We live in a world of constant stimulation, much of which is the bad kind.
We are almost always surrounded by people, and if not, we are connected to them at all times.
We are always busy and find it difficult to relax. Our downtime, if we are lucky to find some, is often full of worry and tension that is an overflow from the rest of our chaotic lives.
We are faced with an influx of horrific news stories on an hourly basis. We are constantly comparing ourselves to the highlight reels on other people’s social media accounts. We are taught to constantly accommodate for the needs of others, even at the detriment of our own happiness and peace.
It’s all just bloody exhausting.
Sometimes we need to slow down and take stock for the sake of our own mental health.
When possible, we need to find ways to protect our energy and our peace, and the most effective way to do so is by looking inward.
1. Say “no.”
It has become embedded in our minds that “no” is a bad word. That’s because the word ‘no’ is often used in situations of defiance, rejection, and negativity.
But it’s important to realize that “no” isn’t a dirty word, and you should use it when you feel the need. This little two-letter word has gumption and can often provide you with enough defence to protect your energy.
If something is going to make you unhappy or uncomfortable, say no.
If you just don’t have the energy required for something, say no.
If you simply don’t want to go somewhere or do something, say no.
If you want to say no, just say no.
2. Practice listening to your intuition.
The only person who will ever truly know what you actually need is you.
You have this wonderful built-in tool called intuition, and even if you’re not great at listening to it, this is a skill that can be learned.
Use your intuition to determine what you need. Whether you need love and comfort or if you need time alone to recoup. Whether you need rest or if you need to go dancing. Your intuition knows what you need, so practice tuning in.
Following your intuition can ensure that you are making the right decisions for yourself. You’ll feel at peace knowing that you’re listening to your gut because it knows what’s best, even before the rest of your body does.
3. Cut the ties.
Every once in a while, analyze what impacts your energy levels.
Notice your feelings and energy around certain people and situations.
How do certain people make you feel when you’re around them?
How do certain situations make you feel when you’re in them?
If you feel sad, drained, exhausted, deflated, or frustrated, learn ways to reduce or completely cut-out the culprit. It’s okay to cut the ties from certain people and things, even if they once served you well.
Eliminate toxic people and try your best to avoid toxic places and situations. We are forever changing, and sometimes things have to come to an end.
4. Nourish your body.
Eat well, get enough sleep, drink water, and exercise.
Sure, it can often be easier said than done, but the way we feel physically can greatly impact how we feel mentally.
Give yourself the best chance of inner peace by looking after yourself in the physical sense.
5. Be conscious of your thoughts.
Your thoughts determine your state of mind, and therefore the content of your thoughts need to be monitored — you’re the one who can control them.
They say that the majority of things we worry about never even eventuate.
We spend a huge amount of time and energy worrying and letting negative thoughts rule our lives.
But the good news is, we have a huge amount of control over what we think about and where our attention goes. Similar to listening to your intuition, this is a skill that can be developed.
Whenever you feel a negative thought creeping in, tell yourself, “Nope, not today.” Stop it immediately in its tracks, don’t fuel it. And then change it completely.
Replace your negative thoughts with something else — something happier, something better, something brighter.
Also monitor how and why these thoughts are forming and protect yourself from the things that make the negative thoughts more prominent. Reduce your intake of the news if you’re badly affected, unfollow social media accounts that make you feel bad about yourself, avoid nasty and negative gossip, and just keep away from anything that does harm to your sense of peace.
Surround yourself with the good and you will be more inclined to have good thoughts.
One of the easiest and yet most underestimated things you can do for your inner peace is to declutter your world.
Declutter your home — donate or get rid of anything that you don’t love or no longer need.
Declutter your digital world — unsubscribe, unfriend, unfollow.
Declutter your life —cut the ties from toxic friends, say no to events you don’t want to attend, and keep your life admin under control.
A clean environment can lend a hand to creating a clear mind. We all have enough on our plates, so try and unburden yourself when possible.
These six steps are all easy and actionable right now. You owe it to yourself to keep your energy protected and to ensure you feel a sense of peace most of the time.
Read more: thoughtcatalog.com