by Vama Oswal, Psychologist
What comes to your mind when you come across the term ‘peace of mind?’
Recently, on an almost compelling recommendation of a friend, I simply sat back, took a deep breath and found myself feeling a sense of calm and contentment. Admittedly, it was a very unusually weird feeling to experience but it managed to settle in rather quickly.
When was the last time you felt at peace or experienced peace of mind?
Finding peace in a busy world
Raising a family, choosing a good career, balancing home and work and personal goals is difficult. Add on social media goals, a packed schedule, an uncertain future and these can all create pressure and stress.
To top it off, there are endless daily responsibilities coupled with occasional experiences that make you wish you could just give someone a ‘piece of your mind’ in a world where it feels like there’s just not enough time.
Swamped in the hustle and bustle the thought of getting some peace of mind may seem like a dream or even a laughable idea. But, the fact that your well-being is essential couldn’t be more true.
So, what is peace of mind? Tchiki Davis suggests that “a mental state of calmness or tranquillity also includes freedom from worry and anxiety.” Peace of mind requires not just calm but the removal of everyday stresses.
10 ways to find peace of mind
Simply put, the benefits of peace of mind are beyond feeling just relaxed.
Now the question is, can we achieve it? Our force of habit in a digital world would include a quick Google search on ‘how to find peace of mind’ on our phone that will show a million quotes on peace of mind.
In all fairness, attaining peace of mind can seem very tricky. But just because something may seem challenging doesn’t mean that it’s not achievable. Here are 10 simple ways to help you find peace of mind…
Practice mindfulness – there’s peace of mind in every moment
Practice mindfulness – there’s peace of mind in every moment
Our busy lives often have us juggling between thinking about the past and worrying about the future, leaving our mind ‘full’ with little or no space for us to explore and embrace what’s happening in the present.
When we are mindful we can focus on our moment by moment experiences that help us enjoy life in its full glory. Mindfulness means to focus on what is happening right now; wherever we are, intentionally and without any judgement. We all want to focus, mindfulness tells us how to focus.
Here’s a short example:
Take a moment to notice yourself seated somewhere. Notice how the chair feels, the support it lends to your body and how you feel in the present moment.
My friend, this right here, is your first lesson in mindfulness that you can do anywhere!
A mindfulness app can help you with more practice and daily reminders. Aim to try out the MindPlus app here for a week and build the mindfulness habit.
Prioritize: Add peace of mind to your to-do list
An ever-increasing to-do list can be very daunting. What might help is to be aware of the difference between what is urgent and what is important.
An “aha” moment for me was when I realised that not everything can be priority number 1. Our tasks and needs may shift in the order of importance regularly, and that’s okay. In this case, let’s try to keep our peace of mind at the top :)
Add peace of mind to your to-do list
Breaking down these priorities into small baby steps can also be very helpful.
It is now well researched that physical activity doesn’t just help keep your body in shape, it also has a positive impact on uplifting your mood and overall well-being.
This can include an intense workout at the gym, dancing to your favourite music or even taking the stairs.
Breathe well to find Peace of Mind
Wherever you are, stop for a moment. Take a deep breath. Now, resume whatever you’re doing. How did it feel? Breathing well can help us ground ourselves, regulate our emotions and feel more in control.
Let nature nurture Your mind
Spending optimal time in nature/outdoors can boost our peace of mind. Nature can help us feel more energetic, attentive and creative. There’s a sense of ease associated with nature which is a key trait of a mind at peace.
Practice kindness and gratitude
Taking the time to be aware of what you’re thankful for can benefit you to develop peace of mind. Express your gratitude for tangible things, or people or even experiences.
Engaging in small acts of kindness can go a long way in boosting the happiness and satisfaction of life making way for peace of mind.
De-tech-xify your mind
The digital world has been bittersweet for a calm and relaxed mind. While virtual learning was the need of the hour, an overload of virtual living has triggered our stress, anxiety and inattention.
Take some time to de-tech-ify. Leave the phone at home on purpose, hit snooze on the notifications, no screens on the dinner table and most importantly, try not to check your phone first thing in the morning.
Give peace to the negative chatter in your mind
There may be times when we are low on confidence, question our worth, doubt our ability or do not give ourselves enough credit. This leads to negative stress.
A healthy mind could benefit from being assertive about your capability and standing up for yourself.
Try something new
While routines can be comforting, their resultant monotony can affect how we feel and make our mind feel quite unsettled. Taking up a new activity or finding new ways to do our daily routines differently can be a pleasant surprise for your mind.
Sign up for that dance class, try a new recipe, take up journaling, watch a foreign film or anything you’ve always wanted to do.
Your past experiences can be a treasure trove of learning.
Instead of ruminating, we can try and look back to see what has worked for us. This can help us to build on our experiences and use them to enhance our future.
A good strategy to practice reflection is journaling.
Peace of mind is a journey
Peace of Mind may look different for everyone and so might the journey of attaining it. It is important to keep an open mind and be creative. Be aware of what’s helping your mind be calm or settled and use that to help put your mind at ease.
Finding peace helps us beyond feeling relaxed. It helps us cope with tough times and bounce back from adversities.
What’s important to remember is that developing peace of mind is like a skill. And, here’s the good part. A skill can be learned. Like any other skill, to be good at it, all it takes is a little patience, baby steps, consistency, and plenty of curiosity.
Suttie, J., (2020). How Our Brains Can Find Peace in a Crisis. Greater Good. Available at this link
Davis, D. & Hayes, J. (2021). ‘What are the benefits of mindfulness?’ https://www.apa.org
MindUK (2021). ‘Nature and mental health’. Read online