This is a guest post by Prudence Sinclair.
Good afternoon, lovely YOU!
I am sipping my morning tea up in my hideaway space I had built for me last year. I told you about that space and the amazing synchronicity of meeting the architect who turns out was one of my blog readers! This space is so peaceful, and I am so grateful to be able to come up here anytime I need to escape the craziness of the world. And boy has it gotten CRAZY!
I realize not everyone is as fortunate to have a space designed specifically to get some calm and clarity. But there are other ways you can invite peace into your life.
The number one thing that makes the crazy in the outside world feel even more dangerous is the crazy in our own head. Our minds are constantly chattering, worrying, mumbling, stumbling. Meditation is like a life vest we can slip on and, when we do, the stormy sea becomes calm and peaceful.
Meditation helps train our minds to stay in the present instead of resenting the past or worrying about the future. It also helps to balance our emotions and reduce stress. If you are new to meditation and don’t know where to begin, do a search in Youtube for guided meditations to help get started.
Focusing on your breath is certainly a part of meditation, but you can stop and breathe deeply at any point in your day to feel more peace and calm. When we are feeling fearful or stressed, our body naturally goes into “fight or flight” mode. In this mode, our breathing naturally becomes shallower.
But when we stop and breathe slowly and deeply, we send a signal to our brain that the danger has passed and we are safe.
Throughout the day, spend a few minutes breathing in slowly and deeply through your nose for a count of 4… holding your breath for a count of 4… then exhaling slowly out through your mouth for a count of 4 and repeat this exercise 4 times. You will be amazed at how instantly calm and peaceful you can become in minutes.
3. Have Daily Routines
We swaddle babies to give them definite spacial boundaries, which soothes and calms them. Well, routines do the same thing for us adults. Setting routines and sticking to them helps us create a calming environment for our minds.
What are some areas of your life that could benefit from a bit more structure and routine?
Your sleep habits. It’s incredibly important to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. This will help you regulate your body’s internal clock, which will help you get the rest (and peace and calm) you need.
Morning and evening routines also give us structure, which ultimately leads to a calmer life and environment. Rise, workout, shower, breakfast. In the evening, make dinner, connect with loved ones, make time for self-care reading, bubble bath, meditation).
Invite rituals into your life as part of these routine structures. For instance, I generally have two cups of herbal tea in the morning. While I may write a blog post, send emails or do other work during that second cup, my first cup is meant to center me. If weather permits, I have it outside so I can connect with the natural world. In the evenings Dave and I take time to set the table and sit and enjoy a healthy meal together and talk about our day. I love our dinner time together.
See what kinds of rituals you can come up with.
4. Unplug More
While I am grateful for the technological advancements we all benefit from, I am also aware of the harm all of these digital gadgets have done to our peace of mind. Being plugged into “the matrix,” for lack of a better phrase, is stressing us all the hell out. There is just too much chaos, lies and hate online and on our TV screens. And many of us have become absolutely addicted to consuming digital media, starting and ending our day by checking our social media pages.
I made a conscious effort a year ago to start unplugging more and more and I can’t tell you the wonders it has done for my heart, mind and soul. I encourage you to do the same. You won’t find me on Facebook very much these days for many reason.
5. Stop People Pleasing
Something else I stopped doing a long time ago was spending most of my precious God-given time trying to please others. There are too many people who take COMPLETE advantage of you, and you are left drained of energy and good cheer. Please yourself more and other less and peace will find YOU.
6. And No More Settling
When your heart and mind are in turmoil, there can be no peace. And often our inner world is tumultuous when we settle in life. When we work at jobs that demean us and starve us creatively. When we stay in relationships that diminish our self-worth, and when we allow our own behavior to be less than who we are.
7. Face Your Real Emotions
Trying to run from our emotions will starve us of the peace we’re looking for. While it can be difficult to feel our inner darkness, facing our emotions, all of them, is the only way to get back to the light.
I hope you begin implementing these suggestions in your daily life and I hope you find the peace you seek.