04.24.17

5 Ways to Find Peace

WHEN YOU’RE FALLING TO PIECES

You guys, life is hard! Recently I have had many close friends share with me such hard things they are going through. It literally breaks my heart for them and their families! I want to just bundle them up in the coziest blanket, wrap my arms around them and take all their problems away. All I can do is share what I have learned through my journey, and hope and pray it helps them.

FINDING PEACE

5 ways to find peace

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These same friends recently asked me how I have found peace while dealing with anxiety and depression. At first, I wasn’t sure what to tell them because it wasn’t just one thing that helped me, so I named 10 different things that helped. I left them feeling so overwhelmed, they didn’t know where to start and they left almost more lost than before asking me for help. SOOO I have come up with the 5 main things that helped me find peace when I was completely falling to pieces. I am so excited to share them with you, and hope they help you find the peace you are searching for!

1. Attitude of Gratitude

Think back to the joy you felt the last time a friend helped you out or your spouse helped with dinner—you can’t help but feel happiness right? A growing mound of evidence shows that giving thanks can also have a lasting effect on your mood, ease stress, and help you set priorities. A study from the University of Pennsylvania found that people who wrote and delivered a heartfelt thank-you letter actually felt these effects for a full month after, and the same researchers discovered that writing down three positive things each day for a week kept happiness levels high for up to six months. Amazing right?

5 ways to find peace

Take time to write your blessings down and then remind yourself throughout your day and develop an overall attitude of gratitude.  This is a great way to ease stress, set priorities, and focus on what’s important in  your life!

2. Forgive and Forget

5 ways to find peace

I found that during my darkest days of depression I was not only feeling down in the dumps about life but I was also so mad at myself. Mad that I couldn’t be the mom and wife my family needed me to be. Not only was I mad at myself, but I was also harboring anger towards my sweet husband. I was being eaten alive by guilt and resentment. It wasn’t until I forgave myself that I could begin to heal and move forward.

Forgiving ourselves or others for wrong doings sets us free. Think of people who you may be harboring ill feelings towards and forgive them. This may take time, it may hurt and may not be easy. In the end it will be worth it!

3.Look For The Good

5 ways to find peace

If you are looking for the bad, you will surely find it! Try reprograming your mind to see the good. This takes practice and work, but can bring you so much joy and peace!

My husband and I were sitting on a park bench in Central Park, we were people watching (Central Park has some prime people watching). We were watching the exact same scenario unfold in front of us, but our outlooks on this scenario were completely different. My husband was seeing the good in people and in life and I couldn’t stop focusing on the negative and how bad people were. It was a really eye opening experience for me. I decided on that park bench to see the good. It has been hard work, and to be honest I still struggle with it, but I am here to tell you there is good in everyone and every situation. Look for the good.

 

4. Live In The Moment

“Mindfulness is a state of active, open attention on the present. When you’re mindful, you observe your thoughts and feelings from a distance, without judging them good or bad. Instead of letting your life pass you by, mindfulness means living in the moment and awakening to experience.”

Don’t let life pass you by; live in the moment. When I read that quote, I felt like I had been slapped in the face. Living in the moment or being mindful was a whole new concept to me. I was first introduced to it when I started seeing my counselor. I had heard the terms but I didn’t completely understand the concept. When my counselor explained this to me I was slapped in the face again, I finally knew what I had been doing wrong for almost three decades: I had been letting life pass me by. I was simply a bystander. I don’t want to be a bystander anymore. I don’t want to go to bed at night wondering where my day went. I don’t want to wake up twenty years from now not knowing what I’ve done with my life. I was letting my anxiety and depression live my life for me. I was living afraid of the future and guilt of the past.

Anxiety, an illness of our time, comes primarily from our inability to live in the moment -Thich Nhat Hanh

Living in the moment frees us from the events of the past and the fear of the future. When we are able to just live for the moment we are able to enjoy life for what it is.

5. Simplify

One aspect of simplifying is decluttering your life. So I ask you, what does your bedroom look like? Or what about your desk at work? I know that when I am stressed, my bedroom and closet become the catch all for life. They become super cluttered and it seems that every item that doesn’t have a home gets set on my dresser. My bedroom should be a haven for me and my husband but instead it becomes a dump station. Your mess is a reflection of you and your state of being. Simplify. Declutter your life physically and mentally.

Developing routines is another way to simplify life. Knowing what you’re going to do next and being consist in those actions brings a peace of mind. Set doable routines and practice those routines everyday. Notice the peace this brings. For example, my kids and I have a morning routine that we follow. My children know what to expect each morning and things flow so much better when we follow that routine.

5 ways to fins peace

 

I hope applying these 5 concepts into your life can help you find peace like they have for me. I know It is so much easier to stay stuck in a rut or throw yourself a pity party (trust me, I got really good at throwing pity parties). So I challenge you to start finding your peace! It is worth it and so are YOU!

XOXO

Sarah

PC: Nicole Maxfield www.colemaxfieldphotography.com

 

 

 

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