Whether you’re a stressed-out entrepreneur, a busy parent (or both), one thing is true: you have the capacity to cultivate and experience inner peace. Within you lies all you need to achieve peaceful states of mind that make life more enjoyable and fulfilling.
The challenge is not in finding this place — it’s knowing how to reach it whenever you want to.
Is inner peace a real thing?
There’s a lot of negativity and anger in the world these days. People are mad at one another, at their government and their leaders.
If you find yourself feeling tense, reactionary or angry a lot of the time, it may be worth taking a look into your thought-patterns to uncover your potential for inner peace.
Here’s the thing, most times you have no control about what goes on around you, especially when other people are in charge. But you do have control over how those things affect you.
If you’re able to control the impact of other people’s actions on your psyche by letting go or understanding, then you’ll be able to live your life from a foundation of inner peace.
If you let others’ negativity, moods or actions control you, then the outer world will seep into your inner one and cause you stress.
Why is inner peace important?
Your quality of life is a function of how much you can access the peace that’s part of who you are at your core. It’s your inner compass for sanity, acceptance and grounding.
When you have inner peace, your mind and body are able to relax allowing you to take on the world from a foundation of strength and clarity.
Now, being relaxed is often confused with lying down on a hammock reading a book or taking a nap. While this is but one aspect of being relaxed, it doesn't reflect the true meaning of that state.
When your mind and body are relaxed, you’re opening your inner gateway to creative thought, which is where all solutions originate from.
When you’re facing a problem from a foundation of stress, you’re actually inhibiting your ability to think creatively or respond rationally and therefore find the best solution.
By learning to access your inner peace in the face of challenges, you’ll be able to live a much more productive and less stressful life.
What does it feel like?
Inner peace is a state of balance that you get to experience when your thoughts are not in control of your mind but your mind is in control of your thoughts.
When you let your thoughts run the show, you’re not living your “real” life, you’re living the life depicted by a movie that’s being projected on a pair of virtual reality goggles.
And the “director” of that movie is the sum total of your past beliefs in the form of unwieldy thoughts.
So, while you may think that you’re looking at what’s in front of you, you’re just looking at the projection of a “version” of your life that a lot of times is designed to stress you out.
When you learn how to take off your goggles, you’ll feel like a heavy weight has been lifted from your shoulders. You’ll feel much lighter, both psychologically as well as physically — for instance, if that heavy burden was making you slouch, you’ll begin to stand up straight again.
Unencumbered by an endless stream of repetitive and mostly useless thoughts that take you away from the present moment, you’ll begin to observe the real world again, you’ll be able to smell the proverbial roses and you’ll see life in a much more clear light.
What are the causes of negative thinking?
Negative thinking is the result of conditioned thoughts from your past. Now, things, events and circumstances in and of themselves don’t come about with a label that says “negative” or “positive.”
Things just are, from you winning a well-deserved award to your car breaking down in the middle of the highway on your way home.
Clearly, you rather win an award than getting stranded ten times out of ten. However, the actual circumstances that took place are neither positive nor negative.
Those are labels you’re choosing to associate with them — labels that originate from your belief system and then become entrenched in your psyche through repetition.
How do those labels come about? Negative labels tend to be prevalent when you’ve been conditioned throughout your life with thoughts of scarcity and positive labels are more prevalent when you’ve been conditioned with thoughts of abundance.
Whether there is actual scarcity or abundance around you is immaterial. For example, there are many people who live surrounded by abundance but who become hoarders because all they see is scarcity everywhere.
How do you find inner peace?
For you to find inner peace, you first need to remove those virtual reality goggles that are preventing you from seeing and experiencing the real world.
In order to do that you have to learn how to take control of your negative thoughts so that you’re not letting a rogue crew comandeer your ship.
Now, while this may seem like a tall order requiring years of therapy to untangle the cobwebs of your past conditioning, there’s a shortcut:
Letting go of those negative thoughts conditioned by past experience and not accepting them as something you need to “think about” or “latch on to,” and training yourself to live in the present moment as much of the time as possible.
When you’re present in everything you do you’re leaving no room for your negative thoughts to infiltrate your psyche, because those thoughts cannot coexist with the present moment. If you’re present you're not “thinking,” you’re “being.”
And it is in this state of being that your most creative ideas will come from. Negative thoughts are either tied to your past (regrets) or to a projected future (anxieties). Reality, on the other hand, is tied to the present moment.
So, how do you train yourself to live in the moment? Start with the small things first. For example, when you’re having your morning shower before going to work, enjoy every second of it and experience how good it feels instead of mentally transporting yourself to the office.
The same applies to when you’re brushing your teeth, when you're eating breakfast, when you’re driving, etc.
When you do this regularly day in and day out, you’ll notice that your outlook will improve immediately, your stress level will go down and your creativity will expand.
You’ll soon notice how your mind begins to replace disempowering and stress-inducing negative thoughts with creative ideas — so you better have a notepad handy at all times to catch those creative thoughts as soon as they pop into your head!