Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, emphasises the importance of inner peace in the world:

The question of real, lasting world peace concerns human beings, so basic human feelings are also at its roots. Through inner peace, genuine world peace can be achieved. In this the importance of individual responsibility is quite clear; an atmosphere of peace must first be created within ourselves, then gradually expanded to include our families, our communities, and ultimately the whole planet.
Do you find that your life is filled with stress? Does it seem as if there is always something happening that encompasses your entire attention, and therefore drains positive or high-vibrational energy?

As our society grows more and more complex, finding true inner peace becomes more like trying to find an oasis in the desert. So I thought it might be helpful to share with you some of the methods that I use in my life to experience inner peace and disconnect from my hectic daily routine. But first let’s look at a definition of inner peace and what that state truly is…

Inner peace (or peace of mind) refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being "at peace" is considered by many to be healthy (homeostasis) and the opposite of being stressed or anxious. Peace of mind is generally associated with bliss, happiness and contentment.

Peace of mind, serenity and calmness are descriptions of a disposition free from the effects of stress. In some cultures, inner peace is considered a state of consciousness or enlightenment that may be cultivated by various forms of training, such as prayer, meditation, t'ai chi ch'uan or yoga. Many spiritual practices refer to this peace as an experience of knowing oneself. Finding inner peace is often associated with traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Self Realisation.

Accept what is
There is only so much we can affect. What we cannot change, what we cannot influence, need not concern us. What I have noticed with so many people is that they focus and linger on things they have no control over. The point here is why worry about something that all the worrying in the world will not change? Why care about what other people think of us when we’re not even sure what it is they are actually thinking?

Once you open the blinds to this fact, and start accepting what is, you automatically relieve yourself of a mountain of stress and anxiety. It’s as if a huge weight has been lifted from your shoulders. Taking this path is following the right road towards inner peace.

Quietening the mind
Meditation is great way of quietening the mind and it’s a very important activity that can change your life. However, not everyone wants to meditate or knows how to do it. Meditating for just 10 minutes a day can have an enormous impact in all areas of your life. If you have a lot on your mind and feel as if your thoughts are driving you crazy, meditation can help you find inner peace. To quieten the mind simply close everything, sit back, shut your eyes and clear your mind of every single thought. Focus on the emptiness. You will be surprised what a mere 10 minutes of quietening the mind can do to turn things around for you.

If you would like to learn more about meditation, go to www.acorntooak.org.uk/blog/how-to-meditate and to read 80 reasons and benefits to meditate go to www.acorntooak.org.uk/blog/eighty-reasons-and-benefits-to-meditate

Spend time in nature
We spend so much time confined in buildings either at work or at home that we have forgotten where we come from. It is natural for us to be in nature, and this is why it feels so good and it is so peaceful when you take a walk in a park, cycle on a trail in the forest or stand watching the waves roll in at the beach. Watching is stillness, observing nature nurtures us. We naturally attune to the rhythm of the seasons and the vibration of mother earth.

The wind blowing through the trees is calming on a summer’s day; it not only inspires me, but I also find peace within it. If you feel overwhelmed, take a stroll where there are plenty of trees (outside the city if you can). Be there and just enjoy the sights, the sounds and the peace.

Learn the power of a smile
Whenever you laugh or smile, something happens on a chemical level to make you feel better, and stress and negativity are prevented from entering your psyche. Laughter yoga is a brilliant tool to use as a pattern interrupt. Find out more at www.acorntooak.org.uk/blog/the-effects-of-laughter-on-the-human-brain

A simple smile can make such a difference. For example, the other day I mishandled a dish and it fell on the floor, breaking into pieces and creating a big mess. I could have been angry with myself for being clumsy and thinking, “Here’s another reason why you’re an idiot!” But I chose to do the opposite. I began to smile and kind of make fun of myself for not being able to hold on to that plate properly. As I cleaned up the mess, there was no frustration or anger. I did it with a smile on my face…I did it with inner peace. You quickly realise that peace finds its way much more easily to you when you smile and take yourself lightly.

See the BIG picture
We are so consumed within our own problems that we can no longer see the wood from the trees. It’s helpful to remind ourselves how big the world is. Take a moment and read up about some other countries, cultures or religions. Be aware that the world does not revolve around your problems. On hearing about a tsunami or an earthquake killing thousands of people it puts my small cares and worries into perspective. My problems aren’t really “problems”. Looking beyond ourselves is very important in finding inner peace.

Care about others, but don’t become a rescuer
Inner peace is hard to find when being self-consumed and only worrying about your own needs and wants. When you begin to genuinely care about other people, miracles happen. However, choose to be empathetic, not compassionate.

Empathy is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and treating them as you would wish to be treated. It brings with it infinite patience and grace. Compassion can easily turn into rescuer behaviour; it’s insidious and can lead to trying to fix someone, which apart from being the height of arrogance, can also distract you from your own inner peace.

An act of random kindness and goodwill allows you to ease your way towards inner peace. When I help other people, I stop focusing on my so-called problems and realise that my life isn’t so bad after all. This helps me deal with my stress and feelings of overwhelm. There is great inner peace and wisdom in thinking and caring about other people, which we are blind to when we are too deep within our own selfishness.

Embrace hope
Hope is what lightens your life. With hope you always have a path towards inner peace. Whenever we get stressed out and overwhelmed within our own life, we forget that hope. We forget that the sun always shines after a rainy day, and that this is merely a bump in the road. I find immense peace in just knowing, deep within my heart, that everything will be OK. With hope, I know that whatever is seemingly terrible is only temporary and that soon enough, things will be just great. This lifts off all of that negativity and gross vibrational energy from my entire being, and I feel in tune instantly.

Discover your beliefs, values and standards
I don’t favour one belief system over another, so whatever it is that you believe in, embrace it with your entire being. Be within your faith/belief 100 per cent and inner peace will find its way into your heart. We may all disagree on each other’s belief system, and that’s OK. However, one thing we need to agree on is that having a solid, healthy faith is the best way to build a conscience that helps to guide us towards inner peace and wisdom. Research has shown that people who are deeply devoted to their faith have a higher life expectancy and are less likely to have diseases such as cancer (Please investigate www.acorntooak.org.uk for the energetic models of health, disease and cure.) This is because they experience more inner peace, which is important if you want to improve the quality of your life.

Commit to yourself
One thing that provides us with much stress in life is the fact that we always worry about not having all the answers. Just accepting that you do not know everything and that you are open to perpetual learning is a tremendous step to take towards achieving inner peace. I find great joy in learning all kinds of things, and just being aware that I am growing as a person each and every day provides me with great feelings of inner peace. I have two master degrees but still the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know. Accept that life is one big journey of never-ending learning and you will find yourself closer to experiencing true inner peace.

Live in the here and now
Most of the time, what we worry about is relating to something either in the past, or something that hasn’t happened. Living in the here and now erases all such thoughts. Why worry about something in the past that we cannot change? Why worry about something that we are not even sure will happen or not? I live in inner peace moment to moment. Living in the here and now is a gift – that why we call it the present! This is why in the present moment, you find true inner peace. In the present moment, there are no problems and no concerns. There is only stillness, and it is within that stillness that you can uncover peace. I used to be such a person that worried all the time, to the point where I had trouble sleeping. Once I learned to live in the present moment, I stopped thinking about the past and any potential future, and just worried about being ever-present in each and every moment.

Breathing is the only function in the human body that is done either completely unconsciously or completely consciously. It can be a voluntary or involuntary act and thus it is governed by two distinct sets of muscles and nerves, depending on which mode is in use - the involuntary nerves and muscles or the voluntary.

Each set of muscles and nerves can fully drive and manage the system. Therefore the breath has this phenomenal, unique characteristic that enables it to affect the involuntary nervous system. It is the only function in the human body that has this ability.

We can use our voluntary breathing to influence our involuntary nervous system. Carl Jung said the quickest way to change our consciousness is to change the way we breathe. I would highly recommend that you take some time to investigate breath work and any breath therapy that is going on in your local area or, as I did, travel vast distances to work with someone you are drawn to, to gain the benefits that can happen as a result of breath work for more on breath and breath work follow this link www.acorntooak.org.uk/blog/the-hidden-power-of-breath

I am positive that this article can help you find your inner peace. If you require more wisdom and reading on the subject, I highly recommend The Path to Tranquillity by the Dalai Lama.

Author's Bio: 

Pennie Quaile-Pearce is a spiritual midwife. A firm believer that everyone can experience true inner peace by uncovering their own unique divinity she runs inspiring courses, trainings and workshops to help individuals regain their connection to their authentic self and live with heart intelligence in their daily lives. She is a Reiki Master and has developed the Reiki Training that Acorn to Oak delivers and is accredited with the IGPP. Pennie is also a Breathwork Practitioner & creator of the Breath4Life™ Programme and a Life Coach. She is member of the Self Realization Fellowship & a Kriya Yogi. For more information please visit http://www.acorntooak.org.uk