Finding peace of mind

16 Ways to Find Peace of Mind

By Dr. John Delony

By Dr. John Delony

The most important thing I can tell you about your peace of mind is this: It’s not situational. A lot of us look for peace of mind by trying to predict the future, by controlling everything and everyone, or by putting our faith in a political candidate who makes us feel safe.   

But when we try to anchor our sense of well-being to an ever-shifting, chaotic world, we will constantly feel anxious and unsettled.

True peace of mind is not contingent upon circumstances. It’s a way of being—a choice to rise above your situation. You have to be a person of peace and choose to live a life of peace, which paradoxically means you have to be ready to encounter difficulty. And the best way I know how to do this is to have practices that prepare you for life’s challenges when—not if—they come. Think of these practices as rebar—the metal rods embedded in concrete that keep it strong and structurally sound.

With that in mind, let’s talk about a few of the best practices for becoming a person of peace.

1. Face uncomfortable truths head on. 

Finding peace of mind isn’t about erasing every uncomfortable emotion or thought. It’s about braving the rapids for stiller waters. Numbing, suppressing and avoiding disappointment and anxiety will only make everything worse. Don’t run from or judge your feelings. Instead, be compassionate and curious. Sometimes, simply giving yourself permission to call it like it is will allow you to feel tremendous relief.

2. Journal.

Journaling is an excellent practice for unearthing what’s going on in your heart and mind. Get your swirling, chaotic thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Just sit down with a blank sheet of paper and write. Word vomit all over the page. Don’t edit yourself. And don’t lie or hide from yourself. The goal isn’t to be pretty or eloquent or even make sense—it’s to get in touch with what’s going on inside your head.   

3. Connect with people you love and trust. 

You cannot do life alone. Period. Healthy relationships are the foundation for a still mind and overall wellness. You need people. When you’re feeling stressed, anxious and lonely, go to someone who will listen to you, love you, and just be with you. Human connection is one of the most powerful antidotes to that low-grade anxiety that might be robbing you of your peace of mind.

4. Be active. 

One of the best ways to get stress out of your body is to be active. Lift weights. Ride a bike. Join a team. Do anything you can to be active. Exercise will clear your mind and heal your body unlike anything else.

Your mental health matters. Order Own Your Past, Change Your Future today!

I love lifting weights in my home gym and getting outside in the woods and creeks with my kids for ridiculous adventures. I like going to jujitsu classes, playing church-league basketball, and taking long bike rides. For you, it might be playing soccer in the yard, crushing it on a rowing machine, or hiking. The best exercise plan is the one you’ll do.

5. Spend time outside. 

Be outside whenever possible. Get a blanket if it’s cold or wear shorts if it’s too hot. But get outside. Nature is healing and restorative for your heart, mind and body. Put your bare feet in the grass, listen to the birds, take a hike, sit by a lake or a river and just breathe in the air.

6. Sleep. 

Getting a full seven to nine hours of sleep every night is ridiculously important because sleep fixes so many health issues—including stress and anxiety. Sleep is about as close to a silver bullet as you can get.

If you have trouble actually getting to sleep because your thoughts are spinning, create a wind-down routine an hour before bed where you get off technology, dim the lights, take a relaxing bath, take pure supplements (not medications), read a good book, and meditate and journal to help calm your mind.

7. Eat well. 

Along with sleep, nutrient-rich foods are a foundational pillar of health. There’s no such thing as “mental health” and “physical health.” It’s all just health. And food has a direct impact on your mood, as well as your body’s ability to function, respond and recover. A diet that’s high in sugar and processed foods and other trash will contribute significantly to your anxiety levels. Be a good steward of the one body you have and eat well.

8. Practice forgiveness. 

Unresolved conflict can be a huge source of anxiety. Do you need to forgive someone for the hurt they caused you? Do you need to forgive yourself for a mistake that haunts you? Unforgiveness leads to bitterness, and it’s been said that bitterness is the poison we drink hoping someone else will die. Don’t carry the bricks of bitterness or anger. Set the bricks down. Choose to forgive.

9. Listen to music.

Music is healing for the soul—whether you’re jamming to ’80s hair metal (one of my personal favorites) or some lo-fi beats to create some Zen. Find a playlist or an album that brings you joy and turn up the volume.  

10. Do something creative. 

Creativity is a remarkable outlet for stress relief and peace. I love this quote from Brené Brown: “Unused creativity is not benign . . . It metastasizes into resentment, grief, heartbreak.” Is there a creative outlet you’ve been missing? Dust off your guitar. Start that business. Plant a garden. Cook a meal for your neighbors.

Getting lost in a good novel is another great way to increase creativity. Pick up a book and give your brain a break from problem-solving mode. 

11. Practice gratitude every day.

I keep a gratitude journal every single day. I know this feels cheesy and Pinteresty, but it’s powerful and transformative. Anxiety keeps us fixated on past experiences or worried about future ones, but gratitude is grounding because it centers us in the present. It reminds us to stop complaining and whining and internalize our blessings.

Write down five things you’re grateful for, beginning with “I’m grateful for . . .” Gratitude is a foundational practice for a life of peace. Bonus points if you do this twice a day: when you first wake up and right before you go to bed.

12. Pay attention to and redirect your thoughts. 

I don’t know about you, but the more stressed I become, the more I lose control of my thoughts. If I don’t step in, my brain starts to spiral, with unwelcome and frightening thoughts spinning faster and faster.

Ruminating (thinking the same things over and over) and worrying make us feel like we’re doing something important. We get a false sense of accomplishment from these mental scenarios: preparing for the worst, rehearsing disaster, or practicing imaginary hard conversations we’ll never have in real life. Hear me clearly: Ruminating and worrying are a complete waste of time. They do nothing except leave us feeling more helpless and anxious.  

But here’s the exciting thing: We can learn to control our thoughts. We get to decide where we fix our attention. Pay attention to the thoughts running through your mind and redirect them to something actually true and pleasant and good to think about.

13. Try a meditation. 

Okay, I know what you might be thinking: Meditation is a woo-woo practice for yogis and granola people that only eat kale. But in reality, meditation is the practice of paying attention to and controlling our thoughts. It’s learning where your body and your mind connect and how you can take a bird’s-eye view of your desires. It’s a game changer. My team and I put together a free meditation that will help you find peace of mind. Download it here. 

14. Clear up your schedule.

You cannot outrun or outperform your anxiety and depression. Being rushed and overcommitted will destroy your peace of mind. Are you too busy? Stressed out by commitments you can’t keep? Look at how you’re spending your time and find things you can say no to. Slow down, create boundaries around your calendar and find time to breathe.  

15. Throw your screens out the window. 

Okay, not really. But maybe. Our devices are stealing our attention, our joy and our ability to be present with ourselves and with others. I don’t propose that we all go off the grid and live in the woods without electricity or smartphones or plumbing. I’m writing this article on a laptop, and I just posted some quippy saying on Instagram. For most of us, technology is an important tool for our work and our lives. But I’m certain of the fact that we need to have major guardrails around technology use.

Reevaluate your relationship with technology. Is it serving you, or are you serving it? Treat your attention as your most important commodity. Treasure it. Value it. Protect it.  

16. Pray. 

I’m a Christian guy, so prayer is important to me. It might not be for you, and that’s okay. But if you’re a person of faith, I encourage you to make regular time to pray and calm your spirit. I also like to write a Scripture verse on an index card (yeah, I’m old school like that) and carry it around with me throughout my day.

Regardless of your faith tradition or your relationship (or lack of) with God, we must all internalize one important truth: The universe does not revolve around you. Or me. We’re small, and our time on earth is short. There are much bigger things going on. Prayer reminds us to sit in our smallness and helps us remember that we all need help getting through each moment. 

A Long-Term Solution for Finding Peace of Mind

Most of the time, our general sense of unease or stress or guilt stems from unresolved anxiety. It’s like a low-grade fever. It’s your brain and body’s way of letting you know something is off.

But here’s what’s exciting: Once you lean in and pay attention to the root cause of your anxiety, you can begin to make deep, lasting changes for healing. To hear how other people have taken steps to heal, tune into The Dr. John Delony Show on YouTube or your favorite podcast platform. Please go all in on this. You are worth being well.

About the author

Dr. John Delony

Dr. John Delony is a mental health expert with two PhDs from Texas Tech University—one in counselor education and supervision and the other in higher education administration. Before joining Ramsey Solutions in 2020, John spent two decades in crisis response, walking with people through severe trauma. Now at Ramsey Solutions, John writes, speaks and teaches on relationships, mental health, anxiety and wellness. He also serves as co-host of The Ramsey Show, the second-largest talk show in the nation that’s heard by 18 million weekly listeners, as well as host of The Dr. John Delony Show. In 2022, John’s book Own Your Past, Change Your Future instantly became a #1 national bestseller. You can also find John featured on DailyMailTV, Fox Business and The Minimalists Podcast. Learn More.

How to Find Peace of Mind in 6 Steps

In a frantic world, a peaceful mind might seem like a friend you rarely have the chance to catch up with. But finding peace of mind is possible.

Share on PinterestA peaceful mind and life may start with becoming intentional in all you do. Illustration by Alyssa Kiefer

Peace of mind, also described as inner calm, refers to an internal state of tranquility. When you have mental peace, you might feel:

  • at ease within yourself
  • a sense of self-compassion
  • unruffled by day-to-day worries
  • prepared to welcome whatever life tosses your way

You might assume you can only find peace from within when you’re finally completely free of troubles, but that’s not the case.

In fact, it often works the other way around.

Feeling at peace internally can boost overall contentment and feelings of happiness, regardless of the challenges you face.

A relaxed and calm outlook can help you navigate life’s often-turbulent waters more smoothly.

Finding peace of mind isn’t as challenging as it seems. You can find peace of mind by:

  1. accepting what can’t be controlled
  2. forgiving yourself and others
  3. staying focused on the here and now
  4. going within
  5. journaling your thoughts and emotions
  6. connecting to Mother Earth

Consider these tips anytime, anywhere, to get started:

You can’t actually control your mind and simply tell it, “Be more peaceful” — just as you can’t control life.

Life is unpredictable. From time to time various challenges will surface, complicating your daily routine and leaving you anxious, drained, or even afraid.

It’s entirely natural to worry about a parent’s illness, or feel dismayed and angry by your recent job loss. But when you fixate on those feelings, they can eventually take over, disturbing your peace and making it more difficult to cope.

Ignoring those feelings to just get on with things generally doesn’t help, either. Suppressed emotions can intensify, leaving you far less calm down the line.

Acceptance, on the other hand, often does make a difference. Research shows that accepting your own thoughts and emotions is an effective strategy.

You can also practice cognitive reframing by reminding yourself:

  • “What’s happening right now won’t last forever. In the meantime, I’m doing my best.”
  • “This is a tough situation, but I can get through it.”
  • “I feel miserable right now, but I won’t always feel like this.

It’s natural to want to turn away from pain, so it can take time to get in the habit of acceptance. But as it becomes more natural, you’ll likely find yourself feeling more at peace.

What happens when you feel you have no peace of mind?

The demands of everyday life can lead to stress and other emotional turmoil, no question — especially if you’re going through a rough patch.

You typically can’t escape life’s challenges, and inner peace won’t make your difficulties disappear. But mental peace is so important because it can help you remain calm in the face of distress by easing feelings of anxiety, worry, and overwhelm.

Without peace of mind, you might eventually begin to notice symptoms of anxiety and stress, including:

  • sleep disturbances
  • aches and pains
  • fatigue and low energy
  • stomach distress
  • anger or irritability
  • difficulty concentrating
  • relationship tension or conflict

Finding peace from within doesn’t necessarily prevent symptoms of anxiety or depression. All the same, a lack of it could worsen mental and emotional distress.

Feeling hurt, even angry, when someone wrongs you or treats you unfairly is an understandable (and completely natural) response.

Yet holding on to grudges or slights won’t do much to help you find inner peace.

Nursing feelings of anger, disappointment, or resentment takes up plenty of emotional energy and can contribute to physical and mental health symptoms, including:

  • poor heart health
  • sleep problems
  • stomach distress
  • depression
  • anxiety

Forgiveness doesn’t just benefit the person you forgive. It could do even more for you, in the end. Self-forgiveness is also essential.

In fact, according to 2016 research, adults of varying ages who felt more forgiving over the course of 5 weeks experienced less stress and fewer mental health symptoms.

Of course, forgiveness doesn’t always come easily, with a snap of your fingers. It’s often a long and emotionally demanding process that goes beyond simply saying, “I forgive you. ” Forgiveness involves compassion and empathy, not to mention acceptance.

That goes for your own actions, too. Going over and over past mistakes won’t erase what happened, but it can leave you mired in self-blame and regret.

You’re on the path to self-forgiveness if you’ve already:

  • apologized
  • made an effort to amend the wrong
  • committed to changing your behavior

Your next steps toward a more peaceful mind involve offering yourself compassion and letting go of guilt and shame.

A therapist can help, but you can also get started here.

Acceptance proving more difficult than you imagined? Sometimes a guiding tool can make it easier to let go of distressing thoughts.

Why not give meditation for peace of mind a try? Some of the many potential benefits of this ancient Hindu practice include increased self-awareness, reduced stress, and positive brain changes.

Evidence suggests mindfulness meditation, in particular, can promote greater awareness of the present moment, whether it brings joy or pain. In general, it helps you cope with emotional distress.

Mindfulness makes up an important part of Buddhist meditation. Buddhism itself holds inner peace as an essential aspect of well-being.

If you’re familiar with the concept of nirvana, you might know it’s often used casually to describe a state of euphoria or bliss. In Buddhism, though, this ultimate goal does reflect a type of inner calm — the peace that arises in the absence of suffering and desire.

Both focused meditation and increased mindfulness can indirectly help you acknowledge, accept, and let go of the physical and emotional distress that might otherwise stir the waters of your mind.

With a regular meditation practice, this acceptance can go a long way toward promoting lasting mental peace.

New to meditation?

  • Check out our guide to the best meditation apps.
  • Learn more about your options for online meditation.
  • Explore free guided mindfulness meditations on YouTube.

While too much time alone can lead to loneliness, spending just the right amount of time on your own could benefit your well-being and lead to finding peace in a frantic world.

Setting aside space for solitude can promote some people’s deeper sense of contentment over time.

Why try solitude?

Solitude offers the chance to:

  • reflect on personal values
  • explore your self-identity
  • reconnect with your needs
  • reevaluate your boundaries
  • embrace your creative side
  • enjoy your hobbies and favorite pastimes
  • start a meditation practice

Any of these activities can boost peace of mind in daily life by helping you recharge, relax, and focus on your personal needs.

Maybe an English teacher assigned daily journal entries. You completed the exercise grudgingly at first, but with more enthusiasm and commitment once you realized putting your feelings on paper did, in fact, provide you with a different perspective.

Journaling can help you process and express emotions you might otherwise keep inside.

Writing, of course, won’t get rid of your troubles. But you might find that committing them to paper helps ease some of their emotional weight and transforms inner peace from an exception to more of a rule.

Do you head for the trees (or the seas) when you need some rest and respite from the daily grind?

An abundance of research backs up your instincts: Natural environments, green spaces in particular, can ease emotional distress and foster feelings of inner calm and peace of mind.

Spending time in nature can help you have peace of mind by:

  • soothing worry, anger, or fear
  • easing stress and promoting relaxation
  • lower your risk for depression and other mental health conditions
  • enhancing feelings of kindness and social connection
  • improving concentration and focus

A few ideas to try:

  • Visit a neighborhood park.
  • Explore a national forest.
  • Challenge yourself with a hike across rugged terrain (safely, of course!)
  • Relax at a nearby beach or lake shore.
  • Get your hands dirty with a little gardening.

Tip: No matter what you choose to do, consider leaving your phone at home (or powered down in your backpack if on a hike). A constant stream of notifications or the urge to refresh your social media feeds can quickly chip away at your newfound calm.

Working on finding peace of mind can help you weather the changing seas of life with more resilience and emotional fortitude.

While greater mental and emotional peace is possible for anyone, it may not happen overnight. Offering yourself kindness and compassion along the way — while remembering that patience also plays an important part — can make all the difference.

Calmness, only calmness: the secret of strength

I have long noticed that I feel more balanced and confident when I find time for relaxation, meditation or prayer. Quite pleased with the result, I soon stop doing it. Gradually my life becomes more and more tense, I come to despair. Peace is leaving me. Then I resume my relaxing activities, and life gradually improves.

Many people pass through this circle. From this we can conclude: "If you don't have time for relaxation, you absolutely need it" .

To find peace of mind, you need to develop the habit of resting yourself every day. People who have achieved peace of mind often perform certain rituals. Some pray, others meditate, others take a walk at dawn. Everyone finds their own way of relaxation. It helps us better understand and attune ourselves.

Peace of mind is a state of harmony with the whole world and, above all, with oneself. But above all, peace is balance. nine0003

The number one challenge for martial artists is to maintain balance. When you start doing karate, you will learn that strength depends on balance and a “cold” head. It is worth adding emotions, and your song is sung. Balance and peace of mind are the sources of our self-confidence. Calm does not mean sleepy! Calmness is the management of force, not opposition to it . Calmness is the ability to see the big picture without focusing on the details. nine0003

If you want to protect yourself from all harm, you have chosen the wrong planet. Peace and confidence can only be found within yourself. There is no stability in the surrounding world, everything around is in a state of eternal variability. How can we deal with the unpredictability of life? Just by accepting it! Tell yourself, “I love surprises. It's great when you know that at any moment some kind of surprise can happen. Make a decision: “Whatever happens, I can handle it.” Agree with yourself: “If I get fired, I will find a job with a freer schedule. If I get hit by a bus, I won't be here anymore." This is not a joke. This is the truth of life. The earth is a dangerous place. People are born and die here. But that doesn't mean you have to live like a cowardly rabbit. nine0003

Life will remain a struggle if we insist on it. Modern civilization has taught us to constantly strain. We grew up believing in resistance. We tend to push events and push people. We exhaust ourselves, and this does more harm than good.

A young man traveled all over Japan to meet a great martial artist. Having obtained an audience, he asked the Master, “I want to be the best. How long will it take me?"
And the sensei answered: "Ten years." nine0028 The student asked: “Master, I am very capable, I will work day and night. How long will it take me?"
And the Master answered: "Twenty years!"

Greetings, desert corner… It is no coincidence that cultures around the world have a tradition and reverence for solitude. During the period of initiation, both the American Indian and the African Bushman left their tribes, hiding in the mountains or forests in order to understand their destiny. Great spiritual teachers - Christ, Buddha, Mohammed - drew inspiration from solitude, as did millions of their followers. Each of us needs such a treasured place where phones do not ring, where there is no TV or Internet. Let it be a nook in the bedroom, a corner on the balcony or a bench in the park - this is our territory for creativity and reflection. nine0003

Science has had Sir Isaac Newton's method since the 17th century: if you want to understand something, break it down and study the pieces. If this does not add clarity, divide into even smaller parts ... In the end, you will get to the bottom of how the Universe works. But is it true? Take Shakespeare's sonnet and divide it into nouns, prepositions and pronouns, then break the words into letters. Will the author's intent become clearer to you? Lay out the "Mona Lisa" on strokes. What will it give you? Science works wonders, but it also dissects. The mind breaks things apart. The heart brings them together. Strength and well-being come when we look at the world as a whole. nine0003

Forces of nature. Have you ever noticed that you can wander all day in the forest and feel the influx of strength? Or spend the morning at the mall and feel like you've been run over by a truck? Everything around vibrates, be it grass, concrete, plastic or polyester. We capture her. Gardens and forests have a healing vibration - they restore our energy. The vibration of concrete malls is of a different type: they suck energy. The vibration of cathedrals is directed upwards. In smoky bars and strip clubs, you will leave the lion's share of your vitality. nine0003

It doesn't take a genius to understand that our health and worldview depend on the elusive energy of the environment. When we are full of energy, we easily manage to resist illness and the bad mood of others. If the energy is at zero, we attract depression and illness to ourselves.

Why do we need relaxation? Almost everything we do in life is a race for results. But deep relaxation, meditation or prayer helps us to look at life in a new way. We expect that the future will bring us many pleasant moments. However, our attention should still be focused on the present. As we practice deep relaxation, we will begin to notice that some of the qualities acquired during the exercise gradually become habitual and change our daily life. We become calmer, we have intuition. nine0003

We all have an inner voice, but it is weak and barely audible. When life gets too hectic and noisy, we stop hearing it. But as soon as we muffle extraneous sounds, everything changes. Our intuition is always with us, but often we do not pay any attention to it.

Relaxation will save you more time than you spend on it . Make it a habit to tune yourself the way you tune a musical instrument. Twenty minutes every day - so that the strings of your soul sound clean and harmonious. Wake up every morning with the intention of being calm and balanced. Some days you will be able to hold out until the evening, and sometimes only until breakfast. But if maintaining peace of mind becomes the goal, gradually you will learn this, perhaps the most important art in your life. nine0003

45 ways to find peace of mind

June 5, 2013 Life Inspiration

In our age of haste, lack of rest and excess of information, it is not easy to know Zen. We often get nervous over trifles. It's time to learn how to live differently.

We don't know how to deal with stress. For many, relaxation comes down to alcohol, coffee with a cigarette, or extreme hobbies. Meanwhile, there are simple methods to restore peace of mind in just a few minutes. nine0003

We remembered as many as 45 ways.

  1. Take a deep breath for one-two-three-four, hold your breath for the same count, then slowly exhale.
  2. Take a pen and write down your thoughts on paper.
  3. Recognize that life is complicated.
  4. Think of your three most successful events in your life.
  5. Tell your loved one what he means to you.
  6. Sit down and do nothing.
  7. Allow yourself to sit back for a while. nine0067
  8. Look at the clouds for a few minutes.
  9. Imagine that you see your life from a bird's eye view.
  10. Defocus your eyes and for a couple of minutes catch everything that happens around you with your peripheral vision.
  11. Give a small amount to charity.
  12. Mentally place yourself inside a transparent bubble that protects you.
  13. Put your hand on your heart and feel it beat. It's great.
  14. Tell yourself that you will stay positive for the rest of the day. No matter what. nine0067
  15. Be grateful that you don't always get what you want.
  16. Think about how you would live your life if you knew for sure that you would never become rich.
  17. Let your body do what it wants at this moment.
  18. Smell fresh flowers.
  19. Listen to your inner critic as if it were your best friend.
  20. Identify the tightest part of your body. Tighten it with all your might for a few seconds, and then relax. nine0067
  21. Go outside and touch something 100% natural. Feel the texture.
  22. Look around and label each object. Realize how simple these things really are.
  23. Smile the stupidest smile in the world and imagine what you look like.
  24. Think of your big problem as if it were a friend of yours.
  25. Imagine that your roots extend to the center of the planet.
  26. Massage your head with all ten fingers. nine0067
  27. Count from 10 to 1 and listen for the echo after each number.
  28. Feel the ground beneath you with your bare feet and be aware of your connection with the earth.
  29. Stop focusing on other people.
  30. Dare to say no. Bolder.
  31. Write a list of all your problems. Then filter out the ones that don't depend on you or are not very important.
  32. Drink some water. Dehydration causes stress.
  33. Live within your means.
  34. Be aware of the difference between your desires and your need. nine0067
  35. Sincerely apologize to… Well, you yourself know who you are to blame for.
  36. Think about the vastness of the Universe and understand how invisible your troubles are.
  37. Refuse to give a quick answer to a difficult question and seek a solution at a deeper level.
  38. Make extra time for your child.
  39. Listen to white noise. It's relaxing.
  40. Write down the best advice you have ever received and apply it.
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