Do you get restless with your own thoughts? Do you find yourself worrying a lot? That you jump from one thought to another?
And be honest, how many times a day do you check your smartphone to distract yourself from your own thoughts and boredom?
You’re not the only one. Many people – especially in the western world – lack inner peace.
Are you looking for ways to get your head still? Then read on quickly for 3 simple exercises.
We are constantly worrying about our lives. About our physical and mental health. About our relationships. About our past, our future and our current situation.
This requires a lot of energy. And this is bad for our health! Inner turmoil and stress can lead to depression, anxiety disorder, lack of sleep, poor performance at work, problems in relationships, you name it.
In this article we give you 3 practical Exercises To Get More Inner Peace and to become cheerfulness itself.
The importance of finding peace within yourself
What exactly is inner peace?
It’s hard to give a general definition of something so personal, but what can be said in general is that inner peace is about finding peace within yourself.
This could simply be about learning to accept things and make yourself less stressed.
It’s about being comfortable with yourself, with your life as it is now and with the moment you find yourself in each time.
Worry less about both the big and the small things. From the smallest frustrations, such as being stuck in traffic again, to worrying about paying your mortgage or about a divorce.
It’s about taking time for yourself. And for someone else.
How often do you race from hot to here, from one date to the next? How often do you have a conversation with someone while thinking about other things?
At the end of the day, we are simply burned out with all the worries, impulses and information that has been forced upon us.
And then we turn on the TV.
You think to ‘turn off’ your brain for a while by filling it with even more information, more impulses. You check your phone again. While watching a series.
You go on like this until you get sick.
As a result, you are never completely relaxed. For example, notice how your shoulders feel right now. Are they tense as you read this?
Chances are they are tense all day.
Your body is therefore in a constant state of readiness. It is continuously in ‘fight or flight‘ mode.
That’s a trick of our bodies that came in handy in prehistoric times when we always had to be on the lookout for scary creatures that wanted to eat us.
Scary creatures still exist today, but they mostly live in our heads. Unless you live in the African jungle.
These unnecessary stress hormones wear you out. They suck you dry. The energy is being drawn away from important things like your immune system and your metabolism. As a result, your body can no longer heal itself.
This gives you wrinkles. That makes you sick.
It could be a minor flu or something more serious. Many people get burned out in this way, become depressed, anxious, or develop serious physical complaints.
It’s a sign from your body, maybe even the universe, that you need to rest.
Finding inner peace in your head
In order to find peace in your mind, it is important that you know that you can learn to take control of your thoughts.
Because our thoughts drive us crazy. We are constantly bouncing back and forth between conflicting beliefs and feelings. We even act contrary to what we want.
This is because we grow up with certain rules, norms and values that are imposed on us by society and the people around us.
We learn to reason things out. And sometimes our feelings and our reason contradict each other fiercely. We are torn by it.
This is not bad, it is necessary for our development.
Through illness or adversity, we are forced to take time for ourselves, and relearn what it is like to live free.
You learn that you don’t have to respond to everything that comes your way. You don’t have to be guided by your thoughts.
This allows you to make different choices that lead to much more happiness and health.
If you understand why you’re so worried, it’s easier to do something about it.
And maybe you’ll understand why you’re worried. You are afraid of being hurt. You are afraid of losing your partner, you are afraid of being lonely, you are afraid of losing your house, your job, your image, your pride etc.
But what actually underlies worrying and inner turmoil is the fear of death.
You’re afraid of dying, you’re afraid of losing the people you love, you’re afraid of ceasing to exist. Perhaps you are not even afraid of death, but afraid of not having really lived.
Does that sound familiar?
Yet you are essentially not at all. It is your head that is afraid of that, or your ‘monkey mind’. Your monkey mind jumping like a monkey from one thought to another:
Doesn’t sound very nice, you monkey mind. It will keep you safe, though. But it’s not your friend.
It is your self-criticism, your inhibitions, your limitations. It always wants to maintain the status quo, because that’s how it exists. If you change something, it gets scared.
It is constantly trying to survive. It does this by creating problems so that it can look for solutions to those problems.
But this is not you. You are not your thoughts! You have thoughts.
You are something that can watch your thoughts from a ‘distance’.
It is possible to see your thoughts for what they are, and not be carried away by them every time.
When you learn that you are not your thoughts, that you are not your monkey mind or your ego, when you learn that you are just you, you will see that you are essentially an inexhaustible source of love and energy. And that the inner peace already exists in you.
When you learn to tame your monkey mind, you can:
You do that by meditating. Meditation is the key to inner peace. You learn to see that your thoughts are just thoughts. And that you can let them go.
3 exercises for inner peace
Meditation is simpler than you think. It’s just sitting still for a while. Paying attention to your breathing, to the sounds in and around you, to what you feel in and on your body.
It’s not about not thinking. It’s not about stopping your thoughts.
It is about observing the comings and goings of your thoughts. By sitting still and observing ourselves, we develop inner peace, wisdom and insight.
It is important that you try not to judge yourself.
It’s okay if you think you don’t know what you’re doing, if you think you should be doing ‘useful’ things, if you don’t think it makes sense, etc.
Those are all normal thoughts. So thoughts. Not the reality.
Here are 3 simple exercises you can do at home:
Exercise 1: The body scan
This is one of the most commonly used meditation practice for beginners.
Exercise 2: Breath awareness in the abdomen
Most people breathe high in the chest due to stress. But as a child, as a baby, you breathe in the belly.
It is much more relaxing to breathe into the abdomen.
This exercise lets you consciously breathe into your abdomen, and stay with the physical movement of your breath. You can do this lying down or sitting down, but for now let’s lie down.
Exercise 3: Counting breaths
You can also do this meditation sitting or lying down, but for now we’re going to sit down.
It doesn’t matter how long you do it.
Even if you only do it for a few minutes a day, you will find that it makes a difference in your day and you find more inner peace.
Over time, you can build it up to 20, 40, or even 60 minutes.
There are countless meditation and mindfulness exercises you can do, ranging from lying down, standing, sitting and walking.
Good books and Exercises To Get More Inner Peace
Do you want to read more about meditation and finding inner peace? Here are 10 books we recommend:
- Be impeccable in your words
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- always do your best
Hopefully, with these tips you will soon find more inner peace!
Do you have other tips for meditation or books about finding inner peace? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!