Is it possible to find peace and happiness when so many hard things continue to happen?
We all strive for that moment where everything makes sense and we finally have enough to make us happy. But there’s always the next thing you need to get and the next thing that you want. You are convinced that the next purchase or opportunity will make you happy. A new washing machine, a bed, a holiday or that new job you think you’ve always wanted. None of it works because it is all superficial. If that is our view of happiness, we will never have enough. Inner peace and happiness are closely linked and you can’t develop one without the other.
Inner peace is when confusion is taken away and you are left with calm. It is achieved when you’re secure and confident with who you are, your morals, your purpose and principles.
Real true inner happiness comes from how we view each day and ourselves and can be cultivated and learnt through a few easy methods.
1. Don’t get obsessed with the things you can’t control
“Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.” — Serenity Prayer
However much effort you put into your happiness and the things that bring you joy, life happens, and we have to roll up our sleeves and deal with what comes our way. It’s impossible to fix everything that happens and yet we still try our best every time. But, not everything can be fixed solely by you. Maybe a family member is ill, you have lost your job, or the weather has become rubbish the first day of your holiday. As much as you try, nothing you do can fix it. Accepting that things are out of our control and developing a sense of what can be fixed and what cannot, is the first stage in taking control of your life and bringing happiness. You’re not in charge of the situation but you are in charge of your reaction.
2. Do things for others
“Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves.” — Horace Mann
When we feel happiness, it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Instead, it reverberates and reflects back from the people in our lives and the things that we do. Whatever we do for ourselves to make us happy and find inner peace, none of it will work until we take those principles and shower other people with it too. Encountering other people with kindness, humor and patience will not only make you feel happier and more peaceful, it will also ensure that others treat you in the same manner.
3. Embrace your imperfections
“Relish everything that’s inside of you, the imperfections, the darkness, the richness and light and everything. And that makes for a full life.” —Andrew Solomon
So many of us feel uncomfortable in our own skin and are never happy with how we look or what we say, but each one of us is completely different! We decide what our own imperfections are. Whether you are tall or short, blonde or brunette, have freckles, a loud voice or a snort in your laugh, everyone will have something they want to change about themselves. Chances are, the people around you will love you because of these imperfections because they make you, you. You can do this by not complaining to others or to yourself about what makes you different and it will begin to change your mentality.
4. Have a sense of humour
“A sense of humour is the best indicator that you will recover; it is often the best indicator that people will love you. Sustain that and you have hope.” — Anthony Hopkins
When you look back over your memories, there’s a few that will stand out. Mostly, it will be when you were the happiest and when you laughed the most. Laughter is a natural human reaction and releases endorphins that bring us a feeling of joy and fulfillment. Try to encounter difficult things that happen to you with less seriousness and find something funny within the negativity.
5. Forgive yourself
“Love to yourself-accept yourself-forgive yourself-and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” — Leo Buscaglia
Everybody has done things that they regret. When you sit and think about these things they can bring you down and make you feel completely inadequate. Maybe you hurt the feelings of a friend or you gave up on something you could have completed. The power is in your hands, and either you can let go of the things you have done wrong or you can try to fix them. Maybe apologize to someone you have hurt or make an extra effort to finish the next thing you try. Part of forgiving yourself is also beginning to forgive others for what they have done for you. Letting go of anger and resentment leaves so much more room for positive feelings. Forgiving yourself or others and deciding to let go, will leave room for all the wonderful things in your life that you are missing because of your worry. Look at yourself in the mirror and say, it’s okay. You can’t receive peace without forgiveness.
6. Stay positive
“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” —Wade Boggs
It’s very easy to fall into a pattern of negative thinking, and we can’t stop bad things happening. We feel negative about ourselves; we get irritated and frustrated with others and we blame everything else but ourselves for the things that go wrong. It’s important to surround ourselves with positive people and try to find solutions for problems rather than consigning ourselves to defeat. To feel positive it’s also important to look after your mind and body and to focus on your larger goals rather than analyzing the small things that happen. This is the hardest thing to complete on this list but is at the core of creating true happiness and inner peace.
There will always be things that happen that are out of your control, but there’s a few things you can do something about. Don’t just sit back and wait for happiness to come to you, go out and seize it! We promise it’s within your grasp. Leave any other suggestions for what makes you feel happy in the comments below and maybe it will help others. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day.