- Jan 13, 2021
- 2 minutes
Declutter your mind: 3 tips for more peace
I crave peace. I like happiness too, and I’m often happy, but my primary goal is peace. I see happiness as periodic episodes, not as a state of mind or emotion that’s ongoing and steady. If I’m peaceful—neither high nor low, just nice and steady—those lovely moments of happiness and feelings of supreme well-being have a better chance of blossoming.
Peace is like equilibrium or homeostasis. It’s a routine on a balance beam and smiling while firecrackers are popping off.
Happiness, on the other hand, is an emotion that’s a reaction to things, people, or events. We get happy because of something, but peace is something that wells up from within, independent of anything outside of ourselves. It’s always there, really, but mental clutter drowns it out. When we’re peaceful, we’re less likely to get aggravated or irritated, less likely to say things we regret, and more likely to enjoy life and be happн.
How do we get peaceful if we aren’t already?
Most of us have some degree of un-peace or dis-ease within us. Stress causes a lot of problems, from nervousness and anxiety to full-blown anger and misery. Stress also wears us down, physically and emotionally, and it makes us more susceptible to every little germ or virus that flits by as well as stress-related diseases such as heart disease.
Stress is not peace, and it’s hard to feel peaceful when we’re stressed.
I put together a very long list of tips to reduce stress and cultivate peace, but it just got longer and longer. They’re all good, but I realized most of them deserve a post of their own. I finally whittled it down to three. Three tips that almost anyone can use and adapt to his or her own life situation to reduce mental clutter and find peace.
First things first
Stephen Covey wrote the time management classic First Things First, and while the book is loaded with worksheets and helpful tips, just the title alone is great: First Things First. Ask yourself: What basic needs or priorities do I need satisfied or fulfilled to have a peaceful day, week, month, or life? It could be anything.
My main priority is to do a great job with all facets of my business. But the number one priority cannot exist — or I’ll lose my mind trying. So, I need:
1) healthy food in the refrigerator or cabinets, ready to go with little preparation needed
2) food for my pets and any supplies they may need
3) an organized home, clean clothes, and basic supplies stocked
If I don’t have basic necessities in place, stress and frustration build.
How can I work long and hard on a project if I have nothing to eat? I live in the suburbs, and it’s not a simple matter to get reasonably-priced takeout, and most fast food isn’t an option since I don’t eat meat. I have two dogs and a cat. I can’t work steadily and peacefully if I have to take an hour out of the day to go buy dog or cat food or other supplies. And if I don’t have clean, comfortable clothes available—I’m talking basics—or if I can’t find things I need when I need them, I’m going to be distracted.