How Do I Find Peace in an Unpeaceful World?
For a while, I have struggled with the attainment of inner peace. This has not always been a challenge for me for I can recall memories of my past when I have genuinely felt inner peace. With this inner peace came a sense of calmness, joy, gratefulness, and fulfillment even during the most trying times. However, as I am writing this blog, I will wholeheartedly admit that this inner peace was lost on me for the past several months. Perhaps the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to some extent to this feeling of uneasiness, but I cannot solely cast blame on external circumstances. I have allowed myself to become engulfed by the negativities that surround me, by my own shortcomings, anxieties, and fears. Loneliness has allowed me to spiral down a pit of despair that, for some time, felt never ending. The more isolated I became, the deeper this pit seemed to become. And, yet ultimately, I realized that I was the one creating this own pit for myself. With my thoughts, I was slowly digging a bigger and gaping pit for myself.
After much introspection, I have come to the realization that inner peace can be attained, but with active cognizance, self awareness, and continual practice. With that said, below are 14 steps that I have attempted to practice to attain this inner peace.
How to Attain Inner Peace:
Focus on the positives and the blessings not the negatives. Practice gratitude and choose to be happy even in unhappy circumstances.
Accept each challenge and situation. Overcome the challenge without allowing it to overcome you with anxiety, fear, or hopelessness.
Practice quiet time: meditation, prayer, yoga.
Breathe. Rather than react impulsively, learn to briefly disengage, breathe, and take time to act. Be slow to anger, quick to listen, and slow to react.
Engage in acts of service for others.
Exercise to attain physical and mental health.
Practice introspection. Reflect on lessons learned from past experiences so that past mistakes won't manifest in your future.
Be kind to everyone, even those who are unkind to you. Practice forgiveness.
Do not make assumptions or pass judgements. What is seen on the outside does not always reflect a person's full intentions, story, or struggles.
Put 100% in all that you do. Otherwise, there may come a time when you regret not having given something your best shot. Never live with regrets.
Other people's negative reactions towards you are not always a mirror image of your own shortcomings. Accept criticism gracefully and willfully to better yourself, but also remember to not take all negative criticism personally.
Never compromise your moral grounds for worldly, emotional, or materialistic gain.
Comparing your life to another's is like treading an uncharted path without a compass or guide. You will inevitably get lost because this is a path which was never intended for you nor was it the one that you intended to take. You stumbled upon it by mistake and without the adequate knowledge to navigate it appropriately.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding.
What are some ways that have helped you gain inner peace? What practices do you utilize to achieve this peace? We can easily become prey to our own negative thoughts if we do not make a cognizant effort to overcome the negatives with the positives. How we choose to live and react to external struggles is the essence of our character.