Have you ever had trouble falling asleep due to niggling worries? A lack of peace of mind impacts all areas of our lives, including our sleeping habits. Disturbed sleep has a knock-on effect on our sense of well-being. But it’s not just our sleep that’s affected. When we are consumed with stress and worry, it can feel like we are swimming against the tide in all areas of our life, which is exhausting.
Most of us want more peace of mind but don’t know how to obtain it. A pervasive fear, rumination, and anxiety can trap our senses in a state of unrest. While finding peace in a forever-changing landscape is challenging, there are several ways to achieve it.
This article will outline what it means to have peace of mind and the benefits of this. It will also suggest 5 ways you can get peace of mind.
What does it mean to have peace of mind?
What do you think of when you think of the term peace?
Do you think of the end of a war and a vision of serenity?
To me, peace is also about love and acceptance. And peace of mind conjures up a sense of calm and safety.
Often we take specific actions to gain peace of mind. For instance, we may install an alarm system in our house. This action can bring peace of mind to people worried about being broken into.
We live in a world where we plan and mitigate for the future. For instance, we take out insurance plans for our property, pets, and our own health. These policies help reassure us that should an emergency arise; it won’t have a catastrophic impact on our finances.
We wear helmets on building sites and when riding bikes and horses. Emergency service workers use personal protective equipment. This specialized equipment helps prevent injury or infection.
Many of us streamline our exercise and food habits to reduce the risk of disease or illness and help prevent early mortality.
These examples highlight that peace of mind is interlinked with the visceral feeling of feeling reassured. When we have done all that can be done to reduce risk and reassure our fears, we generate a feeling of peace of mind.
You will know if you don’t have peace of mind. You will spend too much time with unsettled thoughts and feel distracted by rumination, fear, and anxiety. If that’s the case, it’s time to consider what changes you can implement.
The importance of having of peace of mind
No one wants a mind full of fears, negative thoughts, and rumination. It’s certainly not a fun place to be.
When we feel anxious and disturbed, it can affect our overall health and well-being. It leaves us distracted and unavailable mentally and emotionally, and it can hurt our relationships and career.
We can become consumed by negativity when we don’t have peace of mind. We are more prone to catastrophizing and all-or-nothing thinking.
Therefore, it stands to reason that when we find peace of mind, we benefit from physical and psychological health improvements; this includes:
- Improved sleep.
- Elevated mood.
- Higher sense of well-being.
- Fewer aches and pains.
- More energy.
- Healthier relationships.
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5 ways to get peace of mind
You deserve to have peace of mind. Sometimes, no amount of insurance policies and personal protective equipment will bring you peace of mind. In these situations, it’s time to fine-tune your brain.
Wouldn’t it be tremendous if you could switch off the constant chatter and doubt and turn down the volume of the negativity and worry in your brain?
Here are our top 5 tips for obtaining peace of mind.
1. Practice acceptance
The key to peace is acceptance.
Imagine you are in your car driving to an important meeting. Now, I want you to imagine that there is an accident up ahead, and you find yourself in stationary traffic.
First of all, have compassion for those involved in the accident.
Secondly, everything is out of your control. Getting worked up about this will not help the situation. Sure, you can shout, scream and bang your fists on the steering wheel. But this will not help.
Instead, you can lean into acceptance. Accept that you can not change this situation, and there is nothing you can do. Alert anyone you need to that you are running late and put on some music. Breathe into the acceptance and take this opportunity to remember that you can only control the controllable.
2. Find forgiveness
We will never find peace of mind if we hold on to blame or anger toward ourselves or others.
It isn’t always easy to find forgiveness. Forgiveness does not mean ignoring something said or done. Instead, it concerns itself with not dwelling on this, acknowledging and accepting things as they are, and not holding on to the anger or unrest associated with this.
I carry some hostility and a sense of personal injustice within me. I understand this unresolved anger is unhealthy, and I am working on letting it go. Ultimately, the only person our anger hurts is ourselves.
Grudges and destroy us from the inside out. Malachy McCourt suggests that this associated resentment is “like drinking the poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
3. Engage in mindfulness
Oh, the bliss we experience when we turn the chattering brain off.
Mindfulness can help you reduce the dialogue in your brain. There are many ways to engage in mindfulness. The whole purpose of it is to draw your attention to the present, so it can’t worry about the future or dwell on the past.
Some effective mindfulness practices include:
- Coloring in.
- Walks in nature.
- Breathing exercises.
- Writing a journal.
- Finding a flow state with painting.
This list is not exhaustive. Another way I engage in mindfulness is by spending time watching the red squirrels in my garden. These incredible creatures mesmerize me. I suspect it is much like watching multi-colored fish swimming in an aquarium—the joy and delight of watching them bring me an overwhelming sense of peace.
Exercise is now well known for its beneficial properties in alleviating anxiety.
Exercise makes us feel better about how we look and helps us feel better about how we think.
Exercise helps relieve anxiety and promotes peace of mind in several ways.
- Rhythmic movement creates a soothing metronomic effect.
- Raised heart rate circulates blood around the body.
- Feel-good hormones and chemicals are released into the body.
- The physical benefits increase self-esteem and confidence.
- Regular exercise improves sleep quality.
At the very least, we should all take between 8,000 - 12,000 steps daily. This step count will enhance physical and mental well-being and bring greater peace of mind. But there are many other exercises you can engage in that may involve movement other than steps.
- Resistance training.
The message is simple - move more to feel better.
5. Sleep well
Do you get adequate sleep both in terms of quality and quantity? Sleep is essential for our well-being.
The poorer our sleep, the more drought and wired our brains. I love this quote by Jean Yang on Twitter “when you hate the world, it’s time to eat; when you feel the world hates you, it’s time to sleep.”
Work on your sleep hygiene:
- No screens within a few hours of bedtime.
- Create a bedtime routine and stick to it.
- Give yourself at least 7 hours of sleep.
This study suggests that those who have positive dreams benefit from greater peace of mind than those who have negative dreams. If nightmares or unsettling dreams besiege you, consider seeking advice from a therapist to bring about greater peace of mind.
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Peace of mind is not just something those with no stress or worries enjoy. We can all find peace of mind with a few well-adjusted life tweaks.
Remember our top 5 tips for how you can get peace of mind.
- Practice acceptance.
- Learn forgiveness.
- Engage in mindfulness.
- Sleep well.
Do you have any suggestions for how to get peace of mind? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!