inner peace and happiness heart

Inner Peace and Happiness

Introduction

Find Inner Peace and Happiness with These Tips.

Simplify Your Life

One Day at a Time

Speak Up, Learn to Say No and Be Genuine

Learn to Accept, Forgive and Move On

Set Goals and Celebrate Victories

De-Clutter, Everything!

Live with Intention

Put the Screens Down and Unplug

Serve Others

Be Happier by Being Mindful and Positive

What is Mindfulness?

How Does Being Mindful and Positive Enhance Happiness?

Applying Mindfulness & Positivity in Real Life

Be Selfish when Necessary  (Stop Trying to Please Everyone) 

Signs You May Be A People-Pleaser

Reasons to End the People-Pleasing Pattern

Tips to Stop Trying to Please Everyone

You Deserve This

Enjoy the Sunshine and Get Happy

Sunshine & Vitamin D

Sunshine & the Circadian Rhythm

Sunshine & Serotonin

Sunshine in Relation to Anxiety & Depression

Sunshine & Happiness

Be Grateful – Secret to Happiness

Mental Health

Social & Relationships

Work World

Physical Health

Personal Growth

Want More Happiness?  

Get Grateful!

Conclusion

 Disclaimer

All the material written in this post is provided for informational purposes only and is general in nature.

Every person is a unique individual and what has worked for some or even many may not work for you. Any information perceived as advice must be considered in light of your own particular set of circumstances.

The author or person sharing this information does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or outcome of your use of the content.

Every attempt has been made to provide well researched and up to date content at the time of writing. Now that all the legalities have been taken care of, please enjoy the content.

 Introduction

There is no doubt that in the absence of a healthy emotional state, happiness is all but impossible. When a person’s lack of emotional wellness is not a temporary state, but ‘the norm’, happiness will be an elusive and fleeting  wish.

Our personal happiness is tied to all aspects of our life – physical, mental and emotional, as well as our reality and perceived reality, which can be very different.

Underpinning all, as far as creating and maintaining happiness is our emotional wellness. Of course this is affected by the other aspects, but they are just as affected by our emotional health, often more so.

Also, whereas some other facets of our lives may be more fixed, our emotional wellbeing is something that we each have the ability to control and improve.

This report is not a wishy-washy outline about the ‘why’. It is packed with practical methods, that if followed, will help anyone improve their emotional health and in so doing, increase their happiness.

Find Inner Peace and Happiness with These Tips

Let’s face it.  Life gets incredibly hectic at times and sometimes we lose our grip on inner peace.  And happiness?  Who even knows the definition of that anymore?  Times have changed so much in the last hundred years, folks seem to attach a dollar sign on their level of happiness. 

The next big promotion, the next big purchase.  A bigger house, a fancier car. 

Instead of thinking of happiness as tangible, find that will make you happy from the inside out.  Getting rid of stress and achieving inner peace usually does the trick. 

The problem is in maintaining that level of bliss.  It takes work and sometimes a complete lifestyle overhaul, depending on your sources of stress and strife.

Here are some ideas on how to get started obtaining inner peace and happiness:

Simplify Your Life

 If you ever feel like you’re constantly running in circles or chasing your tail, it’s time to simplify things.  Complicated isn’t better; it’s just… well, it’s just complicated.  Establishing a daily routine is a good starting point.

Keeping an agenda or calendar so you know what to expect of yourself, and others, on a daily basis.  Break down bigger projects into smaller, more manageable tasks so you don’t get overwhelmed.  Take breaks and don’t forget to be in the moment.

One Day at a Time

 Learning from past mistakes is a great tool, but if you are living in the past, you aren’t living today.  Likewise, if you are worrying about what might happen in the future, you also aren’t in the moment, here and now, today. 

Everybody has regrets and things they wish they had done a different way.  That’s part of life.  Without experiencing things, we have no point of reference for the future. 

You can only live life one day at a time.  You can only be in this moment for as long as it lasts.  You’ll have more energy and brain power to concentrate on today if you are fully present.

Speak Up, Learn to Say No and Be Genuine

 If you don’t speak up, no one will know when they have breached a boundary.  Boundaries are critical for maintaining inner peace.  It’s okay to say no to people if you don’t have the time or resources to fulfill a request. 

If you are genuine with yourself and others, they will respect you more for saying no anyway.  If you overwhelm yourself you will probably end up doing a subpar job, disappointing both yourself and the person you obliged.

Learn to Accept, Forgive and Move On

 Perseverating over small details, things that don’t really have a noticeable effect on your life, causes you more strife than the situation or person with whom are you dealing.  Accept that you can’t really change people any more than someone has the power to change you.  If you’ve been wronged, be quick to forgive.

Holding on to resentment and hurt feelings is a breeding ground for anxiety, stress, and misery.  Let go.  Move forward.  Forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean forgetting, but it does mean cleansing your mind and body of the pain and growing from whatever caused you pain.

Set Goals and Celebrate Victories

 Goals are important in life.  Just because you are looking for inner peace doesn’t mean you don’t want to do better, achieve more and have great success.  And when you hit a goal-mark, celebrate! 

If you reward yourself for a job well done, you are likely to put in the same amount of effort in obtaining the next goal on the list.  It’s motivating and very effective.

De-Clutter, Everything!

 This goes along with keeping things simple, except here it isn’t just about processes and daily chores.  You can declutter a cabinet, and you can declutter your friends list.  You can get rid of old clothes and you can get rid of toxic relationships.  All of these things create a wall between you and inner peace.

Live with Intention

 Be intentional in how you live your life, the relationships you cultivate, the goals you set and especially the things you say and do.  Words can cut like a knife, so choose them carefully.

Put the Screens Down and Unplug

 You’ve got to take time for yourself.  Self-care is a huge part of obtaining inner peace.  You are less likely to be at peace with a screen 4 inches from your face swiping through emails and social media sites.  Designate time to be completely unplugged.

Serve Others

 Give back to the community.  Volunteer at a nonprofit that resonates with you.  Donate items to a shelter or group home.  There are countless opportunities to serve others and the benefits received are astounding.  Helping others feels good.  It provides a sense of purpose and accomplishment. 

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to live a life filled with inner peace and happiness.  You just have to find the right combination that suits your needs and lifestyle.  Be open to change and participate in new activities.  You are responsible for your own inner peace and happiness, no one else can do it for you. 

 Be Happier by Being Mindful and Positive

It would be fair to say happiness is a state of mind.  Something we intentionally seek and practice to maintain.  Therefore, being mindful and positive could be methods to achieve the goal of happiness. 

So, the question really is, how do we apply mindfulness and positivity to reach the level of happiness we desire? 

What is Mindfulness?

 Before going any further, we must define mindfulness.  We can’t really apply a technique we can’t explain, now can we? 

A common description of mindfulness is being present, in any given moment, without judgment.  That doesn’t really clear anything up, nor does it seem doable. 

Humans are a judgmental brood, particularly critical of self, but often pointing out the flaws in others.  And not necessarily to be mean or catty, but to rate ones’ own progress and know what to steer clear of based on past events. 

A more applicable definition of mindfulness is: 

Slowing down and observing the present moment with intention and purpose. 

We take a single moment in time and utilize our senses, environment and feelings to assess the situation.  We don’t persecute ourselves for emotions; we allow them to be felt, and then move on. 

For instance, mindful eating would include tasting every flavor, savoring every bite, delighting in the aroma, and chewing thoroughly before swallowing and providing nourishment to our body. 

This technique can be applied to virtually every aspect of our lives.  Being mindful of our decisions and way of living really causes one to think deeply before reacting.  Mindfulness saves face, especially in high-stress situations.

 How Does Being Mindful and Positive Enhance Happiness?

There are many benefits of being mindful and positive, and pretty much all of them promote an increased level of happiness both directly and indirectly.  Take a glance at the following list and decide for yourself if it’s worth a shot for a happier life.

Mindfulness…

  • Establishes greater focus and attention levels
  • Decreases stress, anxiety and tension
  • Increases creativity
  • Promotes a balanced life
  • Enhances a deeper connection to self
  • Strengthens personal relationships
  • Boosts performance levels at work and play
  • Lowers heart rate and blood pressure
  • Augments mental and physical well-being
  • Acts as a buffer against anxiety and depression
  • Magnifies our working memory
  • Enables clear thinking
  • Diminishes emotional triggers

Quite a list, right?  There’s really no drawback to experiencing mindful practices and incorporating this into our daily lives. 

Now let’s look at some of the advantages of a positive attitude:

Positivity…

  • Strengthens confidence levels
  • Builds self-esteem
  • Energizes our body and mind
  • Gives peace of mind
  • Enables more pleasant interactions in social situations
  • Deepens relationships
  • Fosters quality sleep
  • Stimulates our overall sense of purpose

Couple mindfulness with a positive attitude and you’ve got a perfect recipe for increased happiness. 

Applying Mindfulness & Positivity in Real Life

It all looks good in black and white, but how do you actually put these strategies to good use?  People often get intimated by mindful practices thinking they are too time-consuming or take a step back because it seems like hocus pocus, too gimmicky. 

Nothing worthwhile is really a piece of cake, and a mindful concept is no exception.  You will need to pay attention (see that, you were just thinking mindfully and probably didn’t even realize it), and if you really want to reap the many benefits for happier life, it can’t just be a one-and-done experience. 

Start small and work your way up to the big stuff.  There’s nothing to fear, unless you don’t like being happy. 

Here are some simple examples on incorporating mindfulness into everyday life:

  • 1-minute mindful breathing – focus only on your breathing for one full minute. If your mind starts wandering off, gently pull it back in and direct your focus again to breathing in, breathing out.

Feel the air as it enters your lungs.  Notice how the air smells and how it feels as your chest rises, slowly, with each breath.  Take note of any tension loosening up in your shoulders or neck. 

  • Take a mindful walk – Get outside and walk around the block or on a nature trail. Place your focus on your surroundings; the couple holding hands in the distance, the birds chirping in the trees, the rustling of the leaves, the feel of crisp air as it touches your face, the heat of the sunshine kissing your skin. Take it all in and enjoy every step.  
  • Mindful chores – If laundry is your most undesired chore, take a different approach and try it mindfully. As you are folding the clothes, focus on the smell of the clean clothes, the warmth of the clothes as they come out of the dryer, the way you feel as the piles of once crumpled clothes are now neatly folded and hung up, ready for use. You can turn any chore into a mindful exercise. 

When you take baby steps with mindfulness it doesn’t seem nearly as challenging or cumbersome.  It’s all about perception, much like a positive attitude.  As you continue your journey with mindfulness and positivity, it becomes habit. 

You’ll prefer utilizing the strategies over numbly fumbling through the day because positivity promotes more positivity.  In a manner of speaking, it’s contagious.  Which is the beauty of the entire process! 

 Be Selfish when Necessary  (Stop Trying to Please Everyone)

It’s impossible to please everyone all of the time, yet a people-pleaser will go out of their way to attempt just that.  Usually an indicator of a deeper issue, people pleasers go to great lengths seeking approval and adoration of others, and often feel guilt if they aren’t able to meet others’ needs.

From a psychological standpoint, the roots of trying to please everyone are deep-seated and commonly connected to low self-worth.  They tend to assign being kind as the culprit, when most likely there are some past issues with being treated poorly by others, thus they combat this by over-compensating through accommodating everyone else’s needs. 

Somewhere along the line it’s been instilled that doing things for yourself is selfish; you aren’t a good person unless you make everyone else happy, sometimes at the expense of your own happiness. 

Not only is that incorrect, it has terrible effects on health, both mental and physical.  It’s torturous to never feel good enough and as if no one will like you if you don’t oblige their requests.  It leads to feeling overwhelmed and resenting those continually expecting you meet their needs.

Signs You May Be A People-Pleaser

 If these signs resonate with you, there is a good chance you are dealing with people-pleasing tendencies. 

  • Pretend to agree with others, even if you don’t feel that way
  • Feel burdened by the multitude of tasks you’ve taken on
  • Have a hard time saying “No” to people
  • Go to great lengths to avoid conflict
  • Feel like others’ feelings are your fault or responsibility
  • Often say “I’m sorry”
  • Feel like a horrible person when you think someone is upset with you

Reasons to End the People-Pleasing Pattern

 Resentment toward others – Over time, when your needs aren’t being met you come to resent those who monopolize your time.

Lose your sense of self – When you are constantly doing for others, it becomes your purpose in life.  You begin to lose yourself; your goals, dreams and ambitions are always on the back burner.

Exhaustion – Taking on the responsibilities of others’ is tiresome and lonely, especially when you are sacrificing your own basic self-care needs so you don’t let others down.

Beat yourself down – Negative self-talk runs rampant because you are constantly letting yourself down; not because you’re unworthy, but because you’ve taken on more than you can possibly handle.

Compromised mental health – Depression and anxiety eat you alive.  There’s no light at the end of the tunnel so you cry it out, alone, and try to muster up enough energy and willpower to start another day.  You feel like nobody would care if you were unhappy anyway, so why say anything?

Compromised physical health – You often suffer from poor nutrition while eating on the run, neglect your body by foregoing routine exercise and quality sleep is basically nonexistent.  Uncontrolled blood pressure, cholesterol issues and blood sugar spikes are common due to stress, fast food and energy drinks.  

Tips to Stop Trying to Please Everyone

The first, and possibly the most important thing you need to wrap your head around: 

Taking care of yourself is not selfish.

 In fact, when you take care of yourself you are able to offer a better version of yourself instead of the exhausted, beatdown and overwhelmed version of yourself you currently represent.  Do the math.  If you are split into four equal parts, doing tasks for four others that require attention and care, you can only give 25% to each party.

Stopping the cycle is necessary for your own mental and physical health and wellness.  Stopping the cycle is imperative for achieving happiness and a life filled with joy.  Stopping is possible! 

Start small and work your way up to the more challenging aspects.  It’s okay to take baby steps; it’s not okay to blame others for your inability to be assertive and say no.  The truth is, people can’t use you and take advantage of you if you don’t allow them to

Here are a few ways to get the ball rolling:

Make YOU a priority.  Do something for you, every single day.  Paint your nails, take a nap, read, journal, take a walk, prepare a homecooked meal; whatever your heart desires.  Just make sure it’s your desire.

Say “No” to something small.  It’s hard at first, which is why using being progressive is so useful.

Express an authentic opinion.  The next time you’re asked for your opinion about something, give a sincere answer.  It’s not an argument, it’s just an opinion; and yours may bring a whole new light on the situation that nobody else considered.

Realize you have a choice.  People-pleasing becomes an automatic response.  You do have a choice in any matter and you are also the only one in control of you. 

Set a timeframe.  When being pressured to do something for someone else, set a timeframe and stick to it.  “I’m available from 3-5pm tomorrow.” 

No excuses.  When someone asks you for a favor, saying “No, I’m sorry, but I can’t fit that into my schedule” is plenty enough.  If you offer excuses, “It’s my laundry day” or “I have to go grocery shopping,” you leave yourself open to others attempting to rearrange your schedule or even minimizing your other commitments so theirs appears more important. 

You Deserve This

The main objective with progressively being more and more assertive is to gain confidence.  You’ll also find that most people aren’t going to get angry with you or dislike you because you aren’t available.

Usually they are too busy thinking of the next person they can ask to be mad at you.  This is your perception and it’s probably based more on fear or rejection than reality of the situation.  Over time your self-worth will make great leaps and bounds as you discover how important you are to yourself! 

You are worthy of happiness; you just have to learn to identify what you need and ask for it!

 Enjoy the Sunshine and Get Happy

Oh summer!  How we miss you when you aren’t here!  If you are lucky, you live in a place where you get to experience the delights of all four seasons.  And if you’re really lucky, you live in a climate where summer seems to last most of the year.  Sunshine does wonders for the body, mind and spirit!

For many years scientists and researchers have been studying the positive effects of sunlight.  It doesn’t take a medical degree to know how sunshine feels as it gently kisses your skin, brightens your mood, awakens your body and changes the way you live versus the other seasons. 

There isn’t much surfing, boating and swimming going on in the winter months.  But during the summertime, many of us get the itch to be outdoors, soaking up the rays and being active. 

Sunshine & Vitamin D

 The sun provides us with a good dose of vitamin D.  It’s natural.  It’s free.  And it’s healthy.  In small doses, 15-20 minutes of daily sunshine, the sun triggers the production of vitamin D in our body.  And vitamin D has been scientifically linked to all sorts of benefits.

  • Improved bone and teeth health.
  • Aids in healing skin disorders: psoriasis, eczema, jaundice and acne. 
  • Facilitates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
  • Builds a stronger immune system.

In addition, much research has shown a direct link between depression and vitamin D-deficiency.  This is why many doctors order a vitamin D level on patients with symptoms of depression.

Sunshine & the Circadian Rhythm

We all have an internal clock (not the same at the baby-fever causing biological clock) called the circadian rhythm.  It is the 24-hour cycle of light and dark is what our brain uses to determine if we are alert or tired. 

Also called the sleep/wake cycle, our brain knows when it’s time to rise and shine and when it’s time to hit the sack.  In a healthy circadian rhythm, when the sun is up and beaming, our brain is also sending signals for us to be active. 

Sunshine & Serotonin

 Serotonin, the “happy hormone,” is produced in our brain when we are exposed to sunlight.  Likewise, when it is dark the brain produces melatonin, the sleepy hormone. 

Therefore, during sunny days it is safe to say the increased production of serotonin is good for our mood and happiness.  Serotonin isn’t nicknamed the “happy hormone” for no reason!

Sunshine in Relation to Anxiety & Depression

 During sunny seasons, we live differently.  The sunshine influences how we live our lives.  We spend more time outdoors and in nature.  Starting in early childhood we are also taught to love and look forward to the summer months when school let out. 

Playing outside until the street lights came on, hanging out with our friends and playing kickball in the street.  We couldn’t get enough time outside!  It was pure joy!

For someone with anxiety, being outside and experiencing nature at its finest has a calming effect.  There is such an incredible and natural beauty in the sunrise.  Slowly, minute by minute, the sky brightens, birds begin to chirp, the dew on the grass twinkles as the sunlight peaks over the horizon to feed and nurture the planet.  It’s mesmerizing to say the least.

Also, those with depression, as mentioned above, might also have a vitamin D deficiency.  And even if that’s not the case, mental health counselors often prescribe “sunshine therapy” for those battling depression. 

They urge their clients to get outside and go for a walk when the depression is dictating them to veg on the couch or sleep all day long.  The idea is to break the cycle of depression and push the mind into a different state of mind; occupy the mind with an activity versus sitting idle and feeling even worse.

Sunshine & Happiness

 It’s not hard to see the correlation between sunshine and happiness with all of the above-listed positive effects.  Have you ever heard the saying “Fun in the sun”? 

There’s a lot of fun to be had under the warming rays of the sun.  There are countless happy vibes come spring that continue throughout summer and into early fall.  People begin to plant their gardens, community pools open for the season, and public parks are bursting with people. 

Leaves are all shades of green and flowers are blooming.   It’s the beginning of the life cycle; a new day, new life.  It’s symbolic to the core.  And though we may not process the beauty in every moment anew, we are sure happier when the sun is shining!

  Be Grateful – Secret to Happiness

Happy people aren’t grateful; grateful people are happy.

Let that sink in.

In such a busy and fast-paced world, we often don’t take the time to be truly grateful.  The funny thing about gratitude; it’s a contagious loop. 

Think back to a time when someone said something nice to you or did something nice for you without expectation. 

Maybe your boss complimented your work ethic, or your spouse warmed up your car for you on a cold winter morning.  Did that spur the notion to then do something nice for them or even someone else? 

Probably so.  Now answer the next question:  Did you want to reciprocate because you felt grateful or because you felt obligated?

If your desire was to pay it forward, you’re on the right track!  However, if you felt like you owed a return gesture, you probably would benefit from learning more about the beauty of a grateful attitude. 

Being grateful leads to more happiness and a deeper connection with others, as well as yourself.

We have broken down the benefits living a grateful life into five main categories.  Peruse the following amazing advantages of living gratefully and decide for yourself if it’s worth integrating into your life.

Mental Health

  •  Less anxiety and depression – focus is on what you have instead of stressing over the past or worrying about the future.
  • More relaxed – a grateful heart is a calm heart.
  • Improved resilience – when adversity strikes, a grateful attitude bounces back faster.
  • More mindful – take time to smell the roses.

 Social & Relationships

  • Deeper connections with people – grateful people engage on a different level with people, a deeper level.
  • Quality over quantity in relationships – it’s never about quantity to a grateful person; quality always wins.
  • More outgoing in social circles – comfort level increased in social situations and you’re more likely to participate in things you would have turned your nose up at before.
  • Appreciated by others – deemed a positive lifeforce in the lives of others and they appreciate your relationship.

Work World

  •  Improved relationship with superiors, coworkers and subordinates – communication improves, stress levels aren’t quite as high and grateful people are fair people.
  • Greater level of respect – your work is valued and those around you develop a desire to mimic your style and ethics.
  • Easier to work with in group projects/tasks – because you are reliable, steady, always point out the good and value the opinions of others makes it easy to work with you on a project.
  • Increased chances for career advancement – being grateful means you aren’t spiteful or ultra-competitive; you know your work will be seen and you take pride in a job well done.

 Physical Health

  •  Longer lifespan – happy and less stressed people live longer, fuller lives.
  • Improved energy levels – less stress and a happy disposition are key components for increased energy.
  • Less sickness – immune system doesn’t take a beating by negative energy.
  • More sound, quality sleep – going to bed with a grateful heart and a mind at ease pave the way for good sound sleep.

Personal Growth

  •  Less concern with material possessions – you know things don’t make you happy, so no need to perseverate over what you do or don’t have.
  • More optimistic – being grateful goes hand-in-hand with being optimistic; pessimism and negativity aren’t productive or warranted.
  • Less negative self-talk – while you are appreciating everyone and everything else, you learn to appreciate yourself and do away with destructive self-talk.
  • Improved confidence – now that the negative self-talk is a thing of the past, your confidence and self-esteem gets a mighty lift as you think of yourself in a more positive manner.
  • Look forward to the future – even when you’re down on your luck, the future is filled with possibilities and great things when you have a grateful mindset.

 Want More Happiness?  Get Grateful!

As you can see from the five lifestyle categories listed above, living a grateful life touches virtually aspect and every relationship.  You can change your life for the better just by being grateful.  It doesn’t cost a penny and the benefits are astounding! 

You really only need a few minutes a week to get started.  And it will take a couple months or more before it actually sticks and becomes habit, but you’ll be so glad when it does. 

Below you’ll find an excellent way to jumpstart your plan for becoming happier and more grateful.

Once a week:

 Write three things you are grateful for at the end of each week in a journal.

  1. Compliment a stranger about anything except a physical possession; you liked the way they handled a situation or the way they were patient in the checkout line, etc.
  1. Tell a loved one or friend something you appreciate about them each week.

That’s it.  Those three things.  Total time necessary is less than five minutes.  And in time your grateful spirit will start spilling out into other areas and become reflexive. 

You won’t even really have to make yourself aware of what you should be grateful for, it will just happen.  That’s the beauty of it.  It’s like a muscle.  You have to give it a routine workout to see the benefits. 

Pretty soon it becomes like muscle memory and works on its own, providing you with a happier and more fulfilling life. 

Conclusion

It is very empowering to realize and accept that happiness is not solely related to our situation, but also our perceptions.

It is even more so to understand that by changing our perceptions we can make huge changes to our reality, our physical lives and circumstances.

Instead of resigning ourselves to benignly accepting our lot, we have the ability to build up our emotional health, increase our happiness and change our lives.

This report has provided very practical, doable and achievable methods of increasing your emotional wellness.

Follow the suggestions, start small but be persistent, and feel the magic of being happy, instead of dreaming about it.

Let’s face it, life is tough. It’s ever-changing, fast-paced and can leave you feeling out of sorts. If left unchecked, it can quickly drag you down.

But just because it can drag you down, doesn’t mean it has to…

You have total control of how life affects you. When you focus on becoming the best you possible, you take the power away from external sources of negativity and stress. You choose if or how something affects your life. You become more resilient, more successful and a whole lot happier.   

Becoming a better version of yourself costs nothing. It doesn’t take a lot of time or energy. It’s a process that involves making small, daily choices that combined, lead to your best life.

If you want to challenge yourself to grow in new and exciting ways, sign up now to receive your guide – a 13 page report with 101 ideas for becoming a better you.

101 ways to a better me
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