Peaceful Practices

Spring is a time of growth, renewal, and peace. As nature awakens from a long winter’s slumber, it yawns and stretches, getting ready for the changing of the seasons. People are cyclical, too, and spring often brings us similar feelings. The good news is that we can nurture and maintain these feelings of peace of spring in every season of our lives.

Spring provides something outwardly soothing to focus on, such as flowers bursting up from the earth, green leaves dotting tree branches, and warmer, sunnier days to enjoy.  We can maintain our inner tranquility, even if the things around us seem anything but tranquil.

Peace comes from what is around us, but it also comes from inside us.  Inner stillness is something that we choose, and only we can choose to give it away.

There are a number of simple ways to practice peace on a regular basis:

  • Breathe deeply from your abdomen to relax your mind and body.  Many times, we are not aware of how often we tense up and either hold our breath or engage in shallow breathing.  Begin by being mindful of your breathing throughout the day.  Take time out to slowly and deeply inhale for a count of four, pausing for a count of four, before slowly exhaling for a count of four.  Do this a few times in row, and notice how your heartrate begins to slow down, your muscles begin to relax, and your mind begins to feel clearer.
  • Listen to soft, calming music that you enjoy.  Music is said to soothe the savage beast, and if that savage beast happens to be you, pop in your earbuds, put on your headphones, or turn up your speakers to enjoy the tunes that soothe you. 
  • Play a game that alleviates stress.  Whether you play a game of solitaire, take on your family or friends in a board game, or participate in a sports league, choose something fun to do.  Taking time out to have fun may seem like a frivolous waste of time, but, in fact, it is a very effective way to clear our minds, improve our productivity, and reduce tension.
  • Watch a funny movie and laugh out loud.  Laughter truly is some of the best medicine there is, because it releases endorphins, which are the body’s natural feel good chemicals.  It can help to reduce physical and emotional pain, so, find things that tickle your funny bone.
  • Cuddle with a soft blanket, stuffed animal, your pet, or a loved one.  Cuddling is effective in lowering blood pressure, reducing stress and anxiety, and relieving pain.  So, cuddle up!
  • Use scents to make your surroundings smell pleasant.  Scents, such as lavender, ylang ylang, rosemary, and jasmine, not only smell wonderful, but they also promote a sense of peace and calm.  So, you may want to add scented candles, essential oils, or incense to your physical spaces whenever possible.
  • Drink a cup of herbal tea.  The warm sensation of a mug of hot tea feels soothing, so, savor teas known for their calming properties, like chamomile, mint, and rose.

Remember, peace is a choice. Stressful situations occur from time to time, and it is our response that determines our level of tranquility.  When things around us are chaotic, it’s okay. They are only things around us. They are not us.

With a little practice on a regular basis, we can learn to maintain peace in various situations. The more we practice, the more peaceful we will feel.  May the peace, joy, and hope of this spring season be with you all year.

That’s another story . . .

Categories: That's Another Story

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