The past gives us worry and the future too. But as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “what lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies within you.” It is important to cultivate inner peace. It will make all aspects of life better.
Reconcile with others
If you are mad or upset with someone you care about, talk to them, or let it go. Don’t let grief remain between you and a loved one. Either way, don’t let the negativity nest inside you because it will take root and grow.
We all screw up, and life is too short to burden ourselves with guilt. If you have made an error, correct it or apologize for it, but then you must forgive yourself. We are our own harshest judge.
Burn some calories
Exercise—be it walking, running, biking, etc.—burns stress away. It’s good for the body and the mind. Working hard or playing hard can be good for resolving the noises in your head. A walk in nature adds its calming force as well. For that matter …
Get into nature
Henry David Thoreau says it best. “I love nature; I love the landscape, because it is so sincere. It never cheats me. It never jests. It is cheerfully, musically earnest.” Nature is our natural re-energizer.
Organize your surroundings
It is hard to have internal peace when your external environment is a mess. Take some time to organize your living or working space, or at least your relaxing space. By controlling some aspect of your surroundings, you exercise the power to change your thoughts and feelings.
Meditate (alone or guided)
Meditation does not have to involve physical contortions or incense. True meditation is simply aiming one’s vision inwards. It can begin with a focus on one’s own breathing, and with practice, it can transform the way you interact with the world around you. A guided meditation literally has a guide to steer your mental imagery. This is especially good if, like many people, you can’t meditate well on your own. You can find guided meditations all over the internet, including YouTube and sites like http://www.audiodharma.org and https://www.freebuddhistaudio.com/meditation/.
Focus on the now
The past is gone and cannot be changed. The future is a dream we cannot yet change. Right now is the only time and place we can effect. So be in the present. Don’t take a picture of a rose to look at later; see the rose.
See the good in you
Instead of feeling badly about the parts of you that you don’t like, find some parts of yourself that you do like. Can you draw or sing? Are you especially patient with strangers? Are you good at making money? Whatever it is, see these things that you like about yourself as your strengths and figure out how to put those things to good use.
Retreat to solitude
Find some time to be alone. Not, with-someone-else-alone, but alone-alone. Where you do this is not as important as the silence and stillness. Of course, those things are not easy to find or make in our chaotic world, so plan your alone time in advance.
Random acts of kindness
Did your neighbor just drop his/her mail? Go and help them. Is your waitress in a bad mood? Write her a poem on a paper napkin. You get the idea. Do to others like you would want them to do to you.
There you have it. Eleven blessed steps to calm the storm inside you and progress on your path to inner peace.