“I want mental peace”, “there is no peace of mind ”, “how do I get peace?”

Mental peace, and how to achieve it, is probably one of the most sought after things in the mental health area. This is with good reason, all of us need moments of peace.

Ironically though, the pursuit of peace causes more frustration in one too many of us, especially in those moments where we are genuinely feeling bad, distressed or hurt.

For today, let’s look within and understand – What really is peace?

An uninterrupted day at work perhaps, or a nice conversation with your spouse

A few hours by the beach, or days when people around you show you love

But then, aren’t there times when you’ve sailed through work even when it’s chaotic, or for that matter, are extremely uneasy even while resting in your room?

What’s going wrong here?

Well, every one of the above are peaceful situations, and not peaceful mindsets. They are situations which make it easier to relax and be at ease. But, they are still not ‘peace’. They are the outer weather.. but what really defines peace is the inner weather – it’s what’s going through you that is either peaceful or chaotic.

‘Peace is a Moment without Judgement’

What does this mean to you? To a lot of you, this would sound as though these are just nice sounding, fancy words. Let’s get to understand what this really means

Think about it – what sounds more peaceful – being gentle and compassionate towards yourself when you’re feeling low, or cursing the feeling, fighting against it and cursing whatever caused that feeling?

Clearly, wishing negative feelings away and fighting with them are cause for greater frustration than was there in the first place. If you are feeling sad, or anxious, and then berate the feeling, yourself and the situation, you only go farther away from really understanding the feeling, from connecting with yourself.

How about accepting your feelings, instead of judging and evaluating them? Accepting whatever feelings are there within you ends your war with them. Just for a moment, if you stop fighting your feelings and instead connect with them, you’ll be more at peace. You’ll be closer to yourself, and will be able to understand and heal yourself better.

I leave you with this quote from a poem that summarizes this gentle, warm approach towards your own feelings beautifully:-

Peace is this moment without judgment,
this moment in the heart-space where
everything that is is welcome

– Dorothy Hunt

 

Image Credit: Robert Snache

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Post contributed by: Malini Krishnan

Malini is a Clinical Psychologist and she worked with adolescents and young adults at Inner Space, from 2010 to 2015.