It’s happening. We’re counting down the final days of 2020. That statement alone is enough to spark celebration, even though it’s not quite time to ring in the new year, right? I wish I could tell you that once the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, all the problems, chaos, discord and devastation of 2020 will disappear. We all know that won’t happen. Come January 1, 2021, millions of people throughout the country will still be suffering. We can try our best to choose joy in life. And, I think it’s safe to say that many of us could use a hefty dose of inner peace as well.
Sorry, but magic inner peace wands do not exist
While there may be a few rare examples of people who are inherently or naturally filled with inner peace, most of us have to work at it. Serious mental, spiritual and emotional problems can arise if you expect to feel inner peace 100% of the time and get upset or feel like a failure when you don’t. There’s an ebb and flow in life. It’s a series of changing events. Many things can disrupt inner peace. The first thing we must understand when our goal is to attain peace of mind is that we’re imperfect. Life is a journey. We can strive to increase a sense of peacefulness in our minds and hearts, but it doesn’t happen instantly, and we’re not failing if we don’t feel it 24/7. Once you “get” that, you can implement the five tips included in the following list to help you gain inner peace in 2021:
- Slow down, declutter, and take time to simply “be”. You can be a fabulous entrepreneur, a stay-at-home mom who wears 10 hats, a busy single parent, a corporate executive or whatever you want to be. BUT — you MUST take time to step away from your busy schedule and enjoy rest, quiet and solitude. If you don’t, it’s not likely you’ll be feeling inner peace any time soon.
- Get more fresh air and sunshine! Not only does being outdoors and enjoying nature on a frequent basis help attain inner peace, it has many physical health benefits, as well. It’s especially helpful to expose yourself to direct sunlight every day! And, have you ever tried grounding? It’s an easy and enjoyable way to work toward inner peace in the new year!
- Joyfully serve others. If you’re among the group mentioned earlier whose schedule is cluttered to the max, you might have rolled your eyes at me when you read that. A study commissioned by United Health Group showed, however, that more than 94% of people surveyed who regularly do volunteer work say it improves their mood and enriches their life. We feel good inside when we help others. When we feel good inside, we are more at peace.
- Clean up your lifestyle — that goes for diet and bad habits like being sedentary or smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, etc. What we eat, say and do greatly affects our inner peace. There’s no need to try to “fix” everything all at once, which can make you feel overwhelmed and unable to achieve your goals. Choose one or two things at a time and work on improvement.
- As a Christian, I adamantly believe that connection with God is essential to inner peace. God IS peace! I’m not just talking about going through the motions of whatever faith you happen to practice. I’m talking about really trying to connect with your Creator. Bask in His presence. Take time to read His Word. Restore your relationship with Him if it is broken. Remember His promises. Know that true peace does not come from material things or anything the world has to offer, but from hope, trust and faith that God keeps His promises. Turn your heart to God, and you will find inner peace!
What to do when disruptions set in
What disrupts your peace of mind? Is it busyness, health crises, marital problems, family discord, financial stress, a guilty conscience, poor decisions or some other issue? Keep these extra tips in mind when you feel your inner peace faltering:
- Avoid complaining without coming up with possible solutions to your problem. It’s okay to be unsettled or dissatisfied with a situation. It’s not conducive to inner peace to spew complaints without doing anything to resolve the issue.
- Review the 5-tip checklist provided earlier in this post. Don’t be surprised if one or more of those issues are needing attention if you are lacking inner peace.
- Make a list of things that evoke feelings of inner peace in you and take time to connect with those things, implement them, restore them or whatever you need to do to increase the presence of those things in your life.
- Accept the fact that life isn’t perfect. If we could all skate through without stress, we’d be perfectly peaceful all the time. Remember, there can be external issues occurring that cause stress in your life, but it doesn’t necessarily have to rob you of inner peace!
- Begin again, as needed — and again and again and again.
As 2020 winds down and a brand new year approaches, I wish you joy, love, good health, prosperity, faith, hope and inner peace!