Inner peace is something most Westerners struggle with. We lead busy lives, working jobs we don’t necessarily like, eating with convenience over health in mind, and trying to squeeze time in for a social life. The average American day is a recipe for stress, anxiety, and depression. There’s a reason these are considered diseases of the developed world. Here are a few habits you can cultivate to soothe your mind and find a little serenity.
Meditation is Popular for a Good Reason
Meditation and yoga are commonly associated with new age movements and hippies but in actuality, any form of meditation is hugely beneficial. Meditation is very easy to learn provided you dedicate yourself to practicing daily. Start with five minutes per day and gradually increase the time until you’ve arrived at a satisfactory length. The standard is between 30 and 45 minutes, but the best part about meditation is you can tailor it to suit your needs.
Yoga is a good next step for inner peace. In its true form, yoga is a combination of meditation and exercise. Yoga used solely for exercise without the mindfulness aspect is both culturally appropriative and less beneficial. Seek a yoga teacher or studio that practices genuine yoga. After a few classes, you can easily begin practicing at home. Learning the key poses are all you really need for beginner yoga. If classes are out of your budget, YouTube has some great beginner yoga series.
Walk A Dog, Any Dog
Dogs are a wonderful addition to your home. They are highly attuned to human emotions and can serve as excellent reducers of stress, depression, and anxiety. Furthermore, dogs are a good way to ensure you stay active. Dogs require regular exercise and interaction with other dogs. This prompts you to get up and go out on walks or to dog parks. Both the dog itself and the exercise it offers you will guarantee a mood boost and increase in physical health.
If your situation does not allow you to own a dog, there are still ways for you to benefit from what they have to offer. By offering dog walking and dog boarding, people are not only able to spend time with dogs, but also able reduce their stress and increasing energy levels. However, at the end of the day, the dog goes home to an owner who pays for its needs and houses it for you. This is an ideal set-up for people who either cannot afford a dog or are simply too busy to keep one.
Remember There is Always Another Side
Americans are often prone to anger and frustration. We work frustrating jobs and drive alongside others who seem as though they should not have passed their driving tests. Yet one of the best things you can do to maintain serenity in your daily life is to consider the alternatives. For example, when a person cuts you off in traffic, rather than clinging to the irritation their action caused, think about what else could have made them behave irresponsibly.
Maybe their child screamed, distracting them from their surroundings. Maybe they saw a nail in the road and needed to get out of the way. Try to see any possible option beyond “They are rude and terrible drivers.”
The same policy can be applied to your job. When a colleague fails to complete a task, rather than thinking they’re lazy or stupid, consider what might be going on in their personal life. Something might be happening that is preventing them from working efficiently. Perhaps a loved one is sick. Or maybe they’re just so busy they forgot that particular task. It is best to see the potential positive in everything rather than the assumed negative.
Inner peace is hard won in the modern world. But a few habits to remove you from negative or stressful situations can go a long way. Exercise, meditate, adopt a dog, and work to change your mindset. Clinging to stress and frustration does nothing but hurt you. Release your grip and find a little peace.
Image via Pixabay by lifedeathlife
About Jennifer McGregor
Jennifer McGregor is the co-creator of PublicHealthLibrary.org, which was made for one of her pre-med classes as a project. With the site, she intends to provide various resources pertaining to medical inquiries and general health. When Jennifer is not busy being a student, she enjoys walking her dog through the park.