While some people experience more inner peace than others, daily peacefulness is difficult. Most must work at it as it doesn’t tend to come naturally.
Distraction Takes Hold
If you attend church or any other religious service on a regular basis, you may know the feeling—your mind gets distracted and you forget. You go to mass or service and you feel inspired, uplifted, and hungry for more. During that time, you create plans to read the Bible more or pray. But when you get home, your life takes over. Daily demands pull you in many directions and you forget the promises you made to yourself while in your religious service.
What if you could integrate daily practices to keep that spiritual connection alive and give you more than a fleeting sense of inner peace? The good news is that you can do this with relative ease. Creating inner peace is nothing more than an accumulation of good habits to bring you to that place. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do.
1. Read Spiritual Literature
Many equate reading spiritual literature to reading only the scriptures. Yet, any piece of literature that uplifts your mood and awakens your spirit can be spiritual.
You don’t need to take an all-or-nothing approach. Set aside 15 minutes to read something inspirational. Spiritual literature broadens your worldview and takes you outside of yourself.
2. Change Perspective
Much turmoil and anguish come from sticking to your own personal perspective. You may get bent out of shape when the other person cannot see things the way you do. You can expend a lot of time and energy trying to get someone to see your point of view, and leave yourself exhausted and frustrated.
Another thing that happens when you refuse to change perspective is that you create stories in your head as to why a person is being a certain way. Creating stories can be used in the positive. However, most people create stories in the negative. For example, if a friend forgets to call or shows up late for a coffee date, you might think, She doesn’t care about me and doesn’t think of me as a good friend. But the reality could be that your friend has a lot on her plate and is overwhelmed with too many things to do.
When you change perspective you get out of your own head. Going over to another person’s perspective can help you create a more peaceful existence. Most of the time it’s not about you. Each person is trying to get his or her needs met, and many people don’t know how to do this without stepping on other people’s toes. Changing perspective allows compassion and empathy to flow through you, which can bring you a greater sense of inner peace.
3. Practice Non-Judgment
Judgment and, more importantly, discernment are important to survival. You are constantly deciphering what is good and bad for you. For example, if you’re driving and you see someone weaving in and out of lanes ahead of you, you must make a judgment call as to what to do if the person cuts you off. Or if you’re allergic to seafood, you must figure out whether the appetizers at the party have shrimp or crab.
As a result, your brain is hard-wired to judge. Judgment gets disadvantageous when you begin to judge other people and try to fit them into your mold. Discernment is important in relationships. For example, you might not want a friend who lies to you or breaks promises. However, judging that friend would be labeling them as a “bad person,” when in reality, you have no idea why that person lies.
Self-development philosopher and author Dr. Wayne W. Dyer said, “Judgment means that you view the world as you are, rather than as it is.” And when you realize that most people don’t view the world as you do, you become frustrated and upset. There is a saying in recovery circles that says, “Live and let live.” You will see your peace increase when you refrain from judging.
4. Focus on Serving
People prone to worry have the “what if” syndrome. You let worry and anxiety overtake your every thought. What if I don’t make enough money? What if I lose my job? What if the person I love doesn’t love me back? With each thought, your mind spirals into chaos. When you place your focus on helping and serving, somehow the anxiety goes away. As you become more relaxed, you’ll notice that many of the things you were worried about disappear. Every time you start the “what ifs,” replace them with the phrases, “How can I help?” and “How can I serve?”
5. Pray and Surrender
Meditating is important to your sense of inner peace, but without a prayer life, your spiritual practice toward peace isn’t complete. When you talk to your Higher Power, God, the Universe, or whatever name for the Divine that resonates with you, you are connecting in a way that admits humility. Ego-centeredness has you believing that you created the entire universe and so it’s up to you to run it. Having the weight of the entire universe on your shoulders is indeed a heavy weight. When you allow yourself to pray and surrender to God, that weight is lifted. To maintain peace, it’s something you need to do daily or even sometimes hourly.
Surrendering is easy to do in theory. All you need to say is, “God, I give this burden to you. I’m too small to handle it all.” The act of surrendering can be a bit more challenging, but with practice it gets easier.
To grow in your sense of inner peace, you can add these rituals to your day; repeat them until you have integrated them into your lifestyle. Soon you will notice that peacefulness will become your new normal.
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