Peace is not something that you find. You must create and maintain your own peace. Below are 5 tips to help you create and maintain an atmosphere–and ultimately a lifestyle–of peace.
Begin by identifying your influences. Everything that we see, listen to, and do, will influence our ability to create peace.
1. What You See Affects How You Feel
What do you seek for entertainment? High-intensity shows with depictions of violence and high-stress situations cannot promote peace. Content creators (i.e. screenwriters and producers) aim to trigger an emotional response from viewers, often sadness, anger, or fear. Our physical bodies react to these emotions with signs of stress such as shallow breathing and muscle tension.
Minimize or eradicate stress-inducing entertainment to maintain peace in your mind and body.
2. What You Listen to Affects How You Think
What do you listen to? Consider the lyrics of the music that you favor as well as your internal monolog and conversations with others. Do the words that you submit yourself to support the life of peace that you crave?
Prolonged exposure to words of aggression, pain, slander, or indifference may only solidify those characteristics in your life. When used as an outlet, (e.g. listening to aggressive music when you are angry) speaking negatively or listening to negative words becomes a crutch. Does that negative language change the stressful situation? Does the negative language resolve the root of your stress? If not, why keep those negative influences in your life?
Instead, let the words surrounding you reflect the life of peace that you want to lead.
3. Guard Your Energy
Energies are contagious. People (and even places) can hold an energy that is positive or negative. Think of places in your life where you feel happiest. Think of people who seem to bring out the best in you. Also, consider people and places that drain your energy.
Learn to identify sources of positive and negative energy in your life. Gravitate towards those positive energy sources when you need a boost. When you’re feeling good, protect your positive energy.
Avoid energy siphons as much as possible. Everyone needs cheering up now and then. When a loved one is feeling low, it’s okay (and natural) to share your positivity with them. But be aware of people who are chronic energy vampires and wisely choose your interactions with such people.
If interaction with negative energy is inevitable, use the tips below to neutralize the interaction.
4. Practice Self-Compassion
How you interact with your body influences your sense of peace. Practice self-care on a regular basis but especially after you’ve had a negative experience. Below are a few self-care suggestions:
- yoga asana
- take a relaxing bath
- massage of body and scalp
- guilt-free pampering (note: if the money that you’re spending will later cause stress or discomfort, reconsider)
- enjoying your favorite hobby or exploring a new interest
When we do things that we enjoy, our brains release chemicals that uplift our mood.
5. Practice Compassion
Treat others how you would like to be treated. This sage advice has been repeated throughout the ages. No matter how we phrase it, it’s hard advice to honor–but your peace is worth the effort!
Regardless of how someone is treating you, dedicate yourself to integrity and good character.
We are inclined to retaliate when we feel threatened, offended, or under appreciated. But how will retaliation create lasting peace? Best case scenario, you will feel better temporarily but know that you’ve compromised your character. Worst case scenario, the situation escalates and gets worse. Choose carefully.
It is equally important to remember self-compassion. If someone repeatedly seeks to harm you, protect your well-being by removing yourself from their presence. This can be challenging as it may mean the end of a relationship or even a change in employment. Remember that a life lived in the crosshairs of harm cannot lead to peace–and your peace is priceless!
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