Serenity now

Here's what it takes to achieve inner peace

Ever notice how some people never seem to let anything get under their skin? They could have been stuck in traffic for an extra hour, spilled coffee on their new suit and missed their daily report deadline-all before noon-and still manage to exude a mind-boggling level of happiness and calm. Doesn’t it make you sick?

Well, it shouldn’t. In fact, you’d probably be a lot better off if you had that inner peace that seems so elusive in the daily grind. While remaining stable on the inside when everything around you is bordering on chaos may be a challenge, it certainly isn’t impossible.

“Often, there isn’t much we can do about our high-pressure circumstances,” says Steve Simms, president of Attitude-Lifter Enterprises in Brentwood, Tennessee, and author of Mindrobics: How to Be Happy for the Rest of Your Life (ALE, $12.95). “But you can de-stress your mind and emotions.”

Indeed, there are a variety of things you can do-taking regular vacations, exercising and getting enough sleep are just a few of them-to keep stress in check. But maintaining a constant state of inner serenity will take patience and practice. Simms offers seven characteristics of internally peaceful people. Incorporate them into your own stress-management routine, and you’ll be calm, cool and collected on a regular basis.

  • Peaceful people are mentally tough. They maintain inner peace by resisting and driving away anxiety-producing thoughts.
  • Peaceful people limit their responsibility. They have resigned as general manager of the universe.
  • Peaceful people learn and develop the skills to be effective. They organize, delegate, avoid procrastination, prioritize and avoid perfectionism while pursuing excellence, using time-saving tools and know-how,and knowing when to say “no.”
  • Peaceful people take physical and mental breaks. They know how to relax, unwind, play, pray and get silly.
  • Peaceful people don’t chase rabbits. They don’t drop a high-priority task to pursue a less urgent one.
  • Peaceful people focus. When they are doing one thing, they aren’t thinking about something else.
  • Peaceful people nurture and develop their spiritual life. They don’t neglect matters of the soul and the sense of inner peace they produce.
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