Inner Peace and Calm                                Mindfulness                   Mindful Thoughts               Back -  In Times of Trouble

I read one book about inner peace and calm; and I felt anything but calmed! In fact very stressed!

Sometimes (!) you can analyse what is making you unhappy and do something about it! BUT oft times there are factors that are out of your control, affordability, other people beit relatives, neighbours, work colleagues, managers or friends that contribute to our unhappiness. A bad or very bad works manager, someone we like or love dying, relationship problems, storm damage to property, perhaps a dismissal, or losing someone we know would have been a great friend or love. To name just a few. Of course it is possible to hit the ‘jackpot’ and have several or many of these thrown at us at once.  Or just something simple like the way those in our household act towards us, perhaps lacking respect, perhaps demeaningly or perhaps even insultingly. Day to day drudgery etc.

So for things we can do something about, make a list breaking the task (s)  into smaller or small steps. If need be break these into smaller steps again and tick off the list as some are achieved.  a) you will make progress, and b) you will feel good for each item ticked off the list!

For the things (maybe many things) we can’t influence or do anything about, we need to compensate!

Eg Listening to music

     Going out

     Joining a club or group

     Getting exercise – walking, going to Gym

     Finding personal space

     Dim the lights and relax

     Finding quiet time alone – believe me this is often the most important after major stressful  


     Finding companionship

     Starting a new hobby, or several!

     A relaxing bath or shower, sauna or Jacuzzi

     A good meal

     A good novel, book or magazine to read

     Alcohol in strict moderation

     Finding more / new friends

     A treat or two!    eg Some chocolate. Dark chocolate is best for you.

     A good laze in the sunshine! A good holiday or break!

     Exploring the beauty of Nature

     Vitamin and mineral tablets, eg Vitamin C, Vitamin B complex, Fish or cod liver oil, zinc etc…

      Herbal soothing and nerve soothing remedies

Off course there might be the opposite problem, stressed with too many things to do. In which case we need to declutter our lives and find time to relax or do things we enjoy!

But the point of this is to make at least some of time enjoyable! And getting involved either with other people or deep interests can shut out or at least lessen unhappy influences!  Good distractions definitely help!

The next avenue you should most definitely consider is Relaxation exercises and Mindfulness. We forget in times of stress how to relax for starters!  Just putting your feet up, shoes / slippers off and try relaxing different muscle groups completely. Don’t try this when driving!

Mindfulness actually usually means the exact opposite, at least with pressing problems!  Learning how NOT to be mindful of problems and filling the mind with pleasant thoughts; or even, if you can, learning how to empty the mind completely of intervening thoughts.  Appreciate consciousness as a mind state, and learn how to meditate gently.  Mindfulness and transcendental meditation have a lot in common, without the hippy element, unless you insist!

But (!) at some point you do need to tackle for example financial problems as best appropriate and there are some issues you cannot leave indefinitely, and which must be attended to;  if some things are not to get worse.

Just check on main headlines eg on MSN if you must. Most news is depressing at best!

A longer spell of bad weather (especially if you live in the UK!) can be very depressing. Find somewhere bright with bright lights on if you can! Sun ray lamps are actually OK if used in moderation, ie avoiding sunburn from them. They also actually help if a mild tan is obtained before going or holidaying in strong sun!

Health risks from strong sun are greater, the risk from tanning lamps is just excessive exposure to them, often additional to exposure to the sun. If abroad or in Mid-summer at home, stay out of the sun from 11am to 3.30pm or later, especially if fair-skinned.  

If you are particularly afflicted with SAD, buy sunshine bulbs. These are quite expensive, but do NOT tan. They do however give a more sun like light in the house. 

It may cost more in energy, but simply upping lighting to say 180 Watts from 100watts in a room and switching on in dull grey weather or rain outside can cheer considerably, though avoid if too expensive!

Realise that some people simply don’t give a fig’s leaf about anyone else, and though slights might seem personal, these sorts treat a lot of other people the same very bad way over time. They usually get their ‘come-uppance’ some time or other. If they are nasty sorts, nasty to a lot of people, someone will stand up to them or put them in the sh..ts. It doesn’t have to be you, though of course if the opportunity arises . . . BUT be sure someone will!

How often do you say "I'll do it later, I haven't got time today"? Putting off relaxation and pleasurable pursuits is one sure way to be over-stressed. Same with putting off essential things. Find a little time for both, each day! If you can!

Hobbies or interests can be varied and often low cost. About 2 ½ times as many people go fishing than watch sports matches. About 2 times as many as watch TV or go to matches do a craft hobby eg for men real or model /trains, boats, planes, militaria etc. Relatively few people actively partake in Sports.  A lot of people do gardening of some description. Unfortunately home mechanics is increasingly impossible or nearly so on modern vehicles. Cost of hobbies is often relative. Some require an initial outlay, and some a regular smaller outlay. Of course it costs very little to chat in a pub or club provided you drink moderately or drink orange squash! Or in a café over a cuppa!

It is within ourselves that peace is found! We can at the very least be at peace with ourselves.  It may be another matter entirely to ‘be at peace’ with anyone who has seriously wronged us, particularly when or if they show no remorse or sorrow and no wish to make amends. It can be a very cruel and heartless world out there at times.

In or at harsh times we sometimes lose the ability to retreat into ourselves, often when it is most needed. We need mental and emotional shelter from the world at these times, and sometimes others can help, but often only we ourselves can construct this shelter from life’s storms.  There’s a lot of truth in laughing in company but crying or crying out alone. Sometimes a trouble shared can be a trouble halved or perhaps a little reduced, but it doesn’t always work out this way. Women can often seek solace in tears, which men have learnt to fend off from an early age, leaving this avenue usually blocked to men.

Up to a certain point we can say ‘So What’. We may be struggling a little to pay all our bills, but provided the roof over our heads is secure, we have some heating and lighting, the council isn’t taking us to court, we have hot and cold running water and some food in our larder and fridge and clothing of some sort to wear, there are an awful lot of people worse off than us. If on the other hand, problems are serious, we need to seek professional help, preferably as cheaply as possible. Debt relief charities work for free, or we can try explain our problems to companies, excepting council tax, energy and utility companies. Benefits advice should be free too. in the UK, Citizens Advice Bureaus will confidentially discuss any and every problem.

At some point burying our heads in the sand can be a real problem, if we don’t at some fairly early stage face up to problems. It is all too easy to get into over-eating, over-spending, under-exercising, under-sleeping to name but a few, of problems that can accumulate and then run away out of control. Or way out of control…

So we need to stay calm and collected and adopt a sensible approach, either on our own or with help, if need be.

Getting out of debt for instance can seem impossible, when it’s occurred a little at a time. Perhaps sometimes we need a little at a time approach to solving our problems.  Accepting for instance that it may take several years or more (or much more…..) to clear some debts ….

If life was always too easy and comfortable, serious events may be taken more in one’s stride. As what is normal then is assured at some relatively near point in time to be restored again, perhaps soon.  Though again it might be inadvisable to let our guard down completely. But we may be able to de-stress a little and let something of our guard down at times.  After all many storms seldom occur without warning and if a storm isn’t approaching or already here/ on its way, what is there to worry about?

The problem is when our ‘normal’ state is very emotionally troubled for whatever reason. Then when even bigger troubles cross our paths, as they surely do, we haven’t the assurance of an early or earlyish resumption of untroubled states.  That’s particularly when we need to develop an inner peace.  With ourselves! Only I myself can help restore my own inner peace that might have been severely damaged by life’s events or by others….

Do try to stay healthy and eat healthily, wash and apply deodorant etc. It's all to easy to get into a 'others don't care about me, why should I care about myself' attitude.

Unless someone is a serial killer, it’s probably best to jettison personal guilt as soon as possible. Whether or not something is or was partly our fault, it’s best not to dwell on this, and to concentrate even so on making amends or trying what we can to rectify things, for others as well as ourselves if really necessary.

It can be very difficult if you are in a humpty dumpty fell off a wall situation and it wasn’t or mostly wasn’t of your own making. Some people especially some managers (though it could be relatives) work to their OWN set of rules, however ridiculous or impossible they may be, and also often have their own mindset which may well not include considerate treatment of you! Some have personal ideals that might be tantamount to impossible for nearly everyone else, and nearly everyone else suffers as a result. There are also some very vindictive people out there and their aims are not always the most matter-of-fact or realistic for everyone else!  And of course some will disguise their motives for personal or company financial reward. Then there are the no-nonsense die-hards who will martyr practically everyone else in their tracks…   - Work place bullies or insensitive brutes or brutesses abound in the workplace, particularly in some occupations. . . .

Younger inexperienced employees can also present their more than fair share of problems. Not recognizing a problem as relatively common, failing to discuss a complaint against another employee with their union before taking it to management levels, to name just two common results of lack of experience (and tact!).  It can be difficult for those of us brought up in an era of good manners to have to put up with stand-offish or reproachful attitudes from or by young people, who often have a ‘why should I care’ demeanour and approach.

Some tools/ means to achieving Inner Peace

1. Breathing: Breath is life! Air is the primary nutrient. Survival without oxygen  is measured in minutes. It is so important that you do it without thinking. Your breathing is the voice of your spirit. It's depth, smoothness, sound, and rate reflect your mood. If you become aware of your breath and breathe the way you do when you are calm you will become calm. Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing. It can bring us back to our centre of peace.  Deep slow breathing is excellent for increasing oxygen intake and breathing into a paper bag to reduce oxygen intake is good for panics when otherwise fast sharp breathing heightens panic (or in the wild, readiness to run for survival!).

2. Meditating allows us to "be with ourselves". It can bring us self awareness and inner peace. Try closing your eyes and taking some deep breaths. This is the perfect start.

3. Herbal Medicine is the best alternative therapy when it comes to finding a substitute for allopathic tranquilizing drugs. The benefits are tremendous. Side effects are minimal. Herbs such as valerian root, hops and chamomile can soothe the nervous system.

4. Scent Therapy triggers the power of memories and brings back the familiar. When we are seeking peace, the use of aromatherapy essence can recall the familiar. These essence, called essential oils, can restore balance and harmony to your body and to your life. Rose scents, other flower scents, perfumes etc. Perfumed candles perform a duel function, incense and fragrance in the air and gentle flickering relaxing candlelight. Orientals have used joss sticks for centuries!

5. Candlelight Therapy several or maybe many candles in an otherwise unlit room. Excellent but be careful of any fire risk.  Instead of the steady light of modern lighting, shadows move, the light varies in intensity and we can

6. Movement can be generated through exercise, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, aerobics or a host of other movement therapies. Their relationship to peace is based on find ourselves through the motion of doing. They don’t have to be in any way difficult. Simple repeated movements eg both hands from thighs to front of shoulders to front of face(head bowed), side of face, shoulder fronts back to thighs and repeated several times, slowly, holding hands in each position for a few seconds or so… Stress balls of different sorts can be great, squeezing them or moving them about in your hand(s)!

7. Music soothes the savage breast. With the addition of music and it's rhythms, the "musical breath" can even help stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders. Fall into the rhythm of the music and breathe. Focus on your breathing and the music.

8. Talking things out, sorting things through in your mind, can help when seeking peace of mind. During the past several decades, there has been an increasing enthusiasm for focused, time-limited therapies that address ways of coping with issues directly, rather than exploring unconscious conflict or other personal vulnerabilities.

9. Use Color and Light to calm your mind, soothe your nervous system, bring you back to your center and create a sense of serenity. Colors such as green, blue and violet are great colors associated with peace.

10. Praying brings us in direct contact with our higher power! The talking and expressing of our feelings, hopes and aspirations can be one of the most rewarding and centering actions we can do for ourselves and others. Even unbelievers can talk out loud and express feelings, hopes and aspirations, just be somewhere alone and undisturbed!

"The mind can experience more distance than the body could ever journey."

We can have many many mind experiences in each day, more perhaps again in beautiful surroundings or with beautiful people.!

We have it in our power to change at least some if not all of our experience. If we accept those things that are beyond us, and put them in the hand of higher power in time, changes we can’t make ourself may indeed happen. If not at our bidding perhaps at God’s….!

Then we can over a period of time tackle some tasks that eventually need attending to or that may be useful in brightening our lives!

  1. Sort out old papers, often circulars etc every once in so often. Only keep essentials.
  2. Get out of the house, go for a short walk, go to town, browse shops and get about a bit! Visit another town or place, or place of interest. Not for everyone but join the local gym if it suits you!
  3. Have a general sort out one room or one part of the garden at a time. Discard anything not useful or beautiful, but be sure you mightn’t need something in the future, especially if it might have nostalgic value!
  4. Take use of chance happenings that provide for us or provide new opportunities. Chance happenings don’t happen too often and you certainly don’t want to miss once in a lifetime opportunities!
  5. Put yourself first! If this means sometimes neglecting the housework or finding time for a chat with a neighbour or dropping in for a cuppa, or someone else dropping in, don’t feel guilty about it, you can always catch up.
  6. Do one or two of the jobs/ tasks you’ve kept putting off. It can really give you a sense of achievement!
  7. Smile at friends and even at strangers! You may even gain new friends!
  8. Listen carefully when people are talking with you. It is difficult to keep up concentration at the best of times if you are anxious or depressed, but they will appreciate it! Unless of course it is someone dishing up bullying or harassing you, in which case feel free NOT to listen to them!
  9. Appreciate nature when ever you can! Look out for new shoots/ leaves on plants and trees, watch squirrels etc. Be at one with nature!
  10. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, not uncomfortable ‘fashionable’ ones. I find I can relax much better in the house without shoes or slippers on! Especially avoid very tight clothes or ill-fitting shoes.
  11.  An occasional treat of cream cakes etc won’t harm you even if you are overweight! Just not every day or several times a day!
  12. Remember that you’re YOU not anyone else. You have unique qualities, unique skills and maybe unique interests. Stick up for yourself, rebel if necessary! Especially if you are criticised just for being you! Unjustified criticism or over harsh criticism is never justified and is always hurtful, but it certainly helps if you realise it is often the OTHER person being finicky or over-bearing!  Some of the time it’s someone else deliberately setting out to hurt you. Remember in this situation THEM not YOU! It’s their fault or THEM at fault and they are trying to blame you . . . .
  13. Let out anger and rage. Get mad then calm down! Just don’t break the entire household, or get 25 years for it!
  14. Showing some love and getting (mostly!) unconditional love from a pet is a tremendous thing! Do be aware that dogs bark, often frequently, and need walking daily calm or storm out. Cats can wreck decorations and furnishing and will come to you when THEY want to! Fish can be entertaining, but die often indoors and lack great shows of affection unlike cats and dogs. Birds are best avoided if you have asthmatic or other breathing problems, and again lack much show of affection towards you. Small mammals such as golden hamsters can give you a good nip if not handled very carefully, but some can be remarkably good temperamented!
  15. Say or think some GOOD things about yourself! This can be difficult if you are constantly ‘put down’ at work or at home or after a very traumatic rejection at home or at work. Some employers will dismiss someone in the most unpleasant of ways just to save money on their budgets. For them to be so unpleasant after years of hard work and commitment is a very devastating experience!
  16. Following on from 14, do things that boost your confidence and make YOU feel good. Providing no-one else is harmed!
  17. Make lists and tick them off one thing at a time. They are a useful reminder, but also a useful motivator!
  18. Spend some time doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! And DON’T feel guilty about it! Similarly make sure there is enough time in your life for at least SOME leisure pursuits!
  19. Try to do something new as often as you can! I was asked to help with bell-ringing and did 20 years or more bell-ringing!  I took up surfing with a proper surfboard in my fifties!
  20. Have fun with water or in the water! Splash a small amount and watch the splashes! People have found fountains interesting for centuries! Or sit down near a river or stream or watch waves breaking!
  21. If you can get away for a long weekend or even a day or two this can help enormously. Even day trips can be great! Or an evening out.
  22. If you can manage an annual holiday for a week or two (or more!) This can provide a time for relaxation, once you are over the stress of packing, and unpacking when you get home!
  23. Grandchildren or young children of our own can be a great pleasure to look after, entertain or join in their play!
  24. Taking photos can be great as can reminiscing over old photos or videos!
  25. Find things in life to get passionate about! Hobbies, interest, travel, whatever takes your fancy.
  26. Accept grief, find some good memories about things or people past! Get out and about as soon as you sensibly can. Share grief with friends. Share memories!
  27. Painting furniture or walls new or different colours can help brighten your surroundings, or some new plants if you like house plants.
  28. Join the library or visit that bargain bookshop often! You can get involved in really good novels and forget all sorts. Just remember to pick up the kids etc if engrossed in a good book! Set an alarm if you get too engrossed!
  29. Switch off the TV, computer, radio, Hi-Fi and enjoy the peace and quiet sometimes!
  30. If you have time on your hands, find out who you really are. What really makes you tick, what makes you, you!
  31. Try and do at least some walking every day or certainly most fine days!
  32. If you can sit outside in warmer weather, this can be great therapy, whether it’s for drinks, talking to friends, reading a book or having an occasional meal (or barbecue!) outside!

FILL empty spaces in your life with at least something meaningful . . . Try something that's FUN! . . . .

 Many or few new things to do, new friends to find, it's up to you!