5 Simple Ways to Increase Your Peace of Mind

by Henrik Edberg

Note: This is a guest post by Vlad Dolezal of An Amazing Mind.

While explaining stress management to an audience, the lecturer raised a glass of water and asked ‘How heavy is this glass of water?’  Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter.  It depends on how long you try to hold it.  If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem.  If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm.  If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance.  In each case, it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”

He continued, “And that’s the way it is with stress management.  If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, as the burden becomes increasingly heavy, we won’t be able to carry on.”

“As with the glass of water, you have to put it down for a while and rest before holding it again. When we’re refreshed, we can carry on with the burden.”

“So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down.  Don’t carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow.  Whatever burdens you’re carrying now, let them down for a moment if you can.”

Here are 5 simple ways to increase your peace of mind:

1. Do your most daunting task first thing in the morning

It’s tempting to start your day with easy tasks. Don’t. Pushing a daunting task back is like holding a glass of water in an outstretched arm. At first nothing happens, but if you do it for hours or even days, you will soon feel the stress. Do the most annoying task first thing in the morning, and enjoy increased productivity and peace of mind for the rest of the day.

2. Let go of things you don’t control

You make plans to go outside with friends. But at the last minute, it starts raining. What’s your reaction?

Some people upset and angry, and find the nearest person and start complaining to them. “It’s not FAIR that it’s raining. This _always_ happens to me!…”

That’s not going to accomplish anything – the rain won’t stop just because you throw a tantrum. *The rain doesn’t care.* So make the best of the situation. What I do in such situation is go for a quick walk in the park (because rain has its own awesomeness), or just lie in bed reading a good Terry Pratchett book, listening to the rain beating on my window.

Make the most of what you do control, and don’t worry about what you don’t.

3. Don’t worry about what others are thinking

I used to be very self-conscious about my dancing. I would rarely go out with my friends, and even if I did, I wouldn’t dance, instead just standing awkwardly by the side, because I was worried of what others would think.

Then, one day in high school, I decided that enough was enough. So the next time I went out with my friends, I just went to the dance floor, and danced like nobody was watching. And the funny thing was – nobody cared. In fact, people only liked me MORE, because I was having fun.

Don’t worry about what others are thinking of you – most likely they’re too busy wondering what others are thinking of them.

4. List 3 things you love about your situation right now

I first shared this technique with the Positivity Blog readers in my post The Plague of Happiness Ever After (it’s got a dragon and everything in it, read it!)

Just list 3 simple things about any part of your life that you love. Like “3 simple things I love about the room I’m in right now”, or “3 simple things I love about this week”, or anything else.
This is a great technique if you’re ever bored while stuck in traffic, or waiting in the grocery store checkout lane. You can immediately transform boredom into happiness and peace of mind!

5. Walk to a window, look outside, and take a single deep breath

I got this technique from the Zen master Mary Jaksch. Just walk to a window, look outside, and then take a single deep breath, focusing only on that breath and nothing else in the whole world. This technique sounds extremely simple, but you won’t believe how much it can instantaneously increase your peace of mind.

And because this is the last tip, you can try it immediately when you finish reading this blog post. Just walk to a window, look outside, and take a single deep breath, focusing on the air going in and out of your lungs, and nothing else.

Check out Vlad’s blog to get even more happiness in the now! It’s got psychology, personal growth, and a crapton of attitude!

Image by kwerfeldein (license).

If you like this article, please share it on Twitter and Stumbleupon. Thank you very much! =)





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{ 16 comments }

Positively Present May 15, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Vlad, great post! :) I really enjoyed reading it and I completely agree with all of the ways you’ve listed here, especially #3 and #4. It’s so important not to worry too much about what others think and I think it’s equally important to look for the good in your current situation. Doing both of these will DEFINITELY increase your peace of mind. Thanks for sharing the insights here on The Positivity Blog! :)

Srinivas Rao May 15, 2009 at 5:14 pm

Nice article Vlad. Very simple and to the point. I used to concern myself excessively with what others are thinking but realized that it can send you into a tailspin of self deprecating thought and I think you really made a great point that they are usually concerned with what other people are thinking about them.

Vlad Dolezal May 15, 2009 at 6:48 pm

@PP, @Srinivas:

I’d be getting worried you two are stalking me, if I didn’t know you also comment on a ton of other blogs ;)

But yeah, it also really amazed me how little other people care about your embarrassment when I first tried not caring. As somebody said, “We are our harshest critic.” Most other people don’t care, or they forget within 5 minutes.

Jaclyn Reynolds May 15, 2009 at 6:53 pm

I really needed to hear #2, thank you.

Kim May 15, 2009 at 11:36 pm

Peace of mind you can’t buy even with a lot of money. A lot of rich people don’t have peace of mind so yes, I’m working on mine and enjoyed reading your advises.

Sun-shine May 16, 2009 at 3:28 am

Yup,good advice.
Started applying it not only at work but also at home.
very important when one has a family with kids-PEACE is hard to come by unless you practice getting it and making it with and on purpose.
Thanks again.

Peace to all!!

Vlad Dolezal May 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm

@Jaclyn:

You’re welcome!

@Kim:

Spot on. There are some things money can’t buy. That’s why we have awesome blogs like this one :D

@Sun-shine:

Cheers, peace to you too!

Gary Marsden May 16, 2009 at 10:54 pm

Great post. As I read the words, it seemed to be a reflection of my life. If I had been aware just “To put down the glass” then life could have been much simpler. Letting go of things you can’t control and what others are thinking also hit home.

Your words ring true and provide peace of mind. I look forward to being part of your community.

Vincent May 17, 2009 at 8:17 pm

Hi Vlad,

By doing the most daunting task in the morning, we are freeing up valuable time and energy to help us deal with other tasks later in the day. If we do our most daunting tasks or tasks that we hate later in the day, we may end up spoiling the whole day.

Cheers,
Vincent

Tarhata Estacaan May 18, 2009 at 3:52 am

Hi Enrik,

Great blog this is! Thanks for bringing sunshine! Love this.

Regards,

Tara Estacaan

Aida Tanchoco May 18, 2009 at 11:07 am

I really find your post very refreshing. Looking at your picture, you appear to be young and very motivated. This world needs a lot of young people like you- positive and dynamic.

Henrik Edberg May 18, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Thanks for all the comments guys and thanks to Vlad for writing such a helpful post! :)

Vlad Dolezal May 18, 2009 at 7:21 pm

@Gary:

Oh, that’s so sweet, I don’t think anyone ever said to me… “Your words ring true.” :p

Glad you liked the article!

@Vincent:

You’re right, I find “putting the glass down” is a perfect metaphor for doing the most uncomfortable task first. It really frees up your mental energy.

@Aida:

Completely unrelated… but did you know your name is one of the most famous sales acronyms? AIDA – Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.

Just saying — if you ever go to a sales seminar, don’t be surprised to find a lot of people saying your name :P

(Hey, you comment on my picture, I comment on your name. If I had to comment on your picture here in the comments, I’d have to say you look like a snowman ^^)

@Henrik:

Thank YOU for having me here! Even after you decided to stop publishing guest posts (I feel special ^^)

LJ June 3, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Awesome points. Stress really is cumulative. And I find that control is a big stressor for most people. Unfortunately, people often try and control things they can’t because they don’t want to look at the things they can’t control.

#3 is excellent too. It’s a good reminder that most people really don’t notice most of what we think. It’s like we perceive our actions to be in a full-length feature film with lights in the marquee, but in reality, it’s a commercial that other people ignore.

harum October 9, 2009 at 4:19 am

great article. this is the first time i read this blog, and i find it’s really interesting and refreshing. i wonder how our life often makes ourselves not alive. ckck

harum October 9, 2009 at 4:19 am

great article. this is the first time i read this blog, and i find it’s really interesting and refreshing. i wonder how our life often makes ourselves not alive.

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