Inner peace and serenity mean different things for different people. For some, inner peace is about feeling safe and secure by yourself. For others, it can be about achieving goals and executing plans.
It is not always just about gaining peace and silence in the present moment, or even knowing how to meditate. It is a very personal experience that everyone is entitled to and can access in their own small ways.
So here are a few ways to achieve peace and serenity without getting too bogged down in the concept.
Peace and Serenity With Other People
For many, the feeling of being a part of something bigger than themselves can bring peace and contentment. And what better way to do that than by doing something in your local community? By volunteering, you can help improve someone else’s life, gain perspective on your own, and feel a part or something greater.
You could also join a group of people that share similar hobbies with you. Whatever your interests might be: arts and crafts, sports, reading, or watching foreign films — you’re sure to find a group of people that share them online or in person. By engaging in group activities, you can find a sense of belonging, feel seen, and feel understood. These are paramount in feeling a sense of peace and serenity in your life overall.
Peace and Serenity Within Yourself
Often, simply visualising peace and serenity is easier said than done. First, you need to figure out what those two concepts look like for you, and then work backwards from there. Most of the time, one of the first steps towards peace is realising how much control you have over your own thinking and how you feel.
Many struggle with this because we often operate as if we are slaves to our emotions, with no control over unconscious, inherent thoughts. In fact, all it takes is a little awareness:
“I once believed I had no control over what I was thinking, because I never considered the idea that thoughts can be changed. Then I started focusing on my thoughts and realized much of what I was thinking did not reflect the way I truly felt.” — Marilyn Briant-Rockmore
By paying close attention to negative thoughts and checking in with how you feel about them, you can get closer to feeling more like your authentic self, closer to inner peace and hopefully, serenity.
Peace and Serenity With Self-care
Taking care of yourself to gain peace and serenity should go without saying, but often it is the last thing we think of. Many of us are so used to looking for solutions externally that we forget that change in our lives must always start with us, internally.
Doing little things like switching your phone off after a certain time each day can help. Perhaps, you can take a long bath or have a facial, go for a walk to your favourite park, treat yourself with a gift, or even just read a book. Sometimes you just need to give yourself a mental time-out.
“I’m not suggesting any of us can just decide not to worry about a stressful situation. But we can take the time out to look after ourselves a little, and we can try much harder to live in each moment.” — Martha Dunlop
Protect your physical and mental health by paying attention to your limits and by looking for ways to recharge your batteries. By practicing this regularly, you can tap into the kind of inner peace everyone is seeking.
Peace and Serenity with Acceptance of the World Around You
It might seem as if the key to peace and serenity is shutting yourself off from the rest of the world, unplugging electrical items, and closing the blinds. In fact, the goal is the opposite: The world is a loud, chaotic place filled with a hundred things a day to distract you.
They might lower your self-esteem, raise your self-confidence, make you question your choices and a million more things. The point of inner peace and serenity is to experience them inside of your own self and accept the world as it is.
Meerabelle Dey from TheHuffington Post explains acceptance in a beautiful way:
“For instance, you may not like your current job or home. Accept your situation for what it is today. Do your best at your job, and make your home as beautiful as possible. Appreciate that you have work and a place to live. Then do what you can each day to get your dream job or home in the future. Acceptance isn’t stagnation. Acceptance is understanding what you can and cannot change.”
There are many things in the world that remain outside of our control; the only things we have control over are our actions and our own growth. By stepping away from the frustrations we feel towards the world, we can spend more energy focusing on ourselves and the kinds of people we want to surround ourselves with, ones that raise us up, and not the ones that tear us down. And asReinhold Niebuhr famously wrote:
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Gaining peace and serenity feels different for everyone. For some, it’s having a tidy house where everything is in its place. For others, it’s ticking off a list of things to do all in one day. Some just want a day on the beach to recharge, and others need a five-mile run.
Whatever your version of peace and serenity is, it’s highly attainable and sustainable with the right tools of self-awareness, consistent practice, and acceptance of the things that are outside of your control.