Good Causes · Lifestyle · Mindfulness

Living A Peaceful Life

It’s World Peace Day, so I wanted to write a special post to celebrate this important day by exploring how to live a peaceful life.

With the world in its war torn state and political turmoil, it’s important for each one us to take stock of how we can contribute to a more peaceful world. Whilst many are extremely active in this space, it doesn’t even require much action for us to make a change.

We can think of these ‘hotspot’ areas where particularly troubling situations are occurring, but as we are so far removed from the situation, we often feel that we can’t actively help. Maybe we donate some money to a charity aiding those in war torn areas. Whilst this is a good deed, I urge everyone to look at their own lives and ask how they can promote peace in their immediate surrounding.

If everyone were able to do that, wouldn’t the world already be a vastly more peaceful place? We can often think differences are only made through a large and considerable action. But what if we all made a small change, with the vastness of the change seen through the volume of people who took part rather than in the measurement of a singular contribution? And even if not many people decide to promote peace, even with a few keeping peace and promoting unity, the world would still be closer to being more peaceful. Even if it were only one of us making an effort, the world would still be more peaceful than without that effort. Each of us truly do make a difference.

I have been focused on being more peaceful by being more aware of my tendency to be in defense mode. I can be highly sensitive and generally am an inoffensive person. This means when I come across more direct individuals, I can sometimes struggle to determine if they are actively emotionally attacking me or are simply forming an opinion. I have become increasingly focused on this tendency to ensure that I minimise accusations or arguments based on my perception of how others view me. Most of the time no one is out to be nasty or attacking. Everyone wants to get along, but no one wants to suffer. So we each hold some form of ‘don’t want to suffer’ defense within us that can lead to us having beliefs or taking actions that sometimes aren’t peaceful.

Peacefulness starts at home. When we promote peace in our own immediate surroundings we can change the world. A theory is that everyone in the world is connected through a chain of six degrees of separation…that you can find a person in common with a stranger through six other people. Whether or not this is the case, we know that if we are calmer and more peaceful as individuals, so too are those around us (especially if they’re the person/people we usually induce an argue with!). We can pass on peace. By being peaceful, we not only help ourselves but others too.

A few ideas on how each of us can promote peace in our own environment:

1) Check in with ourselves frequently. Are we feeling ok, or are we stressed? If we’re stressed, what can we do to alleviate this before the only way the bad energy can leave us is in an unpeaceful manner?

2) Do one thing that would make the life of someone close to us more peaceful. Maybe we could alleviate their pain and suffering by treating them to something nice or paying them a compliment. Or maybe we can help them with something that they find difficult or stressful.

3) Think twice before starting an argument. This can be hard. In the heat of a moment we can lash out before we even know what we’re doing or saying. If we can build our awareness of our anger and look out for how it rises and falls, we can recognise our patterns and choose not to act unpeacefully. It doesn’t mean that you don’t make your point heard, but recognise there is a different way to approach difficult situations amicably.

4) Give the gift of a smile. It’s simple, but you can spread a feeling of peace and love through a simple smile to others.

Wishing everyone a peaceful day.

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