“All I want is peace of mind …” That’s something I hear very often. But people who say that usually don’t want to simplify their life and do less, what they want is to get rid of all the noise their mind bothers them with all the time. It can be a real pain. So what does it take to calm down the mind and have real inner peace of mind?
What is Inner Peace?
According to Wikipedia peace of mind can be defined as:
Inner peace (or peace of mind) refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress. Being “at peace” is considered by many to be healthy homeostasis and the opposite of being stressed or anxious.
“With enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong in the face of discord or stress” means in order to have peace of mind we need to embrace our own personal development and build a strong inner foundation which.
What is Inner Space?
I sense that the feeling of inner peace is closely linked to having inner space. Inner space means you have room for your thoughts to navigate. You don’t have to react impulsively. As Stephen Covey said: “Because of the space between stimulus and response, people have the power of choice…” This gap between thoughts gives us freedom, the freedom to make a conscious choice.
But it’s not only a gap, it’s like the bowl of consciousness where our thoughts come and go. So inner space is the room where we create our thoughts, are able to hold them and to review them, and then make a conscious decision from there.
When we gain awareness of this inner space inside us we get more control over our own thoughts. We can have them and not react to them if we choose. We can have multiple thoughts and weigh them against each other to try to find a solution.
You Are Not Your Mind
Eckhart Tolle also said it in his great book The Power of Now: You are not your mind. This realization is central to build inner space, because now you realize there is more than your thoughts. There is the space in which thoughts happen. So don’t always believe your thoughts, you don’t have to. Instead you can rest in your inner space and choose which thoughts are helpful and which you don’t want to follow.
5 Ways to Build Inner Space and Peace of Mind
1. Self Reflection is central to personal growth and it helps tremendously to build inner space and peace. What you do when you self reflect the right way is to resolve inner conflicts and get real insights into how you work inside and outside.
2. Keep Your Inner Space Clear. Proactively face your frears and solve your problems. If you manage to avoid to procrastinate on things that you fear and actively face your fears, you actively lower your fears and feel good about yourself. The effect will be that you don’t accumulate “garbage” in your inner space and therefore keep it clear without things bugging you in the back of your mind.
3. Go and Connect with Nature. Everybody knows the refreshing and nurturing effect of walking into a green forest, breathing in the fresh air and feeling the connection with nature. Being in nature should hopefully be easy, the next forest, silent lake.
Jogging or in general exercising in nature combines this habit with the important exercise habit.
4. Working on Your Own Personal Growth. This goes back to the original definition from Wikipedia being “with enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself strong”. Personal development builds self confidence and gives you more personal ressources so you can be more relaxed facing the challenges to come. You have inner peace because you know you are capable of handling them.
5. Meditation is the perfect way to calm down the mind and connect with your self. The final goal of meditation is having a spiritual realization and it’s a perfect way to use all the benefits along the way like stress relief and building inner space and peace.
Inviting silence into your life will have a great and refreshing effect. As a Buddhist saying goes: “Do not speak, unless it improves on silence.”