For the third night in a row, you find yourself anxiously tossing and turning in your bed. Wide-eyed, you can’t stop thinking about a looming deadline at work, the leak in your roof, and your mother-in-law’s impending visit. If you don’t go to sleep soon, you’ll need to down several cups of coffee in the morning in order to stay awake during your commute to work. Can you relate to this common, troubling scenario? If stress is your constant companion, consider incorporating the following ways to practice peace into your daily life.
- Eliminate Unrealistic Expectations
- Forgive Others
- Forgive Yourself
- Smile More
- Resist the Urge to Control Others
- Begin Each Day with Peace
“Forgiving someone will allow your heart to heal by removing the hurt and replacing it with peace.”
1. Eliminate Unrealistic Expectations
Do you frequently set unrealistic expectations for yourself? For instance, you might pledge to lose 100 pounds by July on New Year’s Day. Or, you may promise your kid you’ll be at his or her soccer game when you’re fairly certain you won’t be finished at the office in time. Constantly setting the bar unreasonably high can make you feel disappointed, defeated, and insignificant when you don’t meet your lofty goals. Instead of setting yourself up for failure, develop realistic, short-term and long-term goals for yourself. Then, work hard to accomplish them. Whenever you achieve an objective, celebrate your triumph.
2. Forgive Others
Do you struggle letting go of past mistakes made by others? By refusing to forgive someone, you’re not harming him or her. However, holding a grudge against someone can leave you in a constant state of unnecessary stress. Despite what someone in the past may have done to you, take the needed to steps to forgive him or her today. Forgiving someone will allow your heart to heal by removing the hurt and replacing it with peace.
3. Forgive Yourself
Are you your harshest critic? Do you dwell on every mistake you make until your stomach feels like its twisted in knots? No one is perfect, you, me, and everyone else on the planet included. Forgiving yourself will allow you to enjoy the present while looking forward to the future. Making peace with your past is a great start to living a happier, healthier life.
4. Smile More
Unfortunately, you can’t control all situations in your life. However, you have the power to decide how you will react to them. Rather than wearing a frown when things aren’t going your way, strive to smile more. Beloved comedian Phyllis Diller said, “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” You might be amazed at how much your mood improves by simply lifting the corners of your mouth up.
5. Resist the Urge to Control Others
Do you often seek to control the people you have ongoing relationships with? For instance, you might always scold your significant other when he or she throws a dirty pair of socks on the floor. Or, you may engage in a mini-meltdown your kid wants to wear a baggy pair of shorts to school. Attempting to control others’ behaviors can lead to continual conflicts in your relationships. Accept those you love for who they are, idiosyncrasies and all. Aim to love them more while judging them less.
6. Begin Each Day with Peace
To prevent stress from pervading your life, approach each, new day with thankfulness and peace. Consider beginning your morning with a peaceful activity such as:
- Listening to the birds sing while sipping a cup of coffee on your front porch
- Reading a few, inspirational quotes
- Watching a sitcom you enjoyed viewing when you were a kid
- Kissing your significant other
- Watching your kids sleep
Stress has an undeniable way of dampening both your productivity and happiness. Thankfully, eliminating stress isn’t an impossibility. If you’re ready to start your journey to a more peaceful existence, consider adhering to one or more of the aforementioned tips today.