Cultivating peace in everyday living … How’s that working for you?
I think it’s fair to estimate that this is one fruit everyone wants in their lives. From pilgrimages to prayers to meditation and personal retreats, thousands spend untold time, money and energy on what for them can be a very elusive butterfly. If that is the case, how can we learn to practice peace in the hectic pace of our days? Here are a few seeds we can start to plant regularly to develop a harvest of healthy habits!
Exercise – Endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin are all brain chemicals that are released when we exercise. They are found in the pituitary gland and throughout the nervous system, are the body’s natural pain medication, and mood lifters. After a strong workout, take a moment to take inventory of your mood, and you will probably find that you are feeling much better and more peaceful.
Nutrition – the healthier your body, the better you feel, which generates heightened peacefulness. Choose the best, most nutrient dense ingredients for recipes that taste great and are good for you. Think about it, “dis-ease” is the absence of ease, so when you are at your optimal health level, you are more at ease.
Declutter – Create an environment that is organized and clean of excess clutter. Not to say a sterile environment is best, but most of us can eliminate a great deal of “stuff” to minimize visual and emotional clutter. Keep only that which brings you joy, and remove the rest. This goes for mental and emotional clutter as well – what no longer serves your best interest? Find a life coach or therapist or counselor that can help you release the litter of your mind and heart. I also create peace in my environment with lots of natural light, soothing colors and aromatherapy. When I’m feeling really stressed, I use doTERRA’s “PEACE” (appropriately named, yes?), a reassuring blend of floral and mint essential oils which is a positive reminder you don’t have to be perfect to find peace. Click HERE for more info! Slow down and mindfully reconnect with the composed, collected you. I sit quietly, breathe deep (another good stress-busting technique), and allow myself a minute to unencumber myself for a few moments.
Minimize – speaking of uncluttering, find ways to purge unnecessary stressors that can hamper personal peace — from social media, to too much television, to actual noise levels and even people. Step away into silence and, if possible, into nature. I can practically guarantee that most people never come back from a walk in the woods or by the beach in a bad mood! Take off your shoes and ground with the earth barefoot, carve out a quiet time in your day where sounds are marginal and you can hear your own thoughts.
Plan – take time to build in time boundaries so you can be as unrushed as possible. Develop a quieter morning routine that gives you space to begin your day unrushed, not just jumping out of bed at the jarring of the alarm and rushing like a crazy person to get out the door. Add a 15-minute buffer before and after appointments, meetings, etc. that helps if you get stuck in traffic or another meeting runs late, or something unexpected arises.
Spiritual Connection – Finally, spend time in Scriptures, reading God’s word and praying and meditating. Look around you each day and count your blessings. Gratitude and thanksgiving are the partners of peace. One of my favorite verses on peace is:
Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”