The reason yoga is becoming so popular in the west is because people are realizing how much more enjoyable their lives are when they focus on being peaceful. Here are some modern applications of peaceful practices studied for thousands of years and passed down from student to teacher. We can now use them to bring harmony to our lives so we have jurisdiction over our emotional states and are not controlled by anger or anxiousness.
The rat race is real only if you believe in it. If you step off the freeway and begin to see things differently, you will find a whole new world awaiting you, and learn how to create inner peace for yourself. These are real and simple things you can start to change right now.
1. Generate a positive mindset in every moment
Imagine you are in an empty vacuum. All your beliefs about who you are, what your life situation is, everything, does not exist in this space. When thoughts come into your mind, you put them aside so your mind is truly clear. Then you breathe in and think of a positive saying such as:
“I am calm”
“I am peaceful”
“I am kind”
“I am extremely happy”
You have just altered your thinking. Make it a habit to do this all throughout the day to retrain your brain. You can also create a peace journal where you write down your intentions to solidify them in your mind. An intention is essentially the direction you point your mind. An example of an intention is, “I choose to see the good in people,” or “I choose to focus on what I’m grateful for.”
2. Choose a peaceful job
Since we are human, we are affected by our environment. Often we are more affected by it than we even realize. It’s important to choose a peaceful work environment that you feel secure in. If you feel threatened at work, your nervous system will stay on alert.
Find a job in nature or with calm people who also like to keep their cool. If you work in a high paced environment where people are constantly yelling and are jacked up on red bull, frankly, it will be hard to create inner peace. You will just have to work a lot harder by meditating and preparing mentally if you choose to stay in a stressful job.
3. Drink calming tea
Tea is an ancient secret the yogis used to regulate the body’s energy. There are teas that calm you down and teas that bring you up. The most common yogi tea is made with milk, ginger root, black pepper, cracked cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black tea and water. This is a soothing tea that can reduce the shakiness that comes from energy drinks that contain harmful chemicals.
Before bed, try chamomile, lavender or kava tea. Kava is a root that is ground into a powder for tea that will slightly numb your throat. It has a very calming effect on the body and mind. It’s a good habit to get into tea drinking instead of sugary sodas that spike your blood sugar.
4. Remove toxic relationships
Although peace comes from within, it is also within ourselves that we find the strength to remove ourselves from negative relationships. If someone you spend a lot of time with is a fearful person that usually points out negative things, it will affect you.
If you make it a point to surround yourself with peaceful playmates, you will take on the traits of your environment. Fill your life with peaceful people who keep their cool even in stressful situations.
5. Write a peace manifesto
Write down the type of person that you want to be in present tense. This means you want to write down how people feel around you (hint: it’s peaceful). But dig deep within yourself and ask a question you may have never asked before. What type of person do I want to be? That doesn’t mean what do you want to do for a living, it means what characteristics do you want to have.
In your manifesto, do not write “I will be…” write “I am….” You can print it and frame it by your bed or desk so you remind yourself of it every day. This manifesto will become your mantra and will keep your mind clear of negativity.
6. Listen to peaceful music
At home, at work and in the car, make sure you use the magic of music to keep you calm. Music soothes the soul and affects the nervous system. If you only listen to EDM and Pitbull, it’s going to be hard to create inner peace.
Tibetan singing bowls are a great instrument to pick up. They are a secret the yogis use to clear their minds. They create a soothing sound and help you relax. You can keep one in your car and at work. Make a few playlists of peaceful music and keep them on your phone or on a CD in the car. The more energy you put into creating a peaceful lifestyle, the more inner peace you will have.
7. Dress in loose cotton clothes
This sounds silly at first, but the sense of touch helps to relax our body. If we are wearing uncomfortable shoes and constricting polyester clothes, it’s going to be very hard to create inner peace. Some clothes, like neck ties and tight dresses, restrict movement and create muscle strain.
When your clothes are comfortable, you will be more comfortable. Most ancient yogis dressed in simple organic clothes that helped bring them to a state of peacefulness. It’s no surprise that most yoga clothes are also extremely soft.
The ancient sages used meditation to do some remarkable things such as control their heart rate and the temperature of their body. If you think about the modern implications of this technique, considering depression and heart disease are rampant, meditation might be the missing link to creating not only inner peace but overall health.
Meditation allows people to connect to a sense of spirituality that is often lost in the day to day hustle and bustle. It may not be a sense of a higher power; it may be more that they just feel better when they focus on positive thoughts and intentions. Emotions have now been measured and proven to have a physical effect on the body, and therefore, the mind-body connection is vital to our personal health and anxiety levels.
The cover of Time magazine has been about meditation, three times. They also had a cover depicting the science of yoga. Many people use yoga to develop a stronger connection to positive emotions neurologically.
9. Find a spiritual teacher
There are many forms of spirituality and many varying degrees of beliefs. However, developing a regular practice of mindfulness can be taught by someone who does this professionally. Just as you wouldn’t expect to know how to fly an airplane without proper instruction, cultivating inner peace should be approached as a complex subject worthy of study.
10. Serve others
To develop a sense of peace within yourself, it is important to connect to society in positive ways. Humans are extremely sensitive creatures, and need to feel that they are contributing to society to feel good about themselves.
If you only act for your own benefit, it leaves an unsettling feeling, an unsatisfied hunger which will push you to continue to seek self-gratification. What the ancient yogis and sages have taught is that helping others is a path to peacefulness. Humbly doing something for someone else does bring a sense of calm. You are actively involved in a positive action which gives the brain a sense of satisfaction.
Yes, you may feel inclined to do this again, and the only word of warning is that you don’t lose sight of taking care of yourself and only take care of others. Find a healthy balance!
11. Use calming essential oils
The tomb raiders knew the value of oils, they were known to leave the gold and take the frankincense. Essential oils are a tool used by ancient yogis to induce a state of consciousness that is calm. When you use essential oils in your meditation, the scent you use will trigger a sense memory of peacefulness the next time you smell it.
The sense of smell is one of the strongest means of recall, and that is why police dogs are able to solve crimes using it. Cops aside, use lavender, vanilla, patchouli or other scents associated with calmness the next time you feel anxious, and start to carry them with you to send your brain into a calm state of mind when you need to.
12. Do yoga
One obvious thing the ancient yogis passed down was a regular, daily, yoga practice. The most important factor here is consistency. Your body changes chemically as you become stronger and more flexible. Your nervous system begins to harmonize with the other systems in your body to create a perpetual state of calm.
This is the very reason yoga has become so popular in the west; it has tangible effects on our emotional states. Just notice how people act after a yoga class. They are smiling, complimenting each other and feeling inspired. Yoga brings harmony not only to your body, but also to your mental state.
13. Get adequate sleep
You can’t get the true benefits of a daily yoga practice if you aren’t getting regular and adequate amounts of sleep. It’s important to prepare for sleep and make sure you take time to relax before you go to bed. Lower the lighting, maybe read a book, or do some gentle stretches and deep breathing.
They say it’s best to sync with the circadian rhythms and rise with the sun. If you try to harmonize with the natural state of your body and don’t fight your tiredness, you will find inner peace much easier.
The antithesis of inner peace is resistance. Peace happens naturally and it’s a matter of allowing it, but most of us are constantly resisting because we feel the pressure to push ourselves harder, to be more competitive, or prove our self-worth.
14. Lower your overhead
The ancient yogis are what we call minimalists today. They were happy with few possessions and lived with very different priorities than most people today. They didn’t care about having a big house, going to McDonald’s or getting a fancy car. They cared about the state of the human soul, the happiness that can only be found within. Once they cultivated it, and maintained it, they taught it.
People are flocking to yoga teacher trainings to get closer to this sense of peace because the rat race isn’t cutting it anymore. People want a sense of purpose, they aren’t satisfied with just making money and they want to live in a perpetual state of bliss. I can’t blame them.
15. Stay in and read
Instead of watching the news, pick up a book about self-development or positivity, such as a good book by Don Miguel Ruiz, Deepak Chopra or Eckhart Tolle. Reading increases intelligence and empowers you with knowledge. Reading is seriously undermined in today’s twitter, half sentence, broken English status updates.
If our generation doesn’t step up to the plate and make the lack of attention span an issue, the state of peacefulness will die with other ancient traditions, leaving us more medicated, cynical and unsatisfied. But that’s just my opinion.
16. Have a positive diet
If you don’t want diabetes, heart problems, blood pressure problems, bad cholesterol, skin problems etc., it’s real simple, stop eating processed foods and eat a clean plant based diet. When you eat clean, your brain can function and your emotions can stabilize. You will literally create inner peace by giving your insides foods that are nutrient dense and not packed with toxic pesticides and steroids.
Just a hundred years ago, the foods that most people now consume on a regular basis, did not exist. If we are what we eat, how can we expect to survive living on fake food created in a laboratory that gets people addicted to improve the corporation’s bottom line? I’m sorry did you want me to beat around the bush about that?
Eat plants and try to eat foods that were humanely raised. The growing slow food movement promotes consuming local foods so we can feel positive about not contributing to animal violence, unnecessary global warming from the fuel burned for transportation of produce, and keeping small organic unpolluted farms in business.
17. Create a calm home, car and work environment
Surround yourself with positive artwork, relaxing candles, soft music and peaceful design choices such as flowers and elements of nature. If you have loud and jarring art and music in your home and car, you will carry that energy with you throughout the day. There can’t be a value placed on aesthetics, because they truly do create a sense of inner peace or inner turmoil.
If you walked into a home and a picture of a large muscular man with his arm around the neck of a dead bear was framed over the mantle, it would make you feel much different than that of a small child picking a flower. I think you get my point. Choose peaceful colors, soft fabrics and comfortable non ostentatious furniture.
We would love to hear how this helps you in the comments below, and please share it with your friends while we continue to bring you useful advice here on YouQueen.