In this hectic world, it can be very easy to let the busyness get to you. Peace becomes elusive in your life as you constantly strive to “make things work.” Work-life balance becomes a chore as you struggle to exist on a daily basis. It can be incredibly stressful trying to balance a personal, family, and work life! In actuality, there is no such thing as work-life balance–it comes down to what works for you. Oftentimes, however, that is a delicate balancing act in which someone or something pays the price–more than likely, it’s you.
Stress also comes in the form of change. You are guaranteed to encounter change in your life; some of it not so great–like a layoff from a job, a death, an illness, betrayal, or relationship break-up. These things can lead to frustration, sadness, anger, resentment, etc. Many people turn to food, alcohol, drugs (prescription or illicit), cigarettes, or even the tv or computer to numb their pain or stress, but that is not a healthy way to deal with the complexities of life.
Peace does not come from the outside–it first comes from within you.
How do I find peace in my heart and in my life? As a life coach with a Master’s in Psychology, I have the training and background to reach for different tools in order to find comfort with where I am in my life and my day. Here are a few of them that I use in my own life:
- Exercise. Moving your body helps get rid of excess physical tension. Yoga helps me tremendously as does running. What are some fun things you do to move your body? When I think of emotions I think of e + motion. When you move your body, you can help move your emotions from stuck to expressed.
- Breathe. Pay attention to your breathing. When you are stressed, you tend to breathe very shallowly. A relaxing breathing exercise is to take a breath in for 4 counts, hold it for 1, exhale for 8, then hold for 4. Repeat at least 3 times.
- Take a walk in nature. I love being outside, and reconnecting with the natural elements of our world helps to ground me and to remind me of what is really real. Take a walk and pay attention to the smells, the sounds, and the sights. Be present to the beauty around you.
- Gratitude. Think of 10 things you are grateful for–but don’t answer with the obvious–find the obscure (I am thankful for my small wrists–I can wear kids’ jewelry!). People don’t realize just how much good is in their lives, tending instead to focus and brood upon the negative aspects. This is a surefire way to create stress. Instead, get in the habit of searching out the positive. You can do this by starting a practice of gratitude.
- Practice self-care on a regular basis. Nurturing yourself, especially during the times when you need it the most, sends a message to your subconscious: I AM IMPORTANT!
- Take a nap. Give your brain and body a break and take a 10-minute power nap–longer if you need it. Use the down-time to listen to a meditation.
- Stop saying “Yes” to things that you don’t want to do. If you catch yourself saying “I should do this…” — should is your trigger word to stop what you are doing and assess whether it is truly important.
- Hire a coach or therapist or talk to a trusted friend or clergy member to help you find peace within yourself. Sometimes you are too close to your situation to see other solutions that are available to you.
- Live an inspired life. Fill your life with beauty and inspiration. Become inspiring.
- Be you. Often it is a struggle to become your authentic self, but in order to be truly at peace, you must honor who you are deep in your core. When you are not at peace, your soul will cry out to you to drop the ego-self and to remember who you are. You aren’t what happened to you, you aren’t what others say you should be or do; you are uniquely you.
If you aren’t experiencing peace in your life, take it as a sign that something is “off.” Don’t judge it, but see it as a gift that allows you to recognize that something needs to change. You can find peace in your heart if you live your life with integrity and honesty; show up with a good attitude; know you are 100% responsible for your thoughts, word, and actions; are open to other people’s experiences; are congruent with your values and morals–all of these things lead to internal peace. Essentially peace is a choice–a choice to live an empowered life by taking control of your health and well-being in all ways–body, mind, and spirit.