“Many people think excitement is happiness…. But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh
When was the last time you experienced personal peace? In our high tech, high results world we tend to experience more stress than peace.
More and more people are in the grips of stress and it is affecting their health, their outlook on life and it is affecting their emotions. You’ve probably have seen people who are too stressed, too angry and depressed. Those people aren’t experiencing much in terms of personal peace.
It is hard to cram all of what life demands into a 24 hour day and yet people try. They take shortcuts on their exercise, their diet, and their sleep and wonder why they have a short temper, are gaining weight and feel physically ill.
Lissa Rankin has written a book about her personal question for personal peace. One of the remedies getting free of the stuff that creates a lot of stress. For Lissa it was getting away from a stress producing job and creating a less stressful way of life.
Lissa’s process can help you manage stress in your life. Healing starts with a lifestyle that is less hectic.
Because stress impacts our ability to think and keep our emotions intact, here’s another resource that can provide you with information to improve the quality of your life.
Increasing compassion in your life will help you improve your ability to relate and develop relationships with others. Being more generous sends a positive message to others and reduces tension. Kindness will do more good in a tense situation than staying angry. Take charge of your emotions and become more compassionate. Express kindness and see if it increases cooperation with others.
Imagine shifting your language to get better personal and professional results. Perhaps your interactions with others is stressed and it feels uncomfortable. Maybe the relationship with your co-workers or associates isn’t what you want it to be. There are ways to build better relationships. One way is with the words you use (take a look at the short video clip below).
Another way to increase personal peace is through meditation. Just spending a few minutes each day meditation can bring about positive emotional health benefits. To learn more about meditation practices take a look at “How to do Mindful Meditation”.
Learn how to activate personal peace in your life, to reduce stress, increase emotional well-being and to live a happier life.
Posted in Anger, appreciation, gratitude, growth, happiness, heart, stress, Thinking, Work/Life
Tagged Andrew Newberg, compassionate living, Kristen Neff, Lissa Rankin, meditation, personal compassion, personal happiness, personal peace, reduced stress, self-compassion, Shambhala, Wall Street Journal
“I am, indeed, a king, because I know how to rule myself.”
― Pietro Aretino
What do you have power over?
Do you have power over yourself?
You may be in a position to tell others what to do and how to do it. You can will your power over others and have them take action and at the same time you have no control over your own emotions, thoughts and actions. You may lack the will power to change your own story.
Think about it. What goals have you set for yourself that lapsed into decay only a few weeks after you started your grand pursuit. When was the last time you refused an offer for that second helping? When was the last time you turned
down that extra cup of coffee? Did you start to exercise more after your doctor told you that it would be of great benefit to you? When did you stop smoking? When did you stop drinking? When did you stop your destructive behaviors?
Willpower, the ability to turn back desire. Do you have any?
We play to the power of dopamine, the feel good drug that is produced in the brain. There is a pull between two powerful hormones, dopamine and adrenaline. Adrenaline is our hormone that causes us to run from danger and dopamine is what is produced when pleasure is experienced.
If we do something that is challenging our systems our bodies produce stress hormones. If we do something we like we produce “happiness” hormones. If we want to change there is a likelihood that it will create stress and that resistance is enough to stop us from making the desired changes. In other words we produce negative hormones when we anticipate change.
As long as the stress of change exceeds the perceived value of the change we will resist making a change. If we can integrate into our thinking self-compassion into our lives we can change how our bodies react to stress. Self-compassion allows us to increase the production of “happiness” hormones. It takes some work to develop strategies to move our towards self-compassion.
Willpower can be increased by practicing self-compassion. With greater willpower there is a chance to create new supportive habits. New supportive habits will increase dopamine levels in your brain which will increase your happiness.
“Feeling compassion for ourselves in no way releases us from responsibility for our actions. Rather, it releases us from the self-hatred that prevents us from responding to our life with clarity and balance.” Tara Brach
You spill the cup of coffee you just brewed and it splashes over your clothing leaving a nice brown stain. What are you saying to yourself?
What do you say to yourself when you don’t meet your expectations, when you are late, when you say something you shouldn’t, when you forget an important meeting, when you oversleep or when you get a speeding ticket? What are you telling yourself?
Many people find that their message to themselves upon any unmet expectation is filled with insults and derision that would never be heard by someone else. People become their own worst enemy and call themselves names that only reduce their ability to succeed. Some people believe telling themselves that they are “not good enough” as a way to motivate themselves to better results and often it only yields more of that same message … “you’re not good enough”. Before long that becomes their internal truth and all they do by yelling at themselves is provide confirmation that they aren’t living up to the world’s standards or their own. If they are “not good enough” then that means people around them aren’t good enough either and it sours those relationships as well.
What do you tell yourself when you don’t meet your own expectations?
What if you could tell yourself a different message? You can. New research is being done in the area of self-compassion. It might be worth reading about or learning more about. Practicing self-compassion just means that things can go wrong and that it is OK.
You can change what you tell yourself when things don’t go exactly as planned. Instead of beating yourself up, try this just say it to yourself:
“This is a moment of suffering.
Suffering is part of my life.
May I be kind to myself in this moment.
May I give myself the compassion I need.” (From Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff)
Just repeat those lines and practice it for a week. See if you can notice a difference. Go ahead every time you are ready to condemn yourself say those lines above instead.
To hear more about self-compassion listen to this video: