There’s more to being a healthy person than eating right and exercising. Of course these are very important, crucial in fact, but are only two-thirds of the equation. If we are hitting the gym six times a week, eating only healthy meals, and are stressed, negative, and hateful inside, what good are we really doing our bodies? More importantly, what good are we doing our minds and our hearts? We could do all the cardio in the world to build the strongest heart we can, but without emotional balance and a positive outlook in life, our hearts are still as weak and strained as that of the sedentary. Anger and stress only weakens the mind and heart. If we’re ridding our body of toxins to become healthier, we must rid our minds of that which is toxic as well. As Marcus Tullius Cicero says, “In a disordered mind, as in a disordered body, soundness of health is impossible.”
Here are some ways to help find peace of mind:
- Breathe- Take a deep breath in for 5 seconds through your nose, hold for 5 seconds, and slowly breathe out through pursed lips for 5 seconds. Do this several times and remind yourself that you’re breathing in the good and breathing out the bad. Deep, slow breathing counteracts the effects of stress by slowing heart rate and lowering blood pressure.
- Vocalize– Tell someone how their actions affected you instead of holding it in and building resentment. Be sure to do it in a positive and productive way and stay honest. And in return, LISTEN! Sometimes this is the hardest part.
- Forgive- No matter the intensity of pain the person may have once brought you, it’s in the past and it’s only continuing to pain you by holding on to it. The anger will only destroy you, it often does not even affect the other person. “Unforgiveness is choosing to stay trapped in a jail cell of bitterness, serving time for someone else’s crime.” It takes real strength to give someone a piece of your heart rather than a piece of your mind. Let Karma teach the lesson, not you.
- Apologize– We’re human, we make mistakes, and we fix them and move on. Apologize and then choose to forgive yourself. And if we don’t see that we did something wrong, but perhaps someone was hurt by it- think about this quote: “Apologizing does not always mean that you’re wrong; it means that you value your relationship with that person and your own wellbeing more than your ego.”
- Listen– Play your favorite song and maybe even dance along. It’s funny how an upbeat tune or lyrics can instantly change our moods.
- Clean– Have a messy house? Don’t focus on the house; focus on the space, the room, the one assignment. Declutter an individual space in your home, creating even one peaceful area.
- Be Present– Enjoy the good things about today instead of scheming to create a better future. The past always has good memories. And the present is the future’s past.
- Be Kind– Do something for someone without expecting anything back. It’s easy to forget how rewarding it is to help others instead of only helping ourselves. There is always someone within reach who could use a helping hand or even just an ear. If they ask what they can do in return, tell them to pay it forward.
- Smile!-It is the quickest stress reliever and happiness booster. And it’s free, pretty, and addictive. Even better, smile at someone else (maybe a stranger) and make it contagious, you may just make their day.
- Rest– Your body needs time to recoup from stressful events. If we’re burdened by a decision, “sleeping on it” is often the best solution.
- Practice Gratitude– Be grateful for what you have learned from the situation or be grateful to not HAVE to deal with the stress anymore unless you choose to. If you feel there is no positive in the situation, reflect on a positive in your life as well. Be grateful for the people and the things in life you may take for granted. One day, you may not have them. Today, you have them to hold and cherish.
- Talk with a friend– Friends know how to make you smile, if not laugh. Sometimes we need to vent to someone for 5 minutes whom we know will care to listen and help. If venting, let it out and let it go. Let someone help, don’t bring someone down with you. And sometimes, we don’t even need to talk about the pain. By being with a loved one (family, friends, significant other) is all we need to close our eyes and laugh without even seeing the pain pass by.
- Dream-Let yourself daydream. This is like a mini vacation in the middle of the day. Daydreaming helps you to learn and recuperate. Children daydream all the time, and look how happy it makes them. We should learn from our little ones. We’ve forgotten with all the chaos of adulthood how important, powerful, and productive it is to escape into our imagination.
- Surrender–Be prepared to let go of your attachments to any particular outcome. The only time you should ever look back is to see how far you’ve come. Learn that to succumb does not mean that you lose. Let life lead you down unexpected roads and you will find that the outcome is better than you could have imagined. And I truly believe that you do not attract what you want, you attract what you are. If you are bad or negative, you attract bad and negative. If you are good, you attract good.