The journey to achieve inner peace is one that man has struggled with for decades and the answers for it have been found in every corner of the world. So, is there one correct answer? Or are there a multitude of them?
Will inner peace be achieved by spending a fortune on a luxurious hotel stay in Italy or meditating on top of a mountain? Well, yes and no. A retreat and inner peace are two separate things. When you go through a burnout phase or you feel like you’re close to falling off that edge because of how frantic your daily life is, you’re not supposed to wait it out for your paid holidays.
In this article, we will address the ways you can tap into the deep reservoir of serenity that resides within you. Without any further ado, here are 6 easy ways to achieve inner peace after a long stressful day.
1. Lie Down and Breathe
This may come off as very simple but it’s going to be a bit of a battle before you actually get to master it. Lie down on your bed or sofa, and do nothing. This means no checking your phone (shut it off or put it far away on “do not disturb”), no glancing at what’s lying around the room, and no reading anything.
The goal is to stop your mind from thinking altogether. You want to be in a sensory state where your body feels like it’s dissolving into the bed and you’re just an accessory in the room.
Now you will practice the 4-7-8 technique that harnesses the power of breathing. You inhale through your nose till the count of 4, hold your breath till 7, and then exhale through your mouth at 8. Let your belly fill with air so that the nervous system initiates a relaxation response.
Keep doing this for a few minutes and your body and mind will unwind. The better you get at centering yourself, the faster your access will be to the reservoir in you.
2. Mindful Meditation
Our world spins so fast and there are a million things that demand our attention. When we’re constantly in this cycle of sustaining the things around us, the turbulence chips away at our inner peace until we become a machine. Your soul spins out of its natural orbit and you need to bring it back.
Mindful meditation brings your focus to the present by disassociating from the feelings you’ve attached with your surrounding and observing yourself in the moment. You will be focusing on the sound of your breathing, maybe the comfort song you’ve put on, and the feeling of the fabric of your blanket.
Try to focus your mind around something that doesn’t let your thoughts wander. It’s natural to get distracted at first but over time you’ll be able to anchor yourself just fine.
Another important myth to address here is that only a quiet place is ‘suitable’ for meditation. That isn’t true. People can have panic attacks on massage tables too. You need to find the place that instantly makes you feel at peace and then venture within from there.
Mindful meditation boosts your ability to focus, minimizes negative feelings, and engages a mindfulness in you that will show its benefits throughout the day.
3. Guided Imagery
You’ve heard of this time and again – “go to your happy place”. This could be a memory that you have always looked back at and felt a surge of happiness, a beautiful beach, your favorite destination, a serene garden etc.
All you need to do is harness your imagination and keep feeding the scenario you’re imagining. So if you are imagining being on top of a lush hill, you could picture the wind blowing through your hair, the gentleness of the soil underneath you, the way the rolling hills ahead paint your vision.
For guided imagery to work, you have to be somewhere quiet so that you can focus, undisturbed, on your imagination and it’s also just as important to feel warm and safe.
4. The Wonders of a Warm Bath
Your overworked body and mind need the clock to stop ticking, and what better way than to soak in a warm bath? Here we’ll focus on how important self-care can be.
Before you step into the bath, apply a lotion or oil on your body that will naturally ease your tense muscles and senses. Make sure you loosen up every knot and then just let the fragrance of the lotion envelope you. If you’ve been neglecting your skincare routine, this would be a great time to put on a face mask!
The next steps are playing some transcendental instrumental music, a drink in your hand, and dip into your bath till you’re snug and floating!
There is a rush of relief and a rush of tension that probably runs through you when you leave work. Your jaw could be clenched, back hunched over, and just the cooped up environment that’s done a number on the radiance your skin has on better days.
Progressive muscle relaxation is another way of relieving yourself of this built up tension. You will find tons of effective stretching exercises all over YouTube. The practice involves building tension in every muscle group of your body and relaxing it one by one.
To achieve this, find a soft surface like a yoga mat or bed. Begin by creating tension in your facial muscles then work your way downwards from there. You will feel your body unwind and release so much negative energy by the time you have reached your toes.
6. Physical Activity
Inner peace has everything to do with self-care. This could be in the form of meditation, skincare routines, having a fun hobby you love to get immersed in, and it could even be physical activity!
Essentially, what your mind needs is an escape. If finding an escape like that is hard from steps like meditating and guided imagery, then being active will silence a tireless mind without much effort. Physical activity helps to release a handful of feel-good hormones which will promote a rather natural high to counter stress and anxiety.
This has to be some kind of sport or exercise you enjoy doing and can just lose yourself in. Aerobic exercises like running and swimming have a very captivating effect. They can boost your overall mood and the rush of adrenaline will also make for an excellent low when you are exhausted afterwards.
Activities like gardening and surfing can also work just fine. The ultimate takeaway is that your body will guide your mind into a relaxed and focused state.
Doing the things you enjoy is what is most important. Our suggestions are great steps to take but if you know a couple of things that you think you could be immersed in and just let go of the world around you, then go for it!
If reading a good book, cooking, jamming to some tunes, or painting help you unwind then you have already figured out what you are missing. Hope you have a great day!