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It goes without saying that life can be hectic. In fact, more than one-quarter of women and 21 percent of men ALWAYS feel rushed (not to mention 36 percent of moms and 25 percent of dads), according to a Pew Research Center poll.
Perhaps you fall into this 'harried' group, and perhaps you have noticed those few among us who seem completely unfazed by traffic jams, schedules and daily life in general. How can these people feel relaxed, stress-free and happy even in the midst of all of this chaos? Two words: Inner peace.
What Is Inner Peace?
Inner peace may sound like an oxymoron, but rest assured it is quite attainable.
"Peace is always available here and now because it is what everyone has at their core," says Hale Dwoskin, founder of Sedona Training Associates. "Peace is one of the attributes of resting as that presence of awareness that you are."
In other words, inner peace is what's left after all of the distractions, worries, to-do's, and what ifs have been quieted. Inner peace is the human equivalent of extra icing on your favorite cake — it's your life, but better; it's gravy.
How can you get to a place of inner peace, and join the ranks of those happy and disarmingly "together" few? Try out these simple tips — they're an easy way to get more inner peace in your life, right now.
1. Notice the silence that's here right now.
"The simplest way to recognize inner peace and experience this peace that you are is to simply stop and notice the peace or silence that is here now — before, during and after every thought and experience. It is what experiences appear in or on," Dwoskin says. "Then simply let go of anything that appears to be disturbing that peace."
So the moment that you start to get boggled down with anything not peaceful, take a step back and realize that, right now, everything is fine, everything is peaceful. If, when you take this step back, your mind is flooded with racing thoughts, it's time to let go of these thoughts, quickly, by using the Sedona Method.
2. Take a deep breath.
Now take another. And another. Breathing is a natural way of relaxing your body and letting go of stress. Once you start to incorporate deep breaths into your day, you will likely start to realize just how often you've been holding yours.
3. Turn off the TV.
You may think you can't live without next season's 'Dancing With the Stars,' but turning off the television — and tuning out of all of its advertisements, violence, and negative current events — will give your mind a much-needed break.
4. Excuse yourself from negative conversations (and people).
There's no law that says you have to stick around to hear your co-workers go on about how awful their jobs are, or be your highly critical aunt's "special project." As much as possible, surround yourself with positive people, and avoid the negative ones.
5. Practice forgiveness.
This one may not sound 'quick,' but it actually can be. Why are you still holding on to anger over any past argument or situation? It is only hurting YOU. You can decide, in this instant, to let go of your grudge, and experience how much more free and peaceful you feel.
6. Don't take it personally.
Though it may sometimes seem that there is a conspiracy to make all things in your life go wrong, rest assured that the universe is not out to get you. In fact, it can actually work FOR you, if you let it. The more you let the bad things roll off your back, and let the good things fill you with joy, the more positive, and peaceful, your life will become.
7. Name five things you're thankful for.
Now make this a habit you do every day. If you want, expand the list to 10, 20, or 100 things. Expressing gratitude in this way, as simple as it sounds, will help you to get a whole lot more out of life.
8. Stop being envious.
You're not envious, you say? You don't secretly wish you had a bigger house? A better body? A more perfect marriage? "Most of us feel envious — at least to some extent — all the time without even being aware of it," Dwoskin says. Yet, feeling envious keeps you in a constant state of noticing what you don't have. Which, of course, draws more lack into your life. When you consciously decide to no longer be envious, you become free and open to anything you desire, including inner peace.
9. Do something good for yourself, and something good for someone else, everyday.
Just a small something to remind yourself that there's always time for a treat, and to treat others. Some suggestions: pick up coffee on the way to work for your office-mate, buy yourself that new book you've been wanting, go for a long walk after you wake up, or surprise your spouse with a love note.
10. Smile and, even better, laugh.
Smiling, even if you don't really feel like it, will eventually help you to feel better. Laughing, as often as you can, is also great for your mind.