Finding Inner Peace

by Annette Colby, PhD -

We all crave inner peace but how do we reach it? 

Will it take years of intense meditation practice to reach inner peace? Will you need to spend hours in weekly yoga classes? Will you need to climb to the top of a Himalayan mountain and seek the counsel of an old wise man to share the ancient secret to inner peace?

While your path to expanding inner peace may or may not include meditation, yoga or spiritual wise men, it will be a unique journey. 

Discovering inner peace often leads us down a twisty, curvy road. However, if you are ready to step onto that pathway and have greater inner peace, continue reading and discover practical and useful steps that you need to know to get started.

Definition of What Inner Peace Is Not

Let's begin by gaining a deeper understanding of what inner peace is not. Being able to rule out some false ideas of inner peace may just save you years of frustration. First, inner peace does not mean that you walk around thinking only "positive" thoughts.

The mind simply doesn't work that way and besides, it is almost impossible to try to control what your mind thinks. In addition, inner peace is not an evened out emotional state where there are no highs or lows.

Inner peace does not show up when everything about your self, life or the world is perfect. You probably already know that inner peace is not found in food, overeating or finding some way to escape from your stress or emotions. What you might not realize is that inner peace is also not found at the end of your weight loss goal, or for that matter at the end of any goal.

If you do not experience inner peace with a particular aspect of your current life - whether it be with your body, occupation, partner, home, etc. - you will not gain inner peace by merely losing weight, changing your job or partner, or moving.

For example, if you do not cultivate love for you body and life now, it will not suddenly appear when you are thin. A person outside of you does not award inner peace to you because you worked hard enough, attained your goal, achieved the perfect body, or because you have been a "good" boy or girl. In other words, inner peace is not something you can earn.

Definition of What Inner Peace Is

So what is inner peace? Inner peace refers to a state of having enough knowledge to stand strong even in the face of stressful or undesirable life situations. It is an ability to breathe deeply, find center and regain an internal sense of calm or fortitude during all of life's experiences.

It is the ability to handle situations and conflicts, in life and in ourselves, with acceptance, empathy, and creativity.

Sometimes, inner peace is defined as having a calmness and general freedom from anxiety. However, perhaps more importantly, rather than seeking the absence of negative thoughts, stress or emotions, inner peace is your ability to accept those thoughts, worry and feelings when they occur.

Then instead of getting stuck in them being able to move beyond them.

Inner peace grows as you remind yourself that you have the capacity to deal with your challenges. You may not know exactly how or when you will reach a desirable outcome to your situation, but you have an inner peace knowing that you will persevere and achieve success.

For example, instead of stressing or worrying and then using overeating to calm or avoid dealing with an unpleasant situation or emotions, you would know how to tap into your inner peace and find creative solutions to your problems.

Inner peace is your ability to slide back into your own genuine optimism and faith in life and yourself and to deal with anxiety, stress or emotions when they occur.

How Do You Gain Inner Peace?

Attaining inner peace is a ongoing process that evolves, grows and expands as you place your attention on it. It is an ever-expanding realization that you are safe in the world, that you have the power to create change in your world and that you are connected to love itself.

This inner peace does not happen overnight. It happens gradually throughout your lifetime. First, you deliberately and consciously choose having greater inner peace as your objective and then you decide to take small daily actions that support your having what you want.

A great working definition of inner peace would be, "I am glad to be alive!" 

This definition points to the importance and joy of your own life. It is a feeling of wanting to be here on Earth - even through the sad times and the bad times. If you look at your own life right now, you can quickly see where you are in terms of feeling, "It's great to be me, it's great to be alive!"

Maybe you are way up high on the scale, loving yourself and loving life. Then again, maybe you are way down the scale, depressed, not seeing much point to your life or even contemplating suicide.

However much or little inner peace you currently have... there is more. 

However, having more requires that you decide that you want to be alive and you want to experience inner peace while you are alive. Making this conscious decision immediately puts you on the path to attaining your desire.

Once you are on your path, begin to notice what comes your way. Notice if you want to spend more time outdoors or if you are led to reading a certain book.

Notice if you are drawn to a certain deep breathing class, if you are tired of talking negatively to yourself or if you feel a need to fill your life with more plants, living food or animals.

Amazingly, your path to ever expanding inner peace involves something as simple as making a decision to have inner peace, then listening to your inner suggestions and following through on your inner nudges.

Do this deliberately, everyday and you will begin to notice the changes that occur within you. Choose inner peace and choose the actions that support inner peace... and watch yourself awakening to a new sense of, "It is good to be alive!"

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