- Mental Health
How to Find Peace in Everyday Life
Awww... peace...that elusive thing that we hope for but can't seem to find sometimes. And sometimes when we do find it, it's just in little bits and pieces. So how do people really find peace in everyday life with so many demands? Bills to be paid, sick family members, job lay-offs, anger, stress, and a myriad of other things we have to contend with on an everyday basis?
Looking for peace
I venture to say that peace means different things for different people. For some, peace may mean an "ever-lasting" peace, which would be difficult, if not impossible, for us to achieve here on Earth. Because of the nature of the world we live in, there will always be things that come in to disrupt our peace. So expecting peace everyday and at all times for me is not realistic - therefore I attempt to grab and cherish moments of peace that I find throughout my day. I actively look for things that bring me joy - a beautiful scene (could even be a simple flower), something sweet my grandson says to me, a good feeling that I get from seeing something beautiful like two old people holding hands.
I look for peace.
How do I find peace?
So what qualifies me to talk about achieving peace? Nothing really special except that among a hectic life I do find my peaceful moments. One way I do this and get myself grounded for the day is by praying, and I have a special prayer that I have developed just for my life, a life mantra you might say, that dictates how I am going to try and live my life each day. I call it the P.E.E.P acronym. This acronym came to me over a period of time, and it is something that I strive to be everyday!
My personal story of how I find peace in everyday life
The meaning of being a "PEEP"? Being a Peep means being:
P - a "Peacemaker"
E - an "Encourager"
E - an "Example"
P - a "Person of Integrity"
So as I go throughout my day, when I keep these 4 things in mind, I do find moments of peace, and sometimes even longer periods of peace. Because when I strive to be a peacemaker - that means I am not trying to take away someone else's peace, and seeing them encouraged encourages not only them but also me. When I strive to be an "example", then I am being on my best behavior, which more times than not leads me to getting In less stressful situations, which would disrupt my peace. When I seek to be a "person of integrity", I put my own needs and wants aside (I at least try) and seek to uplift someone else through my actions, therefore once again achieving more peace, for them, and for myself.
And lastly, when I seek to be an encourager, I encourage myself to think of others feelings, putting me in tune with what will give that person more inner peace. This also gives me peace in the process.
And on a purely personal note, I talk to God. I do this everyday of my life now and it centers me and prepares me for the day ahead. Does this mean I have no problems? Absolutely not! But it does assure me that He and I are on the same wave length and our communication is in sync.
Some simple ways to look for and find peace everyday
Here are a few things that I recommend to try and help you work towards achieving some type of peace in your life. Besides the PEEP acronym which I highly recommend, these are daily things you can do, simple things, that can help you stay grounded.
- See something beautiful during your day - and really look at it. As an artist, I suppose I am more adept at "seeing" beautiful things, but I believe we can all see beautiful things if we look closely. Pick one thing to stop and really look at this day that deserves a second look. Maybe it's your wife that looks particularly stunning this day, or the blue eyes of your grandson, or a pretty flower that you see on a walk or on your way to work. Really stop and just soak in that moment when you see something that piques your interest. So many of us are so busy that we tend to overlook these simple things that can uplift us, put a smile on our face and perhaps even uplift someone else.
- Stretch. I know for one that as a busy writer, artist and teacher, I can get caught up in what I call the "turtle-shell" back when I am too busy working. It's when I realize my limbs are aching and my back is so hunched that I need to stop, get up, take a few minutes to breath, and stretch as many muscles as I can safely. Doing this at random times during the day can help you restore peace and balance in your body - and it's a very simple thing to do. It's hard to find peace if your body is aching and you have knots in your muscles.
- Find your passion in life! So many of us have not found peace because we are not doing what our brain and body have called us to do - which is to use the innate creativity and passion that we have inside of us. For each one of us this is different, some may find passion in caring for kids, or gardening, helping people or in other ways. For myself I find peace in my writing, my art, teaching children art, and educating people about climate change. I have many interests but those are some of the things that I am most passionate about. If you don't know what your passions are, try taking some spiritual gifts inventories or tests on the Internet to discover those things that make you tick!
Get enough rest. I cannot stress this enough. Finding and achieving peace will be very difficult with a tired body and spirit, Don't let the demands of the world suck you dry and spit you out tired and frazzled! Drop some of those meaningless activities that only deplete your energy reservoir. All things are not important. "Start by doing what's necessary, then what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible" - Francis of Assisi.
My daughter, God love her, has given me a litle check-up to do daily and it really works. I believe it may have come from an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) or NA (Narcotics Anonymous) book, but wherever it came from, it applies to all of us. It is called the HALT check-up. These are things that you need to check in with yourself daily to see what vital things you may be lacking that day: (BTW, I have added an "S" to this check up and made it into "HALTS", you'll see why:
- H stands for HUNGER. Are you hungry? Have you eaten today? If you haven't, it will run down your body and steal your peace!
- A stands for ANGER. Are you mad, angry, bitter? Anger sucks your energy and is an emotional vampire. Re-access why you are angry, is it worth it? Maybe you will find more peace by letting it go, or maybe by confronting that person in LOVE (not anger) to come to some type of resolution.
- L stands for LONELY. Are you lonely? My mother use to tell me that some of the loneliest people in the world are married people. How sad that is. If you find you are lonely, think about people, friends and family that you can reach out to, even if it's by text or through FaceBook.
- T stands for TIRED. Are you tired? Getting enough sleep and rest is critical to your peace of mind. Sometimes even just stopping and resting is all our bodies need to get rejuvenated. I try to take short breaks when I can, just to slow down and rest my brain for a few minutes. And breathe!
S stands for SHOWER. Do you need to take a shower? This may seem like a no brainer but for some people that get depressed, just taking a shower can be a huge energy lifter. Water is very rejuvenating and there is a lot to be said about a long, hot shower - or a soak in the bathtub. This is a really nice way to bring your body into a restful and peaceful place. Water restores and refreshes.
Finding peace in everyday life may seem elusive but it can be possible. Sometimes I go through periods where I experience more peace than at other times, and I think that is very normal for all of us. These things I do in my own life help me stay more balanced and I find myself "finding peace" more often than not. I hope that some of these ideas help you too. Please feel free to comment on what things bring you peace. I believe we find the most peace in life by helping one another.