Life as it is
Life has a way of winding us up around its little finger! without even realising, a lot of anxiety builds up throughout a busy week. The luxury of having a lie-in without hurrying up for practically nothing is second to none. Caught up in the vortex of life, we often search for a bit of peace and tranquillity. Learning how to relax and finding one’s inner peace is a skill that one has to work upon and practice.
‘Peace can become a lens through which you see the world. Be it. Live it. Radiate it out. Peace is an inside job.’ —Wayne Dyer
But there are things that you can do to not only find solace and peace but also bring positivity, motivation, unwind and relaxation in your busy life.
Enjoy being with nature
Nature has its own way of healing tired and weary souls. Whenever you feel down and out, try and enjoy a nature walk. If you do not have access to a nature walk close by, even a few minutes at your local park will lift your spirits. Studies have found that spending about 20 minutes in a park is enough to boost your mental and emotional well-being. Usually, I just sit there soaking up the sights and sounds of the flowers, trees, birds and the occasional barking of dogs frolicking about.
A relatively new concept called ‘Forest Bathing’ is becoming a popular therapeutic practice. It is the Japanese art and science of how trees can positively impact health and happiness- shinrin-yoku. If you feel that you need to keep busy when you are on your own in the park, modern gadgets – our smartphones – come in quite handy. So head outdoors, get clicking! Soak in and record many of nature’s beautiful creations: swaying trees in the wind, the rustling of the reeds, dancing of the wild meadow etc.
Yes, true, go ahead and treat yourself to something that you always pushed away for another time. This is true for both men and women. What about that game of tennis that you and your friend have been planning for a long time? A book that is waiting for you to pick up and read, your favourite movie that you’ve been planning to watch, the cake that you always wanted to bake, the salon appointment that you’ve been meaning to make et cetera, et cetera.
It is often the guilt of missing out on things that we consider on top of our priority list because they are for our families, we postpone or forget to give ourselves the luxury of enjoying things that would make us happy. Sit back, take stock, take a deep breath then go ahead and pick up those loose ends.
Focus on the good
Life has its ups and downs, as we all know. We’ve all heard about counting our blessings, I agree with it 100%. When you’re down, feeling low, bring in good thoughts. Counter each negative thought with two positive ones. Every night before going to bed, write down three good things that happened that day or three things or thoughts that brought you joy. Seeing the positives help us realise that life is not all greys and gloomy but filled with colour too! And remember that it is only by experiencing hardships or sadness we appreciate happiness and realise how lucky we are. And just like someone wise once said that “every night ends with a brighter day”, the bad phases of life or thoughts do not last forever.
However, do not trivialise your feelings. If you are not satisfied and feel stuck with the way things are then probably it’s time to make changes.
Keep a journal of thoughts
Maintain a journal of your thoughts, jot down anything that comes to your mind. Write as if you are telling your own self and not the world. It is your safe space to express yourself. You do not have to fill in a full page or be pedantic about getting your grammar and punctuations correct! If you get stuck or end up staring at a blank page, just write a single sentence. It could be as simple as what you ate for breakfast in the morning!
Yes, there are health benefits of putting pen to paper. It has been found that writing our thoughts down helps relieve stress and anxiety. Journaling also helps control our thoughts and improve our mood. It gives clarity to our thoughts thus helping us get out of a rut.
So put away those pesky screens and gadgets, grab your favourite pen, that empty or half-written notebook and scribble away. Many experts say that writing with pen and paper stimulates the brain in a way that typing on a computer or digital screen doesn’t. But I leave that choice with you, whichever works better!
What we eat affects our mood hence to achieve inner peace and tranquillity, you need to look at what you are eating as well! According to Ayurvedic philosophy, ‘our body is our temple’ is so applicable especially in today’s world. Revere it, take care of it. Eat healthily, eat well with mindfulness and enjoy each morsel that goes into your mouth.
Yes, peace is an inside job and practising mindfulness will help you achieve it. Self-care is not selfish, you cannot serve from an empty vessel- Eleanor Brownn.