It can be tough to hold your own self during these stressful and strange times. It’s completely normal to be stressed, angry, and lonely during a pandemic. Coronavirus has had a devastating effect on the mental health of individuals since it changed the daily lifestyle and habits of almost everyone; you can’t meet your friends, eat at your favourite restaurant, enjoy your favourite activities. Social distancing and lockdown have been harsh. Wearing masks, staying 6ft apart, have become the new normal for the society.
“We may stumble and fall but shall rise again; it should be enough if we did not run away from the battle.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Finding peace of mind during these strange times can be great to curb some tension and stress. Some people mistakenly believe that peace of mind is something that you only experience when things in your life are trouble-free, but that’s not true. Peace of mind and focus go hand-in-hand. Therefore, when you learn how to stay focused and gain control of your thoughts, you can experience peace of mind. Let’s discuss how to find peace of mind not only in a pandemic but in every tough time.
Make inner peace a priority
“Set peace of mind as your highest goal, and organize your life around it” – Brian Tracy
It’s crucial to make peace of mind a priority to achieve it; believe me, it’s achievable. Trying to avoid unnecessary stress helped me a lot; for instance, whenever any problem is a reason for stress, I think if it would matter in a year or not. If not, why am I hurting myself over it? Another thing which I think is important is setting up realistic limits. It’s crucial to set up realistic goals. I still remember when I used to set my daily schedule and would feel stressed when failing to cope up with it. Setting realistic goals allow you to experience peace and avoid unnecessary strain.
I still remember folklore, ‘Happy Man’s shirt‘, which I read in junior school. The story is about an unhappy king who wanders his whole kingdom to find a happy man. An old wise man advises the king to wear a shirt of a happy man for a day to become happy. In his days of search, he finds an old fisherman who wore shaggy clothes, ate unsalted food, drank sugarless tea but was still happy. King asks him hesitantly, ‘Do you think you are a happy man?’. To which he replies laughingly, ‘Why, I’m the happiest man in the world! Isn’t it grand to be alive on a beautiful day like this?’. Then the king closely observed him and saw that the fisherman didn’t even wear any shirt. This story is one of my favourites even today. It explains how important easing your expectations is to achieve peace of mind. King had dozens of servants, surplus wealth, a kingdom, and whatnot, still, he was unhappy. On the other hand, an old fisherman who didn’t even have proper clothes, and food was the happiest man in the kingdom. Whatever it is you’re seeking will rarely ever come in the form you’re expecting. Don’t miss the silver lining just because you were expecting gold.
Practice Mindfulness Meditation and Yoga
“To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.”– Jiddu Krishnamurti
I know I know meditation isn’t appealing, but it’s only so until you try it. Apart from reducing stress, meditation has several other benefits. While some people use meditation for spiritual purposes, it doesn’t have to be used only in that way. The physical and emotional benefits are something that anyone can benefit from. The calm app is great to start meditation, or you can find great related content on youtube if you don’t wanna spend on that subscription. If you’re someone who prefers physical exercise, yoga is a big recommendation. Derived from the Sanskrit word “Yuji,” meaning yoke or union, yoga is an ancient Indian practice that brings together mind and body. Yoga offers various physical benefits apart from promoting relaxation. These practices teach you how to be present at the moment. This allows you to push out the worrying and nagging thoughts that creep into your mind as well as experience peace in a not so perfect world.
Learn to let go
“Doing nothing is sometimes one of the highest of the duties of the man.” – G.K. Chesterton
Whether it be the past mistakes or unwanted battles, learning to let go is necessary for mental peace. Getting hung up on the past makes it difficult to focus on the present and the future. Focussing on things that we can’t change only makes it difficult to maintain peace of mind; it’s better to forgive yourself, forgive others and move on. It’s nearly impossible to be on good terms with everyone. So stop trying to please everyone, instead, try to surround yourself with people who are healthy for you. Try not to be easily offended. It’s much easier to maintain peace of mind when you let things roll off your back; if you take offence at every little thing that other people do and say, you will remain in a constant state of frustration. Remember you can’t control what others say, but you can definitely decide what affects you.
Find things that you enjoy doing
“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focussing on what excites you.” – Oprah Winfrey
On days when I feel low, nothing works better for me than reading my favourite pages of my favourite books, rewatching some of my favourite movies or playing with my dogs. You need to find what cheers you up. Find your hobbies and try to enact them in your daily lifestyle. Be it cooking, singing, dancing, travelling, walking or even sleeping, you gotta do things that you enjoy more. At the same time, learn to step back or take a break. Life can be too hectic or stressful sometimes; on those days, it would be best for you to take some time off and do things that you enjoy.
“Happiness is a gift and the trick is not to expect it but to delight in it when it comes.” – Charles Dickens
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