Thankfully, people are finally acknowledging the profound importance of self-care in the fast-paced, plugged-in society we live in. Self-care comes in many forms, but a big part of it entails making sure you protect your peace. What exactly does that mean? It means getting real about things that are negatively affecting you and taking action to reduce those effects.
Protecting your peace is not something that you accomplish in one day. Rather, it’s a lifelong journey of removing things from your life, making changes, and developing skills to make yourself more at ease in your life. Today, I’m going to share four ways that you can begin to cultivate a safe space internally and externally.Let’s get started.
1. Pay attention to your triggers
Does a certain person always cause you anxiety? Do certain topics spike your blood pressure? Do certain environments make you feel overwhelmed or irritable? It’s important to pay attention to the things that make you feel bad. If a certain person, topic, or place makes you feel crazy or out of sorts, limit your exposure to those things or stay away from them completely. You might also find that you have certain bad habits that are disrupting your peace. Take an honest look at your life, acknowledge what’s working and what’s not, and start working on making some necessary changes in the name of peace.
2. Let go of negative people
While this point relates to the tip above, it deserves its own highlight, as other people are hands-down the biggest threat to our inner peace. Start paying attention to how the people in your life behave and make you feel. Are you around people who do nothing but complain? Are you in a relationship with someone who always puts you down? Do you have a friend who is gossipy and self-absorbed? Having people in your life that are constantly focused on the negative or treat you poorly is a surefire way to destroy your peace and potentially affect the direction of your life. Choose your company wisely and don’t be afraid to cut out someone who brings you down. If you can’t completely stop contact with a specific person (i.e. a parent or sibling you live with), find a way to limit how much time you spend around them or confront them about how they make you feel.
3. Reduce your media consumption
A big source of negativity comes from social media and the news. It can be easy to fall into a comparison trap on social media that can increase levels of anxiety, depression, and feelings of insecurity. News, another peace-zapper, is essentially a never-ending steam of mostly bad or threatening things that we have little to no control over. How could you possibly feel at peace while constantly tuned into these types of media sources? Limit your media consumption to a couple short sessions a day (10 minutes or less each), or try cutting it out completely for a week or two. You’ll be amazed at how much more peaceful you feel!
4. Make time for yourself
Sometimes, we simply can’t control who or what surrounds us. If that’s the case for you currently, be sure to prioritize making time for yourself. Find some alone time away from the busy world and do something that soothes you or releases stress. You could go for a walk or run, journal your thoughts and feelings, go on a bike ride, kickbox, take a nice bath, cook a healthy meal, watch your favorite TV show, meditate, take a nap—whatever puts you at ease and lifts your spirits.
Make changes where you can
While we can’t control what people do or what happens in the world, we can control how we react to and handle those things and how we choose to spend our time. Put your peace first, no matter what that looks like. Letting go of people or things that are a source of negativity won’t be easy, but your peace and well-being come first—and the serenity you ultimately feel will be so worth it.