How to Find Inner-Peace and Happiness Within? (Part-2)
Today’s culture which idolizes busyness and constant stimulation, often forgets it’s impossible to appreciate life experiences and live a truly fulfilled life without the two most sought human experiences — “inner-peace and happiness”. Thus, the road to finding inner-peace and happiness is a worthy and exciting journey.
Continuing on that road where we stopped in our last blog, in this blog we are sharing some additional practical ways to cultivate inner-peace and happiness in our day-to-day living.
4. Past is past. Live mindfully.
I believe life isn’t a rehearsal instead it’s a live play.
Many of us are infected with this disease where we relive our past countless times over and over again by replaying events and experiences in our head. In particular, those experiences where we had been done wrong or let down by someone close and important and in some cases by our own selves!
We all had some bad past experiences, but thinking and replaying the same tape again and again won’t allow us to truly live in the present. Regardless of how worthy, fulfilling, and peaceful the present moment may be, we will either won’t simply notice/appreciate it or if we did, we are likely going to spoil it with our past experiences infused negative thoughts. Simply put, living in the past will never allow our thoughts and inner-core to settle and achieve inner-peace and happiness.
The way out of this never-ending loop of misery involves three steps.
(i.) Appreciate the ups and downs of life. Consciously recognize that highs and lows are part and parcel of everyone’s life. Just because it’s really dark outside now doesn’t mean the dawn will never arrive.
(ii.) Make peace with the past. The hard reality is that the past cannot be altered. Whether good or bad, at will or without, planned or unplanned, what happened in the past will not change. However, making peace with it and consciously forgiving the people involved can truly liberate us and let our inner-core settle, paving the path for inner peace to arrive. Additionally, this can act as a true intrinsic motivation to learn from the past to make our present and future better.
(iii.) Practice mindfulness. Let your entire being be fully present and live in the present moment. Remember the only place where life truly exists is in the present moment. As we stop living our past in our heads, we automatically create space and free energy to focus on and appreciate the present moment. Freed from thoughts of past and future, one attains true inner peace and joy.
5. Become “self-intimate”
There is a high probability that most of the population is hearing the word “self” and “intimate” together for the very first time. Reason being, when it comes to the word “intimate,” many of us automatically tie its sole existence with romance and relationship with our significant other.
At its core self-intimacy is about knowing ourselves at deeper level, which goes well beyond our physical and social identity. It involves becoming acutely aware as well as appreciative of our instincts, values, thoughts, feelings, desires, emotions and to what we associate our personal joy and pain. Lao Tzu summed it beautifully — “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.”
Some of the best ways to become intimate with ourselves include practicing silence and meditation, spending time in solitude and journaling.
Intimately knowing ourselves not only frees us from seeking outside world’s validation but beyond that it also helps us in uncovering our life’s purpose and priorities.When we know ourselves and pursue our true purpose, every moment of our life becomes blessed with the presence of inner-peace and happiness.
6. Stop seeking outside validation
Often many of us find ourselves asking others for their opinion on our decisions, thoughts, actions and so on. We repeatedly (most times without even recognizing it) find ourselves seeking others validation to simply feel accepted and liked.
For example, many of us will connect to this simple experience, the feeling joy and satisfaction when wearing a new dress increases exponentially the moment other’s compliment. Let’s think for a moment, the dress and how we look in it hasn’t change, right? So, why how we feel has drastically changed? The answer is our craving of seeking others validation just got fed causing that spurt of euphoria. The fundamental issue here is that if the approval we seek isn’t received, we lose joy instantly.
If we search within our roots, we will find it’s the presence of fear, insecurities and anxiety that prompts us to seek validation from others. We are too afraid to trust our own instincts, knowledge, and abilities. It’s impossible to attain inner-peace and true happiness when our soul knows within that we don’t fully accept ourselves. We don’t believe and trust our own being.
The best way to overcome the habit of seeking validation is to become intimate and brutally honest with ourselves. Practice silence and solitude to connect with your deepest fears and insecurities. Accept and appreciate our complete being instead of parts. Dive within to understand why are you always seeking other’s approval? Consciously make note of your thoughts and feelings when you get the urge of seeking outside validation. It’s vital to know what’s initiating and feeding our self-destructive behaviours, its only then we can resolve and take actions to replace them with self-helping ones.
7. Stop comparing yourself
Many of us don’t feel adequate in the world we live in today. One of the biggest reasons behind this feeling is because many of us constantly compare ourselves with others. Whether it may being at a social gathering, within our friends circle, workplace environment or social media feed, it appears as if everyone is living a perfect life and is well ahead of us — whether in terms of travelling the world, career progression, being in a relationship, buying a house, starting a business, buying new possessions and so on.
This comparison behaviour directly compromises with our inner-peace and happiness. We tend to feel we are not sufficient, worthy, and fortunate. It doesn’t matter how good things are in our life, constantly comparing ourselves leaves us in state of jealousy, bitterness, depression and other negative emotions.
Consider the following tips to break free of this pattern.
(i.) Practice gratitude: As we look around certain individuals are living a life that we dream of. We humans often tend to compare ourselves with people who have much more than us or so it seems. We overlook the fact that there are millions of people who have far less than we do. When we recognize this fact, we realize how fortunate we are. Every time you catch yourself comparing with perfect lives of others, pause and appreciate how fortunate you really are.
(ii.) Limit social media Interaction: Unfollow or mute anyone who makes you feel inferior. Limit your screen time. Remind yourself that people only post the best and most glamorous portion of their lives on social media. Social media usually only shows the highlight reel version of someone’s life and it doesn’t mean they are living every moment in that fashion. Even if they were to live that way, it doesn’t undermine yours existence.
(iii.) Go within: Connect with your spiritual and higher self. Remind yourself that you are a complete being on your own.
To conclude, I want to share Dr. Norman Peale’s quote “The life of inner peace, being harmonious and without stress is the easiest type of existence” and ask what steps are you currently taking or willing to take to find inner-peace and happiness.