How to promote peace and contentment
Be realistically positive
Sure, life has horrible bits, very horrible bits in fact, but you CAN learn the skill of looking for solutions rather than pessimistically going over the same things in your mind. When we churn the same information over in our minds without looking for possible solutions, we end up downtrodden and miserable. If there is no present solution to a problem, possibly due to the fact that it is something beyond your control, it is also possible to learn the skill of ‘mental shelving’. Put it aside, distract yourself but be firm with yourself when there is no longer any action you can take towards a situation. For example – someone has betrayed you and left you feeling hurt. If there is an action to be taken to alleviate or rectify the situation, do it. If you have done your bit and you are now waiting for a response or there is no action you can take, it is a waste of your mental and emotional energy to spend too much time dwelling on it. Focus back on the present moment and on what is within your immediate control. This takes practise and isn’t an exact science but it is a skill that can be learned and improved upon and it WILL lead you closer to peace and contentment.
You have choices
This may seem a harsh and blunt statement but you can CHOOSE how much you want a situation to affect you. The thoughts in your head and your attitude are your choice. Think about it. It is for you to decide what is important in your life and what isn’t. If you don’t want something to overwhelm you and be overly important, it doesn’t have to be. There is always a way to look at something, or a story you can tell yourself to make a situation appear less threatening or upsetting. The thoughts and beliefs we choose will affect the level an intensity of the attached emotions. Learn to challenge your thoughts, they are perceptions of reality, not reality itself and there can be a VAST difference between them. I see how clients get upset over situations and torture themselves for ages with their thinking, only to find out later that the way they viewed the situation was completely inaccurate and that they made faulty assumptions. They have therefore spent precious moments of their lives unhappy and sad when there was no reason for it. Be selective with the thoughts you decide to believe and focus on. There will always, always be another way to view a situation that will lead you to feeling more peace and contentment.
Limit time brooding
Ask yourself how long you want to spend thinking about something and letting it get the better of you. Ask yourself if this type of mental activity is helpful. Allowing negative, worrisome thoughts to stay for longer than necessary is purely a form of masochism.
Don’t take yourself so seriously
Learn to see the humorous side of life and never take yourself too seriously. See your time on this earth as a chance to experiment and have fun. The end result is the same and whilst you are here on this ‘physical plane’ you have the chance to affect those around you, when you are gone that opportunity is lost. Lose your fear, get out there and do what you want. Embrace fear and uncertainty and have a good laugh at the same time. If you take yourself too seriously you can reduce your chance for peace and contentment.
No one likes risking it, especially in relationships where we risk rejection and abandonment (one of my greatest fears!). Learn to be brave and express yourself in relationships when there is ambiguity. Put yourself out there a little, the other person may be just as scared as you are.
Test the waters gently if need be but dip your toe in. Live a life full of life lessons than one where you look back and feel you lost many opportunities. Instead of constantly reacting to another person’s moods, learn to set the tone and express your wants and wishes too.
Being proactive helps us to feel like masters over our destinies…we can sometimes be in the lead rather than passively going with the flow.
There are many clever ways to protect your mood and buffer yourself from the wild elements of life. This is goes on internally – it really is true: happiness is an inside job.