Life is chaotic. Especially here in the States where everything is so rushed and results are expected immediately. Everyone’s on the go, impatient and running around like mad, causing anxiety and anger to rage. It’s easy to get caught up in this madness, to feel overwhelmed and out of control. It’s not easy to keep up and sometimes you need to simply unplug and get aligned with your own truth and rhythm.
Here are 10 ways to discover inner peace when you’re feeling anxious, overwhelmed, out of control and crazy.
Breathing is essential for life. It’s surprising how many of us forget to breathe throughout the day, especially when we’re feeling stressed and anxious. The best cure for any type of anxiety is to take in three slow deep breaths. This will automatically calm you down. Take in one slow deep breath, count to three, then fully release it, letting all the air out of your lungs. Repeat this two more times for the full effect or as many times as needed until you start to relax.
2. Be Present.
Bring your attention fully into the present moment. Release all thoughts and worries concerning the future (which is where all worry originates) and let yourself be fully engaged in the present moment. If possible, do something that will help you to be fully present. This is anything that needs your complete focus and attention, such as taking pictures, working with your hands (such as sewing, knitting, etc.), or writing.
Accept the things that you cannot change. A lot of our (self-imposed) suffering comes from wanting things to be different than what they are. Some things we can change but other things we’re not going to be able to change no matter how hard we try. It’s vital to be able to know the difference between the two and to release and let go of the desire to change the things we can’t. Allow yourself to lift this unneeded burden from your shoulders.
Meditation is one of the easiest and most successful ways to achieve inner peace. It’s about slowing down, focusing on your breathing, and practicing non-attachment to the thoughts that will float through your mind. Strive to meditate at least five minutes a day to help keep you calm and peaceful for the whole day. It’s a practice that’s worth incorporating into your daily routine.
5. Be thankful.
Being thankful for everything that shows up in your life allows you the opportunity to open up and grow from every experience. It’s not necessarily something that will come naturally to you – it requires practice and diligence. Start small by practicing gratitude when you’re feeling stress. Meditate on or write down all the things you are grateful for in this moment. It doesn’t need to include whatever’s bugging you but eventually you’ll come to see how even “bad” things bring good lessons.
Develop a sense of trust in yourself, your intuition and in your divine (whatever that is for you). The more you practice being in tune with yourself, the easier it will be to trust yourself. You can learn to trust yourself by listening to and honoring your intuition. Note what happens when you trust yourself and when you don’t. How does each make you feel? It’s like any other muscle – the more you use it, the easier it will become.
7. Let go.
Release what is no longer serving you, including habits, people, places and things. It’s easy to have a vise like grip on things that are no longer working for us (such as relationships, obligations, clothes). It’s not always easy to let go. Ask yourself what is no longer serving you and work towards clearing them from your life. Focus on what you do want and clear everything else.
Release old resentments, anger and hurts towards others and yourself. Open yourself up to new healing and growth in these areas. Know that your unforgiveness towards someone or something (including yourself) only hurts you. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re condoning what someone else did but that you’re letting it go and not allowing it to continue to hurt you.
9. Be in nature.
Spend time outside doing something that you love – whether it’s walking, riding your bike or simply sitting under a tree. If it’s warm out, consider walking barefoot on the grass, earth or sand. Take the time to notice everything around you – the trees, the flowers, the birds, etc. Be fully present as you take it all in, knowing that you are part of this.
Smiling will give you an instant mood boost even when it’s forced. It will help you to lighten up and not take everything so seriously. It also causes a chemical reaction in your brain that will help you to feel better. This is something my mom always told me to do and I swear it works.