoulders. Breathing is free. You can do it anytime, anyplace. And it relaxes resistance. It works.
Feeling pressure to achieve a sales or business goal? Stop and BREATHE.
Often times, taking our foot off the accelerator and coming back to inner peace, allows creative solutions to arise, sharpens focus and allows greater productivity.
When my child throws a temper tantrum, I can make a choice – to resist this reality or embrace it for what it is – something 5-year-olds do. I don’t have to like the reality, and I don’t. But, resisting it, and contracting inside, makes it worse. Instead, I can breathe. I can find my center. And from this place of calm, I can respond in a more productive and effective manner.
You can do this too. It starts with a willingness and intention for inner peace. Then, like anything, it’s about practice.
4. Set yourself up for success with self-care.
All of the tips thus far become monumentally more challenging when we’re sleep deprived, feeling under the weather, and aren’t meeting our personal needs. It’s far easier to access inner peace when you get solid sleep, exercise regularly, eat nutritious foods and take time for yourself each day. Reading, meditating, and relaxing without the distraction of TV, news, or social media helps reset our nervous system so we can truly respond to life and the demands around us. Make these habits a priority, and you’ll see attainable “inner peace” is.