In our fast-paced world, where stress and anxiety often take the front seat, finding what gives you peace of mind has become more crucial than ever. It’s about discovering those serene moments or activities that allow us to breathe, reflect, and find calmness amidst the chaos.

Whether it’s through meditation, spending time in nature, or indulging in a hobby that brings joy, identifying these personal sanctuaries is key to maintaining mental and emotional well-being.

Do you know anyone who is mostly at peace, whatever rolls their way? It takes daily effort, but is entirely worth the energy.  Here’s what works for me.

what gives you peace of mind

25 Ways to Find What Gives You Peace of Mind

  1. Practice mindfulness meditation, which can help you focus your mind and calm your thoughts.
  2. Lack of sleep can contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress, so try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  3. Regular exercise can help reduce stress and improve mood.
  4. Spending time in nature can be calming and restorative.
  5. Write down things you are grateful for each day to focus on the positive aspects of your life.
  6. Limit your exposure to news and social media and the anxiety they can produce.
  7. Practice deep breathing, to help you relax and calm your mind.
  8. Practice yoga, to help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
  9. Spend time with loved ones, for emotional support and connection.
  10. Letting go of anger and resentment can help you find inner peace.
  11. Creative activities like painting, drawing, or writing can be calming and meditative.
  12. Volunteer or helping others can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
  13. Taking breaks throughout the day can help you recharge and prevent burnout.
  14. Take care of yourself by practicing good hygiene, eating well, and doing things that make you feel good.
  15. Focus on the positive aspects of your life and practice positive self-talk.
  16. Accepting things you cannot change can help you find peace.
  17. Music can help calm your mind and reduce stress.
  18. Take a hot bath or shower, as warm water can be soothing and help you relax.
  19. Visualize yourself in a peaceful and calming place.
  20. Be kind and gentle with yourself and practice self-compassion.
  21. Journaling can help you process your thoughts and emotions.
  22. Prioritize your tasks and schedule your time to reduce stress and increase productivity.
  23. Setting boundaries and learning to say no can help you reduce stress and prioritize your own needs.
  24. If you are struggling with anxiety or depression, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor.
  25. Let go of grudges, forgive others and practice compassion towards them. It will bring a sense of calm and peacefulness in your mind.

Choose A Path

There are many different paths to get you through life. There are some things that ring true nearly universally, some paths that even individually, have the power to change your life.

Simply being somewhere on one of those paths builds on itself in such a way that it brings you even closer to a peaceful, beautiful and ever-expanding circle that returns rewards as you build on them. Closer to finding peace.

What is the key to peace of mind?

The best path toward peace is lined with substantial layers, of your choosing, to help you succeed in one way or another. Of healthy habits you fall back on without thinking.

It’s made of solid ground to walk on, motivation and encouragement to keep you going, the shade of trees to shelter you and friends to keep you company along the way.

Your best path towards peace is not necessarily the shortest one but the one filled with the layers that will get you where you want to go. My layers for a successful journey are gratitude, passion, mindfulness, grace and solidarity.

peaceful morning mist

Gratitude

Gratitude is one very definite way to find peace. It’s a form of self care that’s been massively popular for decades, and for a reason. It works. Several studies have shown that practicing gratitude on a regular basis enhances your overall happiness, improves sleep, and boosts immunity.

Have you tried it? If not, ask yourself why? You need to be honest, as your answer could easily be a clue to what’s holding you back from happiness in general.

If it’s not your thing though, there are other routes you can take. And should, even if you practice gratitude on a regular basis.

How to practice gratitude

Just start by finding ten things you are thankful for each day. Preferably ten new things each day.  My ten for today:

  • My dog’s wet nose on my forehead waking me up
  • Fireplaces
  • My youngest son’s work ethic
  • Drumsticks made with caramel sauce
  • Seven hours of solid sleep last night
  • The delightful and sometimes painful honesty of little kids
  • Social media breaks
  • Flexible hiking partners
  • Blue skies
  • My garden plants that survived the first, and second, cold snaps of winter

Mostly random stuff reflective of my day, things that made me smile at some point along the way. Sometimes it takes a little soul searching to identify what you’re grateful for, especially when you first get started.

Do it in the morning, the evening, or whenever you feel stress building. This simple habit will change your perspective over time, as long as you are more or less consistent with it.

Eventually you won’t even make a conscious effort to do so. You will find yourself throughout the day being thankful, being content with life. Pretty easy and extraordinarily powerful.

quiet sunrise in the snow

Passion

Passion is an intense enthusiasm about something; often contagious and bonding. People want to help others who have goals. It inspires them to be positive for others, it feels good and it inspires them to be positive for themselves as well.

I met someone the other day who is writing a blog to promote her adventure company for the LGBTQ. She was cheerful, full of hope and beyond excited about her projects. I hardly know her but will support her in this because she is being true to herself and is willing to work for it.

Passion, or purpose in life, has been correlated with healthier aging on almost every level, from reduced disease to better sleep. From less perceived stress to greater physical activity. It’s what makes life worth living and when you have it, you tend not to dwell on the negative around you.

You truly feel like you are making the most of your time and positive thoughts hang in the air around you.

How do you find your passion?

Start by asking yourself some soul-searching questions and answer yourself honestly.

  • What have you always wanted to do?
  • What would you do with your time if you didn’t have to save money/earn a living/had more energy?
  • What would you do if you knew you only had one year to live?
  • What is something that costs no money that gives you joy or you’ve always wanted to try?
  • What do you wish you were better at?

The answers to these questions should lead you in the direction you need to go. But if not, it’s enough to be open to new ideas all the time and know that eventually something will come your way. Maybe a new hobby, a new sport, a new book.

You have to be open to what’s out there, actively looking for something that sparks your joy. In so doing you will have tons of new experiences and create awesome memories along the way. You will find motivation to keep moving forward without even looking for it.

mindfulness in solitude

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a simple practice that settles you into the moment you are in. That if you’re really good with it, frees you from worry and anxiety and regret in that moment and beyond. It provides a buffer against life’s challenges and protects your peace of mind.

I think most of the world is not mindful and it shows. There are so many things out of our control – cancer, relationships, teen angst, aging parents, or no sour cream on taco night.

Being mindful is going to help with any problem because it gives you the perspective you need to handle it with creativity and humor. With less stress.

Mindfulness makes you a happier and less stressed person.

  • It makes relationships easier
  • It gives shade from the harsher elements that randomly come along in life
  • It makes space for perspective and realistic solutions to your problems
  • It slows down aging by reducing stress and all the stress-associated problems that come with it – heart disease, high blood pressure, anxiety, poor sleep, poor relationships and even over-eating.

If you develop a better understanding of the different ways to achieve mindfulness and find one, by trial and error, that works for you, you will feel a sense of massive relief in your own little world.  

But first you have to look.

There are many ways to practice mindfulness

  • Focus on the moment entirely, breathing deep and pushing out all other thoughts. What do you see, smell, hear, taste and feel? keep practicing until you get it right
  • Apps (Insight Timer, Smiling Mind, MyLife Meditation, Calm)
  • Websites (Mindful.orgdoyogawithme.com/yoga-meditationFragrant Heart)
  • Classes (through your local community, colleges, or online)
  • Books
    • Untamed, by Glennon Doyle
    • Wherever you go, there you are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
    • The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh
    • Practicing Mindfulness by Matthew Sockolov
  • Friends: ask your friends how they are mindful. It’s always amazing to me how people have incorporated this tiny practice into their daily lives and it’s a joy to discover that it works in ways you can’t even imagine.
  • Take steps toward well-being, one foot at a time

Wherever you begin, give it the time and attention it deserves. Perhaps think of it as a way of prioritizing self care. I have taken advantage of all these resources and return to them all from time to time, whenever I find myself reacting to life instead of choosing how I wish to live it.

solidarity among hikers

Solidarity

Solidarity is standing as one, united in a common purpose. Whatever your purpose, finding a group of people who truly support you and your endeavors will change your life. Having more than one is always a good idea, as it will connect you to even more people.

When you fill your world with people who lift each other up, you will find that you are naturally less inclined toward anything else. It builds on itself and you find there is a universe of support, for whatever you wish to do.

It took me fifty years to figure this out. Well, fifty years and a pandemic. Support without competition, rivalry or jealousy. You don’t have to settle for less. Support to do better than you did before in some way and you win, you all win, every time.

I have found that women compete with each other over almost everything. Looks, relationships, attention, hobbies, fitness, you name it. Society has taught us to compete with each other because it is profitable for them if we do.

But you don’t have to play that game.

When you let go of the need to compete with others, you give yourself permission to be who you are. When you compete only against yourself, you are essentially reminding yourself that not only are you doing the best you can, but that it’s enough.

Find the company of like-minded people and you are more likely to handle stress better. You accept each other for who you are and support each other without worrying about comparisons.

How to go in the direction of solidarity

  • Be true to yourself, who you are and who want to be. Nurture your own garden and you will find a world of people who have planted one too
  • Stop putting others down. In their presence and behind their backs, treat people the way you would like to be treated yourself
  • Lift others up when you can
  • Set goals that are true to you
  • Remind yourself, often, that you do not have to compete with others just because they’re competing with you
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Be grateful for what you have and who you are
  • Try to do better than you did the last time and nothing more

Like the others above, every step in this direction will lead you to the next one and ultimately, to peace of mind. When you find your path and walk with others of the same purpose, you’re never alone on your journey.

All of these are connected with one another. Taking baby steps toward any of them or giant leaps toward all of them will set you up for a happier existence.

The only thing missing from all of the above is kindness toward yourself. Grace is, in my opinion, a thoughtfulness toward others and to yourself.

what gives you peace of mind

Grace

As I look around I feel like this is something largely missing in our life with ourselves. For example, a relative once gave me a stunning garden decoration, an iridescent butterfly sculpted onto a rock that shimmered in the sunshine, blending in beautifully with the colors in my garden perfectly.

One day she came over and didn’t see it. Instead she saw all of the other decorations that stood out prominently amongst the flowers and somehow, came to the conclusion that I didn’t like her gift.

She commented that her gift had gone unappreciated, that I must not have liked it at all to not even put it somewhere in my yard, which I learned of later after she had gone.

The sad truth to this story is that her gift was there. She simply didn’t see it because the sun was not shining on it to highlight its’ brilliance. If I had known, I would have shown her.

If I had known, I would have explained that her gift was in fact my most favorite of them all.

Give yourself the courtesy of grace, every day and in every way.

You do not need to rely on others to treat yourself with kindness. In fact, you are the only one you can rely on to treat yourself well and for this reason alone, you should make it a priority.

  • Do not talk to yourself in a negative manner
  • Focus, really focus, on positive self talk
  • Focus on a growth mindset
  • Suspect the best in others
  • Understand that everyone has insecurities and yours are okay too; we are all a work in progress
  • Acknowledge your achievements
  • Forgive yourself for your perceived mistakes; learn from them and move on
  • Treat yourself with the kindness you normally save for everyone else

How can I change my perspective to achieve peace of mind?

Changing your perspective is crucial for achieving peace of mind. Recognizing that happiness and contentment are not solely dependent on external circumstances but more on one’s internal state and perspective can significantly contribute to peace of mind.

What practical activities can I engage in to find peace of mind?

Several practical activities are recommended for finding peace of mind, including reading for at least twenty minutes a day, spending some time alone, relaxing expectations about life, speaking with a therapist, and exercising regularly.

In addition, giving yourself time to heal, performing daily acts of kindness, getting extra sleep, opening up to someone you trust, taking a walk in nature, listening to classical or ambient music, and practicing gratitude can have a huge impact on your perspective.

These activities are designed to improve overall well-being by relaxing the mind, fostering a positive outlook, and reducing stress​​.

How can I integrate mindfulness and stoicism into my life to improve peace of mind?

Mindfulness and stoicism offer powerful frameworks for cultivating peace of mind. Mindfulness practices encourage living in the present moment and developing an awareness that can lead to reduced stress and anxiety.

Stoicism teaches the value of focusing on what is within one’s control and accepting what is not, thereby fostering a sense of inner peace despite external circumstances.

These philosophies suggest that by focusing on self-control and adopting a grateful and accepting attitude towards life, one can achieve a more peaceful and contented state of mind​​. The ideas listed above are helpful in incorporating these concepts into your daily life.

sunrise on mt rainier

Final Thoughts: What gives you peace?

All of these individually can help you find peace of mind.  Combined, they can solidify it for a lifetime of healthy perspective.

As you move forward, test out all of these tools eventually to create your own path forward, a path lined with layers of support to help you succeed.

A peaceful existence is not just a beautiful place to be, but a healthy one as well. One that will help you live longer too. The sooner you find this place and the better you are able to stay there, the happier you will be whatever your age.