People crave Peace of Mind more than ever–at the same time it is more elusive than ever before.
Here are 7 key points which have helped me to finally come to the point of being able to experience Peace of Mind–I will do anything to keep it. There is nothing more precious. Maybe some of us have never had this peace and a sense of well being–a sense of control of their lives. — to know what it is we are missing.
1. Conflicting priorities
This is the hardest to deal with. Many times someone would tell me when I talked about setting priorities-”it seems everything is equally important.” The keyword here is “it seems”. Some time ago I read about a great piece of advice which I decided to follow and it works like magic: “Don’t make a list of priorities — rather choose the top priority–the most important task for the day–focus on doing just that until it is done and everything else after that will come easy. WHY? Usually the important things are also the most difficult. Once that is done, we will feel a great sense of relief and accomplishment.
2. Information Overload
We have too much information to sift through and keep organized
Solution: categorize and be ruthless about it: I have to ask myself constantly – is this something of use at this point in my life or is it merely interesting; do I need to know about it? – if not —eliminate or delete. So many times I catch myself saving stuff — online as well — when I know in my heart I will not ever use it. Either due to lack of time, resources or even serious interest.
I now pay more attention to how I feel when I read or listen to something — do I get aggravated; feel more powerless about the problems of our society?–does it inspire, encourage me in any way– Is it worth sharing–does this information help me in getting closer to my goals– It is helpful to have such a personal mental filter — to keep unnecessary stress at bay.
3. Make a Decision – How much is enough?
The biggest challenge is to manage ourselves, to think and examine what we truly value. Many people I know have no idea of what they really want
Often Perfectionism is getting in our way.. While it is important to strive for excellence in everything we do–we don’t need to strife for perfection. This will create undue stress.
4. Review of assumptions, habits, ways of doing things etc.
We need to ask ourselves: “Does this still serve a purpose?– What changes should or could be made?”
Situations change; Life sometimes takes an unexpected turn; yet we rarely stop and evaluate what needs to change. We wait until we are forced to make a change — e.g. losing a job, having to move, etc. when we should have made a decision some time ago. We choose- though most of the time unconsciously- the things that are comfortable; familiar and so forth. If we are clear about our goals we will be more aware and willing to make the necessary changes.
5. The Washing Machine
It seems on a pretty regular weekly basis my emotions are going through a cleansing process.
I admit I resist that process with all my might. But it happens anyway. For a long time I was not even aware that this was happening. I don’t know the why and how, but it is happening.
There is at least one day where I struggle with literally everything. I cannot function except for the most basic things. I cry for no apparent reason.
After this process is completed I feel refreshed, renewed, energized with new ideas, insights, solutions. It took me some time of reflecting on what is going on here that I realized that my struggles actually serve a purpose.
I know this point must seem unusual for most people. I have never heard anyone else talking about it. But it is real in my life.
6. Quiet Time
An absolute must! As I look back on my life when I was at my best — it was because I intentionally scheduled time out for myself. Daily for about an hour; weekly for half a day. Later when I had a family to take care of — I thought I simply could not spare the time or I felt guilty!
This was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made.. How I wished I could go back and do this one thing differently. I know I would have made better decisions; take care of my family much better by having more patience; more clarity; being a better listener; be more clear about priorities; eliminated many unnecessary stressors in our lives.
7. Keep a Journal
I like to include a quote from the new book “Stillness is the Key” by Ryan Holiday.
“Keeping a journal is a common recommendation from psychologists as well, because it helps patients stop obsessing and allows them to make sense of the many inputs—emotional, external, psychological—that would otherwise overwhelm them. That’s really the idea. Instead of carrying that baggage around in our heads or hearts, we put it down on paper. Instead of letting racing thoughts run unchecked or leaving half-baked assumptions unquestioned, we force ourselves to write and examine them. Putting your own thoughts down on paper lets you see it from a distance. It gives you objectivity that is so often missing when anxiety, fears and frustrations flood your mind.”
I have kept a journal for most of my life and can only emphasize the benefit of doing that. Any time I stopped for whatever reason I have seen how things, upsets, disappointments, etc. started to pile up and it caused a lot of difficulties
Most important — we cannot assume that others will figure out what is happening in our lives — we have to share that with them. Sometimes the people in our lives are able and willing to provide valuable input and offer help if needed, if they are given a chance– Or simply sharing with others is a great way to build dynamic and deeper relationships.