Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be. The daily life can be busy, hectic and at times overwhelming. It may sometimes feel like bringing just a little more inner peace and calmness into your life is a hopeless wish. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Small and smart changes can over time make a big difference.
Inner peace is a choice, and many of your habits determine how much peace you experience in your daily life. The original humans didn’t live in a 3-bedroom ranch and eat microwave popcorn. Take a long walk in the park or spend a weekend camping. You’ll feel dramatically different compared to sitting in a building 24 hours every day. It’s too easy to allow society dictate your choices. You don’t have to spend your life on a career that’s impressive to others. You don’t have to chase after a fancy house. Make your own decisions about what’s most important to you.
While many find a kind of spirituality when practicing inner peace and Buddhist teachings, and while learning Buddhism certainly helps with the personal journey towards true inner peace, the ideas behind inner peace can also be just as practical, applicable to your daily life. To understand what inner peace is, we must understand what inner peace isn’t. Inner peace isn’t:
- Being passive and letting life pass you by
- Being calm and never having any fun
- Turning down opportunities to grow your life and do new things
- Having no more energy because you’re keeping it all inside
- Becoming a quiet, reserved, and even timid individual
Inner peace is a long and winding journey that no one can walk with us. The specifics of this journey vary from person to person, the things we need to overcome mentally and psychologically to reach a place where we can truly be at peace with ourselves.
The fixation on how happy we are — especially compared to those around us — has become an unhealthy obsession in modern culture. Even if we’re currently satisfied and happy, we let ourselves feel down just because we don’t feel “as happy” as we think we should be feeling. We need to let go of the social parameters and judge our feelings only by what they are, rather than what we think they should be.
The best way to think about inner peace is some sort of muscle. Like any muscle in the body, you don’t start with a strong, buff version of it. If you want to make the most of your muscle, you have to constantly work towards building it. The best thing about treating inner peace as a muscle is its accessibility. Every single person on Earth has this special muscle.
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