Time and again I have observed people easily flying off the handle during situations that didn’t need them to react in the way they did. Post-pandemic it has just gotten worse. Parents look at their kids as stress-givers. Neighbours are not able to tolerate even minor changes in their surroundings. Colleagues are not able to see their counterparts climb the ladder. Friends are unable to forgive each other. Spouses are far away from solving their issues.
What causes such intolerance in our minds and hearts? Firstly, everyone seems to be giving more importance to making money, cleaning houses or impressing society. But shouldn’t we concentrate on what makes us happy? Secondly, I believe that due to the above factors, we have also forgotten what internal peace feels like; with ourselves or with others. When we are internally unhappy or not at peace, we naturally allow our negative emotions to consume us. So, as we are not able to control our negative emotions, almost anything happening beyond our control may affect us.
I wasn’t always the calm kind. I was always a rebel. And after my father passed away in my tweens, I lost my mind. Not able to control my emotions, I would quickly lose my temper, raise my voice, raise my hand and strike. This occurred on quite a few occasions and I still regret it.
Then life happened outside my home while I was still getting used to it. I only began to mindfully improve myself during my post-partum depression when I felt like my life was almost over. First, I tried to follow a few things to de-stress and remain sane. Gradually, I became mindful of my negative emotions (mostly my uncontrollable rage). Following a few rules and keeping away from many things finally helped me find internal peace without going to any class as such. So, now, at 40, while I observe people around me regularly stressing out or flaring up, I thought of listing down the ways that helped me find internal peace without meditating for hours.
Everyone wants to control everyone and everything. Even I wanted to for a long time. But learning to let go of what you cannot control, is the first step in finding peace. The things you cannot control are change, the weather, traffic, the past or future, other people’s minds and other people’s emotions.
Tip: Try to let go of jealousy, arrogance and ego so that you can stop moping about the things you cannot control.
Things you can control are your own words, attitude, actions, manners and effort. Only you can be accountable for them.
Tip: Learn to control what you say and when. Actions speak louder than words. Understand your mannerisms and try to improve them. Also, remember that the difference between a good day and a bad one is your attitude.
You have no idea how good I have become at this particular ability. I tend to keep away from situations and arguments that don’t concern me. I keep away when I feel that my interference could probably only worsen the tension. I may be observing everything that is happening around me but I will consciously avoid being a part of it until I truly feel the need to say something.
Tip: One thing you can learn to keep away from is gossip. I believe that to interfere, you need to be aware of the complete truth of all parties involved (which is mostly impossible). So, why waste your precious time getting involved in negative discussions that do not really concern you?
Of course, you shouldn’t believe and take part in gossip about others. But more importantly, you should not believe and upset yourself with the gossip you hear about yourself. You can experience internal peace only when you understand that you don’t become what other people think of you.
Tip: When people talk about you, it is because they find something intriguing about you. Think positive and believe that if you think you need to improve, you will improve (just like I did-not based on any gossip I’ve heard about myself).
For example, it is very easy to judge people based on their bad habits, but I have consciously made an effort to concentrate on their positives even if they have spoken ill about me in the past. Instead of wondering why they spoke about me in such a way, I try and remember the good things about them.
Tip: If you have friends or acquaintances who love to be with you (despite their opinion on the way you live), try and remember their positives (unless they are seriously toxic of course) and keep their negatives at bay. It is difficult, but not impossible.
Doing several things at once is praised in various ways. But, at the cost of what? For example, making money or cleaning houses may seem exciting at first but both can get extremely boring and monotonous in the long run if you overdo them.
Tip: Try and delegate work in the house because your home is your comfort zone. Save time for yourself and spend it by indulging in a favourite hobby.
As bottled-up emotions provide a false sense of emotional safety, 84% of men and 64% of 18–24-year-olds admit they regularly bottle up their emotions or hide their true feelings. Keeping your emotions to yourself and forgetting them later is good. But the harbouring, of negative feelings, tends to fuel unnecessary grudges. Here are 8 signs that you are bottling up your feelings.
Tip: Avoid putting up an act. Bottling-up emotions can be harmful to your mind and body. So, it is better to cry it out or talk it out.
There is no fun in life without any challenges. But when you find only problems, and concentrate on them, you cannot be at peace.
Tip: Always try to look for solutions as soon as you find a problem.
If you have been following my blogs, you should know by now how I strongly emphasize on ‘finding one’s passion’ or ‘finding a purpose in life’. I have come to believe that if you completely depend on people and don’t find your own purpose or passion in life, you tend to begin disturbing others as you get older. This happens because you are still wondering how you can be important. But when you are busy spending time with your passion, you are already at peace.
Tip: You should find hobbies that make you feel alive. Take time out and ponder on how you want to spend the rest of your life.
Everyone seems to have a fear of missing out (FOMO) on things. But I found JOMO more peaceful. JOMO is not about permanent isolation but cherishing your own company. When you don’t fear that you are missing out on life, you are more at peace with yourself.
Tip: You can start by skipping a few parties to spend quality time with loved ones.
I have always prayed (almost) all through my life (because I was taught to) but when I began praying sincerely and teaching my kids to do the same, I found it possible to easily handle whatever came my way. I also became calmer and less impatient. I began to listen more, yell less and, most of all, feel more peaceful than I used to. I believe that the main thing that helped me to experience internal peace was the power of prayer.
Tip: Believe and pray every day (not because it is a tradition/habit, or because someone is watching what you do, or because you suddenly think of something you want).
When I was in my twenties, I would keep myself busy all through the week and then sleep 16 to 17 hours during the weekend. Now, I sleep when my body tells me to.
Tip: Minimize your work (whatever your work may be) so you can sleep well. Your mental health is more important than working your ass off.
Nirvana is known to be a state of complete bliss with a transformed mind filled with qualities such as happiness, freedom of negative emotions, peacefulness and non-reactiveness. While I’m not aiming at nirvana here, I hope the above mentioned tips help you to find at least some form of internal peace during your lifetime. All the very best!
Do comment on this article with your honest thoughts.
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The difficult thing here is to let things go…. I can definitely relate to this. Had been there and understand how you might have managed PPD and Internal peace.
This is exactly what I have started doing. I lost my mom two years back and I realised I cannot control anything except being happy. The first thing I stopped doing was trying to control other peoples emotions and being dependent on others emotions to define my mood. Recently I have started meditating and exercising and I feel even more better. I totally agree with all your points.
I remember that, Shail. Hope time will allow you to smile despite the loss. I feel you.
Oh this has been one great message to bunk those misconceptions about changing lifestyle and living life with more peace. The tips you’ve given surely won’t be the things those close-minded ones would anticipate. Indeed simple actions in life like learning to let go, not minding stuff you can’t control, ignoring stuff, and not believing in gossips can already make a huge difference in ones life once applied.
True, Jeannine. You just waste precious moments while doing these unwanted things.
Excellent points, Cindy. People have such heavy mental load that depression occurs very easily. Although I am a calm and stable person, depression can attack me at any time. You’ve provided some excellent advice we can use to keep active and feel good.
Oooh! Take care of yourself, Pamela!
Hi … all the pointers are written in a way making it easy to read and follow. Letting go and taking control of what can be done by us in the situation does help a lot
I like how your blog is written, making it personal on how you do things adds credibility to the points. I follow quite of few of these myself. Finding your purpose and being guided by it is peace. How you shape your truth through your day-to-day living is your peace. Agree with you 100% on how one can improve living in the moment to the fullest. You have given great tips for folks to practice and build upon.
Thanks, Sakshi, hope this helps!
These tips are really helpful- I have done a few of them like trying to ignore what I can’t control. This was just what I needed to read today to find a way to help me gain a more serene outlook
Thanks, Meetali, hope this helps you calm your mind!
These are some great tips Cindy. I strongly believe that finding a passion or hobby that keeps you busy is a game changer. It worked for me too.
What a wonderful post Cindy! In this world of chaos and competition, we have often forgotten how to internalize peace and happiness in us. We always try to seek it outside and find problems when things do not go as we plan. But the first step, like you have mentioned is to let go, perhaps the most difficult too. Every point that you have mentioned is doable, but only when one makes a conscious effort. I am glad that you are at place of peace by following these steps and are able to guide others. All the best!
Thanks, Amritha! Hope this helps you in some way too!
I truly believe in JOMO. Leave motherhood which is such a challenging job in itself, the influencer industry can be so cutthroat! I mean do you feel it too? I have stopped following what my fellow colleagues are upto, and although I miss out on the networking and opportunities, it truly gives me peace.
I never followed what others are upto… I don’t even follow a fad (unless rarely when it interests me or something)! Hahaha!
I am a big believer in meditation not just for mental peace but for pain management as well. That said, I agree with you. These are great ways to tackle those small things that often chip away at our mental peace.
Good for you, Ritu. Yeah, I’ve seen some people who meditate are still not at peace with themselves.
I cannot relate uncontrollable rage and you in any form. And that I think is a testament in itself to the effort you have put in to achieve internal peace. Very well articulated post, though I will take some of the points with a pinch of salt. But again, each person’s journey is different and hence their finding peace too.
Hahaha! I know Vasumathi. Even I wonder at times how I was like that! But then maybe it was also the teen hormones going haywire.
All pointers are perfect for internal peace. While it can be challenging to remain calm amidst stress and chaos, Observing others can help us learn from their triumphs and follies. By listing down effective strategies, we equip ourselves with tools ,To cultivate inner peace and navigate life’s challenges with ease and grace.
I share your viewpoints and try my best to follow them. Sometimes I come back to ground zero I am still unable to control the negativity some people bring in and I can’t avoid it because they are part of the family.
Oh I have been there Manisha. I have just learnt to ignore. Family or not.
Many of the points are do-able, but they take time. Once we realise and make the change in the way we think and act, half the battle is won!
Yes, every good thing takes time, Janaki. Thanks for reading!
Wow! In love with this blog and can totally resonate with every word you’ve written. Could actually imagine me in my heydays like this, easily angered and affected by others’ opinions and judgments. All the tips mentioned by you are so simple and easily doable. I am definitely saving this and working on myself with these pointers.
Great, Zenobia. Glad this is of some use to you!
Very well said, Headline yes, without meditation we can have peace of mind. I guess by reaching Towards 40s we learn all it. Pinch – but me too are like you in my twenties. Learn with experience. I am using above tips to keep myself sane.
So true. I feel the letting go one is the most effective and the toughest to do. If we can master it, half of our problems would be solved.
Dear Cindy, you shared some wonderful yet meaningful points which can actually help us to welcome peace in life. But there are situations where the trigger which makes you feel irritated and stressed is nearby you and you cant avoid. I was in such a situation in last few months month and found peace missing in my life. I thankfully discussed that with my hubby and he asked me to be mum and ignore that trigger which with time will stop triggering noticing me not reacting. I started doing that and OH yes…. I am relaxed and in peace. Yes we can have peace without meditating if we know how to make it happen. Thanks for the wonderful post.
Thanks, Samata! We cannot control what happens but how we react to it will affect us accordingly. Glad your hubby gave you sound advice.
All of us at some point feel these negative emotions and find it difficult to share or ask for help. Your tips are practical and easily achievable with constant effort. I find praying peaceful too and do it regularly.
Great, Varsha. Glad we both think alike!
Since an honest comment was asked, I actually saw reading myself tru ur post, some things I feel need improvement. I guess time is the teacher and eventually we tend to learn in time. Your post is awesome and trust me it must reach out to the youth caz they r the one who r going to be coming into challenge zone as they go ahead in life. Totally Loved the post
Thanks, Flavia. Do forward it to youth you know.
Its amazing that you have found your purpose n peace Cindy. Everything uv written makes much more sense as it’s through your experience. Although I don’t follow all the things uv written about, I can relate to most of it.
One thing I perceive differently is cleaning the house. I mean I am not obsessed about it but clean spaces bring positivity n its difficult to relax n feel comfortable if its dirty n cluttered😀
Haha! Of course, you should keep your spaces clean but if one is overdoing it (like anything else) it may get to them in the long run.
I really like the new habits. Sometimes, you don’t get time to meditate, but habits are like meditation when done with sincerity. I also liked the fact that you replaced fear with joy.
Thanks for reading, Ambica!
We truly need such regimes to follow only to keep ourselves happy. It should not matter what others think or will think. Only it’s us which should matter the most. I truly agree to what you said on how we have become intolerant to things and can’t cope up. How negative thoughts consume us . Also, post-pandemic thoughts you shared also apt as I myself felt that change in me . The ignorance policy you told we should follow as we can’t pay heed to every little things that may affect us.
True, Anasua. Hope this has helped you in some way!
Very well said, Cindy. People carry so much baggage. But I have tried everything under the sun and still, I am having anxiety attacks for no reason. Even now going through it. I am a calm and stable person but I guess Depression strikes anytime.
I’m sure you can do it, Harjeet, try a little harder! All the best!
I can especially relate to your lesson about not overworking. The hustle culture has made overworking some kind of a badge that can be flaunted, when in reality it is so harmful! Very relatable and doable lessons, Cindy
Thanks, Nikita. Hope this helps you in some way!
Those are some great tips to start of with. I have been doing the forgo the gossips and parties at the moment. and i could already see the change, a little more time to hangout with self
True, glad it’s working, Sadvika!