Adding peace and serenity to your life is an easy thing to do and it will reward you in many ways: better emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical health, better relationships, making better decisions at work and in your personal life, performing better and being more creative and free at work, being more fun, joyful and more present…and many other ways that might surprise you. Just think simply – who am I and how do I feel when I am peaceful and when I’m stressed? If you bring more of the peaceful you in your life, how will you and your day-to-day life change? If you think about times when you haven’t been at your best, maybe you’ve said something you’ve regretted or snapped at someone, made a decision in haste, times you’ve forgotten to do something you’d promised you would.. have those things even happened when you’ve been feeling peaceful and serene or when you’ve been stressed and rushed??? Maybe your health has been suffering from being stressed – manifesting in physical, mental and emotional symptoms. It’s time to make relaxing and destressing a priority – put the oxygen mask on yourself first and so you can take care of others later!
If you’re reading this and thinking, “I don’t have time for that..that’s for other people who aren’t as busy…I wish..you don’t have my life”. Then this post is the perfect thing for you to read – because you need to schedule some time for you to destress and relax. Finding time for peace and serenity in your life is definitely not a selfish act. Taking time for this benefits your relationships with your spouse/partner, children, family, friends, everyone around you; it also benefits your career – your job performance and creativity and ability to interact effectively with your coworkers. Most importantly, it benefits you directly – your body, your mind, emotions and spirit will be rebalanced and healthier and you’ll be happier and more joyful. Reducing stress can add years to your life and greatly improve the quality of your day-to-day life.
So how can you add peace and serenity to your life?? It’s about making time, even if it’s only for 5 minutes, to breathe deeply, relax, connect with yourself, empty your mind of worry, fear, of what you have to do, and do something you love and that relaxes you. For me, now that it’s summer, before bed, I love sitting under the stars at night on my balcony with some twinkle lights on, burning some coconut incense, sipping some tea and looking up at the trees, the stars, my plants lit up. It completely relaxes me and clears my mind of the day. On rainy days, I get out for a walk in a local park and enjoy the peaceful sounds of the rain falling on the trees, birds chirping, the lush plants and the humid earthy smells of the temperate rainforest…check out the slugs on the ground in front of me, a baby squirrel in the tree.
There are lots of ways to add these peaceful moments to your life:
- Relaxing with Sounds – Maybe it’s finding time in your work day to shut your office door and listen to some classical, nature sounds, or music that moves you for 5 minutes and resting your eyes. There are many timers (http://www.reikifun.com/free-meditation-time) and apps that you can find online to give yourself a timed break so you can just relax and stop when the bell goes off.
- Relaxing with Touch – Try going for a massage to destress. I give Indian head massages to people to relax and destress and you can use some of the techniques I use on yourself. One thing people love during the massage is getting their face massaged – we hold so much stress in our faces. Try spending a minute or two squeezing your eyebrows with your fingers moving outwards to your temples. This will instantly relax you. Another thing people love during the head massage is getting their temples massaged with peppermint oil – which instantly awakes you and helps relieve headaches. Get a portable rollerball with some peppermint oil (you can buy one at the Body Shop, Aveda, or any aromatherapy store) and roll it on your temples – the peppermint feels great and the roller gives you a mini-massage.
- Relaxing with Nature – go for a walk on a tree-lined street or local park and connect with the nature around you. Take some deep breaths, focus on the trees and plants around you as you walk and their beauty, listen to the sounds of the birds chirping, watch for animals scurrying around or birds flying. If you are walking by water enjoy the sound of the water moving or waves coming in. Just appreciating the natural beauty around you makes you relax and gives you perspective.
- Relaxing through Movement – Adding some movement to your day can help you release and work off stress. Going for a walk when you’re stressed during lunch or a coffee break is a great way to destress. Just walking away from your desk and a situation for a few minutes gives you space and perspective on your situation and whatever you’re working on. Maybe you can go for a vigorous run in the evening and listen to some inspiring music. Perhaps incorporate doing some stretches during your workday to let the tension you hold in your body release.
- Relaxing with Yourself – Just try sitting in silence for a few minutes. Connect with how you’re feeling and take some deep breaths. Become present and quiet your thoughts. Try meditating by just focusing on your breath as it goes in and out and the sensation in your body.
- Relaxing with Other Pleasures – Maybe it’s sending the kids to bed early and reading a fun, guilty pleasure book in bed or having a bath with some candles. Just choose pleasures that aren’t terribly addictive and doing you more harm than good (like emotional eating or gambling..)
Planning for your time for peace and serenity provides an important message to yourself: “I”m planning this for me because I am are worthy of some peace and serenity in your life and adding this to my life makes me a better person”. At first you might find it strange to say “hey I’m going for a walk/shutting my door for 5 minutes/going to bed early” if you’re not used to taking time to take care of yourself..but that will pass and you’ll notice that people notice the difference in you. Maybe you’re just smiling more and easier going. Maybe you don’t react in the same way or can laugh at yourself more. The more moments you add in your day like this..the more peaceful and serene you’ll become. You might even want to share your special time with a friend, family member, child, spouse sometimes so they can enjoy and experience peace and serenity with you (but it’s best if you do this as a solo activity most of the time so you can turn off your mind and relax). So give it a try…the only thing you have to lose is stress.