By Henrik Edberg
“The simplification of life is one of the steps to inner peace. A persistent simplification will create an inner and outer well-being that places harmony in one’s life.”
Here are some useful ways to achieve peace of mind when your busy life seems a little overwhelming
(1) Set limits.
If your life is overfilled you may need to set some limits. So stop doing some of the least important things, the things that honestly don’t matter that much. Set a limit for how many times you will check inboxes, Instagram, Twitter etc. per day. And say no if you really don’t have the time.
(2) Find a relaxation technique that works for you.
I like belly breathing and working out to release tensions and recharge during the day. What works for you? Long walks, music, yoga, meditation or going for a swim? Find out and do that.
(3) Don’t make mountains out of molehills.
This can create a lot of unnecessary stress. When facing what looks like a mountain ask yourself questions like: Does someone on the planet have it worse than me right now? Will this matter in 5 years? These questions help you to zoom out and realize that things may not be that bad and that you can handle them.
Slow down. Your emotions work backwards too. If you slow down while walking, moving your body or talking you can often start to feel less stressed (compared to if you move/talk fast). Slowing down to decrease stress goes for many other things you do in everyday life too like riding your bicycle, working at your desk and eating.
(4) Unclutter your world, unclutter your mind.
Just take 3 minutes to declutter your workspace or the room you’re in. A uncluttered, simplified and ordered space around you brings clarity and order to the mind. So don’t stop there. Declutter, simplify and organize your home and life too to live in a more relaxing environment.
Use a minimalistic workspace. My work space is just a laptop on a wooden desk. I use a comfy chair and there is room for my glass of water beside the computer. That’s it. There are no distractions here. Just me, the computer and the water. This brings peace and makes it easier to focus during my working hours.
Be 10 minutes early. It’s a small habit but it has transformed much of my travel time during the year from a slightly or very stressful time to periods of relaxation and recharging.
(5) Accept and let go. Now is now. But if something negative from the past – something someone said, something someone did – is still on your mind then accept and let that feeling and thought in instead of trying to push it away. When you accept that it is then it starts to lose power. And while the facts may still be there in your head the negative feelings become a lot less powerful. At this point, let that thing go like you are throwing out a bag of old clothes. And direct your focus to the present moment and something better instead.
(6) Ask instead of guessing. Reading minds is pretty much impossible. But still we often try it and create anxiety, uncertainty and misguided conclusions for ourselves. So ask and communicate instead. It may sometimes be a bit hard at first but it can save you and the people around you so much trouble in the long run.
(7) Escape for a while.
Read a novel, watch your favorite TV-show or a movie. It’s simple but it works well to just release pressure and relax.
(8) Solve a problem that is weighing down on you. Don’t procrastinate anymore. Solve your problem and release it and all the underlying stress and tension that it is creating in your life. You probably already know what to do, you are just not doing it yet. But the longer you wait the worse the tension inside becomes. So get up from your chair and get started on doing it for just 1-3 minutes right now.
(9) Disconnect over the weekend.
Leave your work – and work phone – where it belongs. Disconnect or at least limit your internet activity and the checking of your smart phone over the weekend. And spend more of your Saturdays and Sundays with an undivided attention on your family, friends, hobby or maybe being out in nature.
(10) Remember the 5 little words that’ll help you to stay sane: one thing at a time. By keeping those words in mind and letting them guide you through your day and week you’ll be less stressed and more focused (and that will not only bring more inner peace but also help you to do a better and quicker job at pretty much anything).
When stressed, lost in a problem or the past or future in your mind breathe with your belly for two minutes and just focus on the air going in and out. This will calm your body down and bring your mind back into the present moment again.
(12) Remember: There’s a day tomorrow too.
Sometimes you have a bad day. Or life interferes with your plans for the day. And so you don’t get what you had planned or hoped for done. The best way to handle such a situation is – in my experience – simply to kindly tell yourself that there’s a day tomorrow too and that you can get it done then.
Beating yourself up is on the other hand not a smart or helpful strategy.