Feel stuck? Like life is a constant struggle?
Do you go to bed trying to feel hopeful, only to wake up with a sense of hopelessness?
Do you feel like everything in the world… kind of sucks right now? That everyone is against each other and there’s no end in sight?
Let’s be honest, there’s a lot to be stressed, anxious and depressed about.
Like, a lot.
Blinding ourselves to it may help, but we don’t want to become naive by putting on fake rose-colored glasses.
There is an in-between though.
One that allows you to know the realities of the world while still feeling peaceful inside. It’s not always easy, but it’s a habit mindset you can build, and eventually, care through your life with ease.
We’re sharing 8 ways you can live a peaceful life in this post. Read on to calm down.
How to Live a Peaceful Life
Before we get into how to live a peaceful life, we should acknowledge that peace may mean something different to everyone. And, there’s even more ways on how to get there.
In general, a peaceful life is one where you feel calm and content about yourself and your place in the world. It doesn’t mean you think the world is perfect. But it means that you realize peace starts from within and expands outwards—onto others, our community, city, state, country and the world.
While we’ll still have fears and stresses (we’re human), we’re able to cope with them in a healthy way and revert back to our calm state.
#1 Be 100% You
Turmoil can come when we’re pretending to be who we’re not by fitting into society’s mold of who it thinks we should be. It’s not always a conscious decision either. We’re running a rat race, often going from school to more school to work to climbing the latter. It’s easy to get lost in the process and lose ourselves within it too.
Ask yourself from time to time, am I being myself? Do my actions align with my soul’s wants, needs or goals? Am I doing what I want or need? Or am I just doing what’s expected of me?
While being yourself is important, that doesn’t mean you won’t develop. Lifelong learning is another trait of the peaceful person, so don’t be afraid to change as you learn. Just make sure it’s still a version of yourself.
#2 Look Past Facades
The times I feel the least peace are the times when I really feel like I could punch someone. The person who says something really rude, insensitive or mean. Or the person clearly displaying a total disregard for others. How do you deal with that while remaining at peace?
One way is to try to see the human in others, even when it’s really hard. Hurt people often hurt people. This isn’t an excuse for their behavior. But seeing that the guy who made a rude comment was abused during childhood could explain a bit of why he has so much anger. This doesn’t mean you should allow them to get away with it, but knowing what’s behind the façade could make you a little less angry all the time.
Another example is the idiot who cuts you off when you’re driving. Maybe they’re rushing to visit their mother in the hospital before she dies. And, maybe they won’t make it. Same thing does for people “begging for money” on the side of the road. Instead of being annoyed that they ask you, try to imagine what circumstances led them there.
Forgiveness is a tricky thing to talk about sometimes. Some people think you should forgive everyone, including the worst people on earth. Some people think you should forgive no one.
Look, it’s ultimately up to you who you forgive and who you don’t. But remember to separate forgiveness and forgetting. You can forgive your ex for cheating on you, but you won’t forget it, so you won’t take her back or allow it back into your life. But that act of forgiveness has allowed you to let go of the burden of anger. That clears space for better thoughts, like, ones that don’t involve them at all.
Try forgiveness out and see which situations where it could help you.
#4 Draw a Line Between Real Life and Fake Life
The other day I was petting my dog and I was reminded of all the work I had left to do on my computer. I lifted my hand to stop petting him and turn back to my work.
Then I thought, “No, this is life.”
The truth is, with social media and the ability to be constantly available via text or email, a lot of life is lived in the fake world—the one that exists somewhere, but not here.
Yes, we need to get our work done and complete our responsibilities. But we can’t let that overtake our time in the real world. The one where we talk to people, pet dogs, go for walks and maybe even say hi to a neighbor.
Living a peaceful life could start by putting the phone down. Turning off notifications. And drawing social media boundaries.
#5 Practice Seeing Life from Varying Perspectives
As I was saying above, everyone has been through things that you haven’t and there’s a lot behind someone than just a face. People arrive at different conclusions because they come from different perspectives.
Next time you disagree with someone, try to learn what perspective they’re coming from. Again, this doesn’t mean excusing them. And it definitely doesn’t mean you need to agree with them. But learning why they think the way they are could lead to a more peaceful life.
For example, let’s say there’s a homeless shelter proposed near you and you’re angry because it’s going to bring more crime to your community. You’re angry at the people who support it. Talk to them and learn why they’re for it. Share your fears. Maybe you learn about how difficult it can be to be without a home. Maybe you learn that, despite that popular belief, crime doesn’t typically go up when shelters are introduced into communities. So, maybe you change your mind. Or maybe you don’t. But having a wider perspective can make you more at peace with yourself and lead you to form opinions more aligned with humanity.
#6 Embrace Mindfulness
Mindfulness is being thrown around a lot lately, but it basically means living in the present moment. Everything you do, you do with 100% attention. You do things one at a time, without thinking about what’s coming next on the to-do list. This can help you do things better or get the most enjoyment out of it.
For example, next time you eat a meal, put down your phone and turn off the TV. Pay attention to the texture, the smell and taste of every bite. Resist the need to hunt for your next bite before swallowing the current one.
I know this sounds a little… vague and sappy. So it can help to look at tangible mindfulness-based stress reduction exercises to see what it’s all about.
#7 Give Up Control
You can control one person and that’s you. And let’s be honest, even that can be difficult sometimes.
But you really, you can’t control other people. You can try to show them what to do to be better or how to act, but you can’t physically make them. Often times, none of these efforts work because many people need to change from inside themselves first.
The serenity Prayer is called the Serenity prayer for a reason, so I’ll share it here:
#8 Have a Peace Practice
If you’re wondering how to have a peaceful life, you should know that it can be a lot easier if you incorporate a peace practice into your life. What does that mean? It’s up to you. Basically, anything that calms your mind into a meditative state can help. Activities like these can make feeling peaceful a habit; calm is contagious.
Peaceful practices could include:
- Breathing practices
- Reading spiritual texts
- Doing a repetitive task, like weaving or knitting
- Tai Chi
- Petting your cat
Summary on How to Have a Peaceful Life
Finding peace in life today is tough. There’s always something bad going on in the world and sometimes, there’s a lot of junk in our personal world too. But there’s hope! Peace is a state of mind, and with that, it takes time to build. And it takes effort to maintain. To start your journey to peace, try the tips above.