Inner peaceWe all crave inner peace. It has been said that it is the most powerful thing that we can cultivate. Yet it is something that we have to find for ourselves, for it is our mind that offers both the route and the obstacles to inner peace. So how do we achieve inner peace, should we be packing our bags for a 3 month stay with an Indian yogi?

I am not sure that you need to go that far, in my work counselling I have noticed that people find inner peace in many ways and I have listed the most common here.

Try a bit of mind control

Sounds sinister, but since our inner thoughts determine our state of mind then it is important that we focus on that which brings peace and serenity. Avoid negative thoughts and what if thoughts, we cannot change the past, you cannot live in the future, so live in the moment be joyful at what you have now.

Simplicity works best

21st century life is bristling with distractions, TV, clubs, children’s activities, gym or work. Then there is housework and chores. If we take time to do a life audit and hold onto only what is actually important to us. Perhaps you watch TV out of habit so let it go focus on what is important to you not what matters least.

Meditation

We spend upwards of 8 hours a day and work, a similar amount sleeping a few hours eating. Is it asking too much to spend 10 minutes sitting quietly calming your thoughts? People think that meditation is mystical and difficult. In fact the practice is relatively easy; it is mastering it that takes time. In mediation you are trying to calm your thoughts gently pushing them aside so that your mind has a chance to focus. There are many great (& free) resources around so you can get started today

Avoid criticism

If we live our lives according to the opinions and whims of others, how can we truly know ourselves? Surely our beliefs, opinions and values are more important. It was once said that you cannot please all of the people all of the time, thus whatever you do will be unpalatable to some, so make it palatable to you. Similarly you will have an opinion about others, but you cannot know what brought them to neither the point that they are at nor the decisions that they have made. Seek to understand their point of view accept and value the differences and support your friends, that is the way to inner peace

Following these steps will not bring inner peace tomorrow, but practiced over a period of time will begin to help you to enjoy your life and your values. What better day to start your search than today World peace day.