These past few years, I’ve been focusing on a healing word that I can use as a focal point for my growth. Last year, I picked gratitude, and shared some practical tips on how to cultivate grateful living in everyday life. This new year, I’m picking peace as my focal point to remember in day-to-day situations.
Through this article, here’s my list of recommendations on what I’m doing to become more calm and contained, this year.
What Does It Mean To Be Peaceful?
Being peaceful is not the same as being happy.
Happiness, just like sadness or anger, is an emotion.
Peace, is a state of mind. When we are peaceful, we are not disturbed by our surroundings, or even by the inner chatter. And when that happens, we radiate a certain calmness into the world. Something which touches other people and helps them come to ease too.
So, we’re not aiming to be annoyingly happy. Nor are we aiming to be delusional or ignorant of our reality. We are simply focusing on being less shaken by all of it. A.k.a. PEACEFUL.
The following approach is what I’ve tried and will be expanding on in deeper capacity this year. Here are my 5 recommendations, written with a perspective of emotional awareness and emotional intelligence.
5 Ways to Become More Peaceful And Calm
#1 – Monitor The Emotional Charge
No matter how much we heal ourselves, there are still many ways in which we get triggered and swayed away by emotions. Then, we act out, from a place of anger, sadness, or some other kind of underlying emotion of overwhelm.
The way we can become more peaceful, is to keep observing the situations which carry emotional charge in our day-to-day life. There’s a good chance that there are patterns and similarities in seemingly different scenarios.
For instance, even though you may get angry for two very different reasons, what you do after you get angry might be the exact same. You might either slam the door and walk off, or get carried away and start blurting hurtful things.
When you know you have a strong inclination to do certain things under pressure, start asking yourself what you can do instead. Break the circuit of your emotional response, and pick something that is more in alignment with a peaceful mind.
Some ideas could be:
- Drinking water to physically cool down your flared energy,
- Taking deep breaths and staying quiet for about 90-seconds while you observe yourself in the present moment and feel the emotional charge pass out of your system,
- Reminding yourself to keep your heart open and to interrogate the absurdity instead of closing up because of it.
Remember that it will take some practice to break the circuit and shift your response. But only you can do it, and it’s a good time to get started 🙂
#2 – Don’t just focus on the negative emotional charge.
This may sound counterintuitive, but just like we don’t want to hold the negative emotions, we don’t want to experience an emotional ‘high’.
Seeking these highs are what create shopaholic tendencies, and other self-gratifying escapes like binging on food, numbing the mind with countless hours of television, etc.
Being aware of our energy dips is important because it helps us perform better. But we also want to know when we spike, because that too is disruption and can cause instability.
Not to say that I’m anywhere near being unaffected by happiness. Every time I get happy feedback, I’m grinning from ear to ear like a child. But what I am doing more of now, is reminding myself that happiness is a temporary state.
So start by observing the high, and how you act when you are happy. As some wise person once said, and I paraphrase, don’t take actions when you are angry and don’t make commitments when you are happy.
Being driven by any range of emotion will make our decision and action biased. Just like the anger or sadness, let the initial ‘rush’ of happiness leave your system before you move forward with something.
#3 – Don’t fuel the flames.
When you are spiraling down the emotional trap, observe the ways in which your ego-mind cooks a story around the situation, and makes things worse for you.
My mom always shared this with me when I was growing up. When something bad happens to us once, but we keep thinking about it over and over again, we are becoming our own enemy.
You can end up adding fuel to the flames, and exaggerating things, blowing them out of proportion.
On the other hand, if an emotion is untampered, and we can simply be with it as its energy moves out of our system, we can be free from the charge within a couple minutes! We don’t need to carry the emotion or situation into the future, prolonging our healing for days and adding more to the mess.
So, to practice peace, remember that your mind needs to be on your side, and not working against you.
#4 – Fake it till you make it.
Keep asking yourself what you would do in this situation, if you were enlightened. This isn’t faking it, as click-bait as the subheading seemed. It is the simplest way to move ourselves into conscious living.
The more agitated you are, the further away from a peaceful reaction you will be. So, pull yourself back into the mindset of a wise person, and operate from there.
At times, this may not happen in the moment. But use this question to reflect on what you could have done instead, and practice doing that going forward.
Here are other reflections that can help you think in a more enlightened way.
#5 – Move beyond self-righteousness.
We are often stirred because something didn’t sit right with us. In our worldview, this thing should not have been said, or done. And yet, it has been.
An important part of the journey to a life of peace and calm then becomes to have acceptance. Sure, there are things that will happen to our liking, and some will be against it.
But our preferences are what make this duality come to life, for ourselves. Our preferences teach us that somethings deserve to be in the Universe, and some don’t belong. But that’s not true. The mere fact that the thing happened, is evidence that it is all possible and happening.
So, the more accepting we are, the deeper we experience oneness.
This isn’t to say that you become passive or don’t stand up against crime, as extreme examples. It’s simply to say that we need to stop living in DENIAL. And when we start seeing reality for what it is, and move beyond self-righteousness and dogma of what the world should be, we become at ease.
And thus, we make our way towards peace.
Prioritizing our peace in our life is one of the most important things we can do to stay sane.
It’s easy to get pulled into the whirlpool and spin round and round in the turbulence of emotions. But if we can practice self-restraint and be vigilant, we can step away from these emotional charges and move ourselves into a more quiet state of mind.
From this state of mind, not only does our decision-making become more practical, we are less likely to do what’s ‘easy’ and instead do what’s right.
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