You reach over to turn your alarm on your phone off and the next thing you know, you’re wrapped up in a negative news headline. Or better yet, you start scrolling through your social media wondering why your life is subpar. Sound familiar? If so, you may need to better protect your peace.
In today’s modern world, it takes a concerted effort to protect your peace. With your work, your relationships, and the media all fighting for your energy, it’s critical to learn how to control your headspace. Because without a sense of inner peace, the world will quickly fill you with negativity and try to control your emotions for you.
This article will teach you how to protect your peace and give you the tools you need to stop letting stress take the lead in your life.
- What exactly is personal peace
- What happens when you lose your personal peace
- 9 ways to protect your peace
- Wrapping up
What exactly is personal peace
We all have some generic definition of peace that comes to mind when you hear the word. You probably picture someone who is calm and smells like essential oils.
And while I’m a total fan of essential oils, personal peace is so much more than an aesthetic. According to research, inner peace is composed of the following four main areas:
- Lifestyle factors.
These four components work together to help create a sense of balance and well-being in your life. And when any of these areas are a little off, you tend to not be able to experience complete peace.
This definition really resonates with me. When you understand that a higher power and deeper meaning is involved in life, you can find greater peace.
This deeper understanding combined with the harmony of not being in conflict with others helps you to feel at ease. Then you add in a positive mindset and a lifestyle that fosters mindfulness and it sounds like the perfect recipe for a blissful life.
It’s those moments when I feel lost in relation to my higher purpose, upset with others, or I’m cultivating a negative mindset that I lose my peace.
If you think about times of peace in your life, I’m sure you can identify how these four factors played a role in fostering that sense of well-being for you.
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What happens when you lose your personal peace
So why is it that we care about inner peace to begin with? Well, all it takes is experiencing the opposite of inner peace to understand why it’s critical to strive to protect your inner peace.
Think about the last time you lost that sense of peace in your life. How would you describe it? My answer is I felt stressed out of my mind.
And while stress may sound inconsequential, the research demonstrates that long-lasting stress has the potential to have a widespread impact on your body.
This research shows that sustained stress is often at the root of many common chronic diseases that we face as a society.
Beyond just your physical well-being, chronic variable stress has been shown to reduce your cognitive functioning and put you at a higher risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
When I lack inner peace, it’s not uncommon for me to feel sick or run down. It’s as though my engine knows that something is off. Consequently, it forces an unwanted emergency shutdown.
Aiming for inner peace may just sound like something nice to aspire to, but in reality, it may be the key to a healthy brain and body in the long run. And as someone who likes their brain and their body functioning at their highest, I’d say it’s worth taking the time to learn to protect your peace.
9 ways to protect your peace
Let’s dive into some of the essential mental kung-fu skills you need to master to protect your inner peace.
1. Choose what you give your energy to
Throughout the course of a day, you are given an important choice. You get to choose from moment to moment what you will give your energy to.
You may give a good chunk of your energy to your job or maybe you give it to developing a relationship with a loved one. The key here is that you’re in control.
Where this becomes important to remember is when things don’t go quite how you’d like them to. Chaos and mistakes are bound to happen. It’s just a part of life.
But when it comes to protecting your peace, you can choose to indulge your energy in negative daily events and spiral into a ball of stress. Or you can choose to not spend energy stressing over the things which you don’t have control over.
The choice is truly always yours, so choose wisely.
2. Know when to say no
One of the most powerful words you may need to learn to use to protect your peace is the word “no”.
I am a natural people pleaser, so this isn’t something I do gracefully. It continues to take practice.
But in times when I’m stressed or when something feels out of balance, I know I need to stop saying “yes” to everything. This includes taking on that last-minute project at work. This includes that midnight dance party on a Tuesday before you have a big presentation the next day.
Maybe you just have too much on your plate or maybe you need to say no to set a clear boundary with other people.
Whatever the case may be, saying “no” is your way of saying “yes” to your own inner peace.
3. Take a graceful exit
Sometimes, protecting your inner peace means knowing when to exit the scene.
Just a few weeks ago, I got into a heated disagreement with my friend. It became clear after about 30 minutes of dialogue that we were both only getting more worked up.
I could feel what I thought was my blood boiling with each word he said. At that moment, I realized that we were not going to see eye to eye.
And in order to protect my inner well-being, the best decision was to gracefully leave the situation. By exiting, I gave myself the space to calm down and restore my own well-being.
In this case, I was able to re-engage with the conversation at a later date from a position of peace. In some cases, your exit may be permanent.
And it’s totally okay if your exit is permanent. Because at the end of the day, your inner well-being is worth it.
4. Create a morning routine
One of my favorite ways to protect my peace is through my personal morning routine. It’s taken me a few years to get it just right, but my morning routine is a surefire way to foster my inner peace.
Having a morning routine assures that you are starting your day out on your terms and taking intentional efforts to focus on the good in life.
Your morning routine could consist of:
- Writing a gratitude list.
- Watching the sunrise.
The exact details are less important. Just take the time to craft a morning routine that helps you bulletproof your mind for the inevitable stressors of the day.
5. Get your sleep
No one feels calm and collected after a poor night’s sleep. If you’re anything like me, you transform into the physical form of a monster with absolutely no patience.
Prioritizing your sleep helps to combat stress and gives you a tank that is fueled to adapt to the events of the day.
I know this advice is boring and you hear it again and again. But there’s a reason you hear it everywhere.
Sleep really is one of the magical ingredients needed for optimizing your mental well-being. As someone who only recently started focusing on getting a full 8 hours each night, I can’t even begin to tell you how much it has helped enhance my mindset.
6. Don’t bring work home
Another classic piece of advice, right? Well, there’s a reason the classics are classic.
Bringing work home with you all the time is signaling to your brain that your inner well-being is not a priority to you. Read that again.
No job is so important that you should sacrifice doing the things that refill your cup. Sure there are times when you have to make sacrifices and work a little extra.
But allowing work to always come home with you becomes a habitual practice that sets you up for a life that is full of anything but peace.
I used to always bring home my documentation from the clinic to work on it. By doing so, I ended up carrying something that lingered at the back of my mind when I was walking my dog. It’s like I couldn’t let go of work because I had something unfinished in my proximity.
Leave work at work. Home needs to be your safe space where you shouldn’t let anything disturb your calm.
7. Get off your phone
I saved the zinger for last! One of the main sources of lack of contentment and peace is that bright screen you carry in your pocket.
It is so easy to get caught up on your phone for hours on end only to feel unrested and disconnected from your life.
About three months ago, I made a decision to delete my social media. This in part stemmed from feeling a strange sense of anxiety and discontent after wasting hours scrolling through it.
I am being quite literal when I cannot begin to tell you how much this simple switch has helped me feel alive again. I actually pay attention to movies when I’m watching them and I feel less scatterbrained throughout my day.
The device and the apps on it are designed to be addicting and drain your personal power. While I’m not saying you have to go off the deep end and delete social media altogether, be mindful of how much time you spend on your phone.
You may just find that your life outside the confines of the screen is full of more peace than anything that a phone has to offer you.
8. Practice mindfulness daily
Incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine can be a game-changer for protecting your peace. Mindfulness is all about living in the present moment and acknowledging your thoughts and feelings without judgment.
It's like giving your mind a mini-vacation from the constant buzz of daily life. Start by setting aside a few minutes each day for mindfulness exercises. This could be as simple as focusing on your breath, engaging in a short meditation session, or practicing mindful eating. The key is to be fully present in the moment, letting go of past regrets and future worries.
But how do you make mindfulness a habit? Try linking it to an existing routine. For instance, practice a minute of mindful breathing every morning after brushing your teeth. Or, take a mindful walk, where you focus on the sensations of your steps and the environment around you.
Remember, mindfulness isn't about perfection; it's about progress. Over time, you'll find that these moments of mindfulness can significantly reduce stress and enhance your overall sense of peace.
9. Connect with nature
Never underestimate the power of nature in restoring peace and balance in your life. Nature has a unique way of putting our human experiences into perspective, reminding us of the beauty and rhythm of the natural world.
Make it a point to spend time outdoors regularly, whether it's a walk in the park, a hike in the woods, or simply sitting in your garden. The fresh air, the sound of birds, the rustle of leaves – all these elements work together to calm the mind and soothe the soul.
To integrate nature into your life, start small. It could be as simple as having your morning coffee outside or taking your lunch break in a nearby park. If you're feeling adventurous, plan weekend hikes or nature walks. You can also bring nature to you by creating a small garden or keeping houseplants.
These small, consistent interactions with nature can significantly contribute to maintaining a peaceful state of mind, helping you stay grounded and connected to the world around you.
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Protecting your peace is not for the faint of heart. While it may not require Jackie Chan-level fighting skills, it does require a mental toughness that takes intentional practice. With the tips from this article, you can prioritize your inner peace and discover a life free of the stress that burdens much of our society.
What's your favorite tip? How do you manage to protect the peace in your life? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!