10 keys on how to have inner peace and happiness
I think we all know how to have inner peace and happiness. Perhaps it is hidden so deep inside us that we look outside ourselves, following the latest fad or what “works” for celebrities or famous people. Living a life with peace does not come automatically with material things, it happens over a lifetime and only when we learn who we are and apply that to each day.
I tend to think of relaxation and meditation as the same thing, with a subtle difference. I can relax without meditating, but cannot meditate without relaxing. Relaxation allows the release of stress or tension, meditation provides an avenue for self-discovery. The self-discovery is never the light bulb and everything is fine kind. It is deciding beforehand on a specific area I would like to improve upon, or a specific thought or insight I would like to spend time deep thinking about. And the process is never fast and often involves changes in my outlook and actions.
Learning how to have inner peace and happiness begins inside you. First, you have to ask yourself why you are searching and for what. Peace and happiness mean a lot of different things. For material possessions, Amazon and other sites have a lot of Be Successful self-help type books. Spiritual? Same deal. Simple, easy down to earth tips on finding happiness? Now that I can help you with. And, best of all, I won’t charge anything. How do you find inner peace? Try these tips and see.
- Progressive Relaxation
- Cuddle With a Pet
- Ease into bed
- Ease out of bed
- Nose Full of Coffee
Something we all do every day. Sometimes not breathing is an effective way to get what we want but that hasn’t worked for me since I was about two. Relaxation breathing technique is really very simple. Take a long slow breath in thru your nose, filling your lungs completely. Breathe out slowly, thru your mouth. Repeat for four cycles and then breath normally. Repeat as needed. For meditation, do the same but focus only on the sensation of breathing in and out. Thoughts intrude? No worries, they will do that. Just return your focus on the in/out breathing.
Another one of those things children do naturally but we as adults seldom do on a regular basis. Grounding is removing shoes and socks and allowing our feet to be in full contact with grass or with dirt. Sit or stand bare foot, allow both feet to be in full contact with the earth. If you can lean against a tree, even better. Close your eyes and imagine the power that is just below your feet. Listen to the sounds around you. Breathe and just be.
Taking time for a quick stretch can relieve muscle tension and help to relax during a workday. Just stand up and sit down — no hands. Try shrugging your shoulders. Inhale deeply and shrug your shoulders up. Exhale and allow your shoulders to drop naturally. Repeat three times. You can relax your neck by turning your head from side to side or by tilting your head toward each shoulder. SLOWLY. If you are in a stationary standing position, take three steps away and back to help ease the muscles from being in one position for too long.
Start at your feet, flex your toes and arch your feet and allow them to relax. Move up to your calves and upward to your head. Don’t rush and don’t skip. To put a little extra into it, get into a breathing technique and then focus tour mind on each body part. Feel the flex and the release. Not only are you relaxing, you are meditating.
A simple way to learn visualization. Find a comfortable place to relax and allow yourself time. Close your eyes and take some deep breaths to relax your mind. Begin to imagine something familiar to you, like an apple. Focus on the apple; don’t let stray thoughts distract you. If they arise, simply let them go and focus on the apple. Imagine the apple from all its sides, top to bottom, all around. Get a clear picture, zoom in. Is it smooth or rough? Any holes? Red or green? Observe the simple details. You can progress on to feeling, smelling and eating the apple. The key is in the details. Load up your mind.
After mastering the apple, move on to visualizing yourself, as you wish to be. Again, all the details from your hair (is it blowing in a soft wind?) down to the shoes on your feet. Take your time, you are making the internal picture of the you that you wish to be.
Finally, take that mental you and add in the surroundings. The dream car? All the details, including the personalized license plate. The house, how big and what color? Plants and shrubs? Single door or double door with lion’s head knockers?
Maybe not so simple, after all. But how you see yourself will bring motivation to achieve what you want. I use a lot of guided visualizations. For me, the ease of following along offsets the generic scenes presented. Besides, I can always add my own touches in.
Cuddle With a Pet
After a rough day, snuggle up with a pet for almost instant relaxation. Pets can boost self-esteem and even ease the sting of social rejection. While some pets are not recommended for cuddling (say, a boa constrictor or a fish tank filled with piranhas), I do recommend dogs and cats. Cats are finicky, we all know that sometimes they can treat us mere humans with disdain. But, when the timing is right, they provide a lot of visual and auditory feedback to the humans they own. Dogs are almost the direct opposite. You usually have to say enough to end a petting session. My Boston Terrier, well, scratch his chin and he will follow you around for hours, giving you his please pet me look.
Ease into bed
Do you spend 15 or 30 minutes after getting into bed to go to sleep? Longer? Change or modify your evening routine. Select some soft music. Do slow, easy stretches while beginning relaxation breathing. Sit on the edge of your bed and visualize the good parts of your day, just the good parts. Ignore the bad, its over and done. When you lie down, do a quick progressive relaxation and finally, allow your mind to clear, focusing on your normal breathing.
Ease out of bed
That alarm is one nasty sound, isn’t it? Try changing it to soft music or even better, sounds of nature. Afraid bird calls won’t wake you up? No worries, the cat will when jumping at your phone or tablet.
Take a few moments to have a luxurious stretch. You deserve it. Practice a few deep breaths and slowly sit up. Now, visualize just how good your day will be. Stand and have another long, slow stretch. Now, you can begin your day.
One of my start the day routines is my first cup of coffee. I start with focusing on getting “my” cup, pouring the coffee, adding sugar and stirring. I watch the steam rising, I listen to the soft chimes my spoon makes against the cut. The smell…ahhh… just breath it. The feel of the cup getting warm. Perhaps I add two minutes to my day, but those are my minutes and the kids know not to disturb me until I have had at least one sip. My daughter calls it “Dad Time”.
Relaxing music is largely a matter of personal choice. For me, my go-to first choice is Native American Flute music. For relaxing and for meditation, the flute provides a focal point that is easy to follow and holds my thoughts, even if accompanied by other instruments or with nature sounds. Other choices, binuaral beats and meditation music in general. For something with a little extra pick up, I go with Alternative; in particular music by Nicolai Heidlas.
And, some of you are thinking, what about Family? What about the kids? The Special Friend? My buddies on the pool team or the dart team down at the pub? All, and so many more, are important and can give us great happiness. I have only looked today at how we as individuals can find inner peace.
How to have inner peace and happiness begins and ends with you. We all rush to the newest fad, the next big thing because someone says that they found peace and a purpose. After a little effort, off we go chasing the next dream approach. Only you can define what makes you happy, what gives you peace, and who you really are.
How to do find your inner peace? If you have any tips, I would like to know, the path can always use a few more trailblazers and guides.
Walking the Path of Peace,