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Last Updated on January 14, 2021

How to Find Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness

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How to Find Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness

When in conversations about finding inner peace and lasting happiness, everyone seems to have a definition or ideology about the topic.

Some of these definitions are correct or at least point us in the right direction but a couple of others are just misconceptions.

Peace, as you rightly believe, is the absence of fear and pandemonium but that doesn’t mean that fun doesn’t exist where peace is. This is what some people picture inner peace as. No fun, no pleasure, just plain boring. But is that true?

In this article, you will learn how to find inner peace and happiness.

What Is Inner Peace and Happiness?

As Wikipedia puts it,[1]

“Inner peace refers to a deliberate state of psychological or spiritual calm despite the potential presence of stressors. Peace of mind is thus, generally associated with bliss, happiness, and contentment.”

The first line says, “Despite the potential presence of stressors.” Do you realize that it doesn’t say “in the absence of stressors?” This goes on to suggest that inner peace doesn’t take away your problems. It doesn’t take away national issues that affect you either or just instantly solve all the jigsaws in your life.

Note again that it doesn’t just say “stressors” but “potential stressors.” What does that mean?

Everyone knows that life isn’t a bed of roses so even if anyone happens to be lying on the side with an abundance of roses, there is this constant thought of “what if?” What if I lose everything tomorrow? What if someone I love dies tomorrow? What if I fail my finals? What if I lose my job?

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As much as you try to ignore these thoughts, you can’t deny their presence or stop them from coming. So what’s the point of the whole inner peace thingy? It makes you calm even when these thoughts abound.

The literal meaning of inner peace is, “a state of mind where calmness and satisfaction exist with all other unwanted factors being constant.”

This brings leads to the definition of lasting happiness.

People say that happiness depends on happenings which means that bad events take away our happiness. In reality, bad events tamper with our minds but this is where peace of mind comes to play.

When inner peace exists, it does so with happiness so when these so-called bad events come around, the worst they can do is make you sober and more reflective. Your mind remains at peace.

    What Does It Mean to Have Inner Peace and Lasting Happiness?

    Knowing what inner peace and happiness mean is quite different from having it. Ironically, many people know about this concept and can even teach it but nothing about their lives depicts it.

    You may have seen people who always appear happy and lively no matter what happens and you just keep wondering if they live on the same planet as you do. Probability is that they have mastered the art of finding and keeping their inner peace. You heard that right: they have mastered the art.

    Finding inner peace is not enough. The topping is keeping it.

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    Look at it as a messy room – our minds can rightly be likened to a room. You eat, sleep and work in that room and with all the activities going on, you barely have time to clean it up. You keep postponing clean up time until one day you decide to do it. It feels like a brand new house. The next day, you go back to eating and throwing trash in the same place and one week later, you are back to square one.

    Cleaning is an art and so is the concept of inner peace. It is something you learn and re-learn all the days of your life. The day you stop the practice, your mind begins to go back to being occupied with unnecessary stuff that makes it very unattractive.

    When your peace or happiness is threatened, the first thing that comes to mind is “find a quick fix.” Sadly, this quick fix doesn’t even lead you to talk it out with people who could help but instead, you take to Netflix, ice cream, binge-eating, and binge-watching or drinking all night. By morning, you get sober and the feeling of sadness and emptiness dawns on you again but this time, heavier…

    This keeps you moving in the same cycle; hence the increasing number of health-related cases globally.

    One thing we fail to realize at that moment is that all those solutions are fleeting and that is the distinguishing factor between all of them and inner peace.

    Inner peace is not a quick fix. It takes years of mind-conditioning but the results are always glaring and cannot be ignored.

      Why Is Inner Peace Important?

      Inner peace is important for the following reasons:

      • You begin to see and appreciate all the little things you never thought were important like the ability to walk, eat, breathe, having a roof over your head and even the sun that never fails to rise.
      • It teaches you to be patient because, at the end of the day, we’d all be on the same day. Nobody has ever hurried into the next day.
      • You learn how to maximize every single moment knowing fully well that we would all leave this world someday.
      • It teaches you to take things one step at a time. We all tell ourselves that phrase especially when we find ourselves in a mess but we never really actualize it until we find inner peace.
      • You would begin to see drastic changes in your health and wellness. Food and alcohol are no longer an escape route because you realize that there is really no escape from this life.
      • Your relationships and friendships take a positive turn because you have learned to appreciate every moment you have with the ones you love.
      • As your health improves, you will also notice that you stop aging so fast. In other words, peace of mind is an anti-aging factor.
      • You steadily gain control over aspects of life that you can control. Habits and lifestyles are some of the things you can control and the realization of inner peace help you handle those aspects well.
      • You feel more confident to take on challenges and tasks you would ordinarily shy away from.
      • You would be able to handle losses and other unfortunate events gracefully and not pretending to be handling them well.

      How to Find Your Inner Peace and Happiness

      Like many other concepts, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding inner peace. However, all of the points provided here would prove effective in your journey to finding it. Use these steps to find inner peace:

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      1. Declutter Your “Room”

      As mentioned earlier, your mind can be likened to a room. When that room is occupied with thoughts of “what if” and “how not” plus work issues and family matters, there is no way you’d have enough space to do other things.

      This would take lots of practice and patience with oneself because you can’t just tell yourself, “Hey, stop thinking” and boom! You just stop. You have to consciously remind yourself to not overthink things and only take what you can handle.

      Even the bravest people break down, so take some time to clear your mind of unimportant matters. You need that space.

      2. Take Responsibility for Your Actions

      It takes a whole level of maturity to take responsibility for your actions, especially when it’s something you’re not proud of but to find your inner peace, you have to accept your faults and all.

      3. Accept the Fact That You Are Human

      Alongside taking responsibility for your actions, realize that you do not have control over everything. You’re human and there’s only so much you can do about anything.

      When you finally come to terms with this, you would stop blaming yourself for stuff that you did not cause and could not prevent.

      4. Your Issues Don’t Define You

      When facing a long term illness or disability or going through a series of tragic experiences, many are tempted to look at themselves through the eyes of their experiences (which is no surprise when others do the same). You are NOT your issues.

      Yes, you may have anemia or have lost someone but that is only a minute part of your life. It doesn’t entail your whole life and it certainly doesn’t describe you.

      Constantly remind yourself of this and watch people change their perception about you as well.

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        5. Set Boundaries for Yourself

        We all like to be free and do whatever it is that we dream of, so boundaries may sometimes look like our enemies but they aren’t. Instead, boundaries help us stay in check and be in charge. Therefore, the sooner you start setting boundaries, the better.

        Some of the boundaries you should set include social media time, talk time, TV time and work time.

        6. Take a Break

        If you struggle to take breaks, then you are the one person who needs it the most. Even phones and laptops begin to overheat and lag when they are used for long periods at a stretch.

        It’s okay to put your life on hold for the world. Go on a vacation. Travel the world. Visit a park.

        7. Be Early

        This may not sound like an “inner peace hack” (because there’s no hack to this thing) but it does help with keeping your inner peace.

        Have you noticed how confused and disorganized you get when you’re running late for an event? You just get tensed and worked up trying to figure out things if any goes wrong.

        So, when you have to be at an event try to get there at least fifteen minutes before the time. You would notice how calm you’d be even if anything goes wrong because there would be a few minutes to sort it out.

        Final Thoughts

        Once again, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding your inner peace, so these steps may not be exactly what you expect.

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        The good news, though, is that these steps provide the basic foundation you need to find it. As you work on these, you will begin to find out other things you need to start or get rid of to hit that climax of inner peace and lasting happiness.

        More to Calm Your Mind

        Featured photo credit: Fabrizio Verrecchia via unsplash.com

        Reference

        [1] Wikipedia: inner peace

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        Jacqueline T. Hill

        Writing, Blogging, and Educating To Guide Others Into Happiness

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        Last Updated on July 20, 2021

        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

        You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

        Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

        Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

        Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

        1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

        According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

        “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

        Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

        Warming up

        If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

        If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

        Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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        1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
        2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
        3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

        Stay hydrated

        Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

        To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

        Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

        Meditate

        Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

        Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

        Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

        Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

        2. Focus on your goal

        One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

        Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

        Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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        Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

        If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

        3. Convert negativity to positivity

        There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

        ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

        It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

        Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

        Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

        Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

        4. Understand your content

        Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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        However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

        “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

        Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

        Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

        One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

        5. Practice makes perfect

        Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

        In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

        Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

        6. Be authentic

        There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

        Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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        Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

        To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

        With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

        Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

        7. Post speech evaluation

        Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

        Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

        We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

        You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

        Improve your next speech

        As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

        Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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        • How did I do?
        • Are there any areas for improvement?
        • Did I sound or look stressed?
        • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
        • Was I saying “um” too often?
        • How was the flow of the speech?

        Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

        If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

        Reference

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