How to Find Inner Peace and Happiness Within? (Part-1)
Welcome to the first of this two-part blog series on the ever important topic of “how to find inner-peace and happiness within?”
In today’s modern, technology-driven and fast-paced world, one of the most common things we come across every day is witnessing countless stressed and unhappy faces. Many of us live our lives under clouds of constant external and more importantly internal chaos.
Whether consciously or unconsciously, we think and believe that having large sums of money, being in a relationship, having higher social followings, starting a new business, getting a job promotion or obtaining material possessions such as a big house, fancy car, vacation property, luxury goods, extravagant holidays (to name a few) will fill the constant void that many of us carry within.
We all know from our very own personal experiences that achieving either a subset or the complete set of above and for that matter beyond what’s listed won’t necessarily result in true and sustained inner-peace and happiness.
How often we have achieved something that we thought will make us happy and fulfilled however, after achieving we weren’t. Even in some instances, when we were happy and fulfilled, it only lasted for a relatively short period.
Simply put, focusing on and upgrading a house’s exterior don’t change the real living experience inside it.
That said, indeed some people truly seem to be unaffected by almost any situation. They are so well-grounded within that no matter what comes their way (good or bad) they never get out of their character. They are fully present with everyone. They are gentle, considerate and accepting of others and themselves. During tough times, their sole presence radiates a sense of comfort and optimism.
Have you ever wondered how they manage to remain so calm and composed, despite the unraveling of the world around them?
Well, it’s highly likely that these individuals have found their inner-peace — one of the key secrets behind living a truly happy and fulfilled life.
Although some may argue that these few individuals are simply born with those traits, the fact is that mastering inner-peace and happiness is a learned trait.
Marcus Aurelius summed it beautifully — “[Those] who live in harmony with [themselves] live in harmony with the universe.”
Finding inner-peace and happiness is essential and has many associated benefits including improved mental and physical health, deeper connection and relationships, elevated self-confidence with humbleness in its foundation. Additionally, it’s worth noting that without inner-peace it’s impossible to find true happiness and live a fulfilled life.
We will agree that a vast majority of us are seeking these aforementioned however, many of us don’t know how to realize them as part of their day-to-day living.
Before discussing how to find inner-peace in the midst of day-to-day demands of life, let’s first understand what inner-peace is.
What is inner-peace?
At its very fundamental peace means “freedom from disturbance or confusion.” Accordingly, inner-peace is freedom from disturbance and/or confusion within us, which can only be achieved when we know who we are from within and equally important fully accept ourselves.
Inner-peace is one of the most supreme forms of self-love, compassion, self-acceptance, and confidence in which we collectively accept our strengths, flaws, purpose, morals, thoughts, emotions, physical appearance and everything else that is a fundamental part of our existence. It’s a state in which we let go of past events, comparisons and we enjoy being who we are.
Inner-peace doesn’t mean being passive and/or emotionally unresponsive. It’s a state where we understand and appreciate the fact that the only control we truly have is that on ourselves. It’s a state of mental and spiritual peace, which is independent of the external circumstances. Inner-peace is a state in which our happiness and fulfillment are solely dependent on ourselves and not any external source.
When it comes to finding inner peace and happiness, on first glance it may appear a simple pursuit however, in reality, it’s a challenging quest and it’s easy to search for it on entirely wrong avenues.
Consider the ways below to cultivate inner-peace and happiness:
1. Take complete responsibility of the “within”
As simple and logical it may sound take some time today to accept and resolve forever, the only true control we have is upon our very own self.
The outside world, for the most part, is out of our control however, the reality is we are the driver of our inner-world. We may not be able to control other’s behavior, traffic, weather, certain outcomes and so on but we have total control of our attitude and response.
If we sit in silence and honestly examine the cause of most of our day-to-day struggles and what hinders with our inner-peace and happiness the most, we will learn we desire to control our outside world.
Many of us want people, situations and things to be a certain way and when those expectations are not met we try very hard to change them. When faced with resistance and in many cases despite all of our efforts when the outside doesn’t comply with our view, many of us get upset, disappointed and angry at the expense of our inner peace and happiness.
There are many things in the world that we all would like to change however, despite investing an endless amount of our energy and efforts we can’t change them and we should simply reconcile ourselves with that reality.
Next time, let’s remind ourselves that the only true control we have is that on our very own selves. Remember to be at inner-peace is to be more contented with who we are and our own life rather than wasting our energy to change outside.
2. Consciously forgive
I came across an intriguing quote a few years ago that said: “anger is the punishment we give ourselves for someone else’s mistake.”
Holding grudge and anger towards a situation or, someone else or in some cases our very own selfis another big reason why many of us struggle to find inner peace and happiness. The capacity to consciously forgive others and equally important ourselves is critical for finding inner-peace and happiness.
Until we consciously forgive, it’s impossible not to carry sourness in our soul. The reason being, we end up often replaying those painful experiences in a never-ending loop in our mind. We start to live with the attitude of the victim mentality. We constantly think of irrational ways to payback for the misdeeds and beyond. Doing this we waste our precious time, mind-space and energy.
Consciously forgiving is far more challenging in real-world though. Especially in situations where we know, we have been done wrong.
Despite how difficult it may be to think rationally, next time when we get angry, let’s pause, go within and ask ourselves — What is more important to me: my inner-peace, happiness, and well-being or winning an external argument and being proven right?
Often, answering this simple question will allow us to gain the lost clarity in the heat of the moment. We will recognize that conscious forgiving is important not for others but for our good. How others react is their choice but how we let it affect us is solely our own choice and within our control. Conscious forgiveness not only helps us heal but also opens up new — path ways of enhanced maturity and growth.
With all that said, conscious forgiveness doesn’t mean turning blind to reality. It simply means, despite what has happened we choose to forgive, move-on and free ourselves from letting it affect us. Whether we give the situation or involved people another chance is totally up to us.
3. Practice silence and meditation
Inner-peace exists within us however, many of us constantly search for it on the outside.
While most of our day-to-day living activities make our mind outward looking, practicing silence and mediation allows us to look inwardly and become more soul-centered. Looking within enables us to focus on our center and connect with our deepest emotions, thoughts, ambitions and longings, the must-have ingredients in cultivating clarity.
It’s having a clear understanding of ourselves, our purpose, thoughts, deep-rooted beliefs and habits are what enables us to stay grounded within the shelter of our inner-peace while the world around us in utter chaos.
Practicing silence and meditation slowly calms our emotional roller coaster that most of us ride all day long. Additionally, being consciously disconnected from external stimulus, slowly wears-off the constant need of being dependent on the outside world, which inherently boosts our self-reliance and as such our inner-peace.
To conclude, finding true inner peace and happiness is challenging, especially in the world we live in today. However, with following and implementing certain practical suggestions one can indeed embark on the journey of finding inner-peace and live a truly happy and fulfilled life.
Stay tuned for the part two of this series, where we continue to share additional ways to cultivate inner peace and happiness.
In the meantime, do share with us how the ways listed above are helping you to connect with your inner peace and happiness as well as its impact on the quality of your overall life.