The following is a list of processes and attitudes that may assist us in living a life with greater peace of mind. When we become more consciously aware of these concepts, and practice them, we will live a happier life.
Basic concept: worrying is one of the most common things we do on a daily basis that blocks our attainment of peace of mind. Worrying is usually a waste of time and often creates anxiousness, stress or anxiety. Basic solution: replace worrying thoughts with concentration, focus, and follow-through on solutions to our problems. For more on this see the article “Worry or peace of Mind?”
A pessimist is a person who dwells on the negatives of the past, allows those negatives to ruin their day, and anticipates more negatives occurring in their life. An optimist is a person who lets go of the negatives of the past, makes a decision to enjoy their day, and anticipates better things happening in their life. Basic solution: think of optimism as a verb, it’s something you do, practice or can learn. It’s not a noun, something you have or don’t have.
A perfectionist is someone who expects themselves to be perfect, who expects events and others around them to be perfect. This generally is an unrealistic goal, so the perfectionist sets himself or herself up for experiencing disappointment, frustration and anxiety. Basic solution: replace the goal of perfection with the goal of excellence. Excellence is still a high standard and is achievable on a daily basis. For more on this see the article “Perfection or Happiness.”
The more gratitude or appreciation we express, the happier we will be, it’s that simple. Someone observed that the expression of gratitude is one of the most endearing of human expressions.
In his book Thanks, Robert A. Emmons reports a study in which one test group kept a gratitude journal. It was found that the people of this group experienced overall feeling happier (than the other groups), as well as having lower blood pressure and practicing better health habits.
When a person is consciously aware of their many purposes in life, it gives meaning to their life experience. Suggestion: make a list of the various roles you play in life and assign a value to each in terms of satisfaction, say on a scale from 1 to 10. This will help clarify and make you conscious of your purposes, helping you to understand the truly meaningful aspects of your existence.
A few excellent sources to more fully understand this concept are Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning, and Eckart Tolle’s A New Earth Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
The more we practice the techniques of patience, the less stress and anxiety we will experience. Patience is similar to optimism in that it’s something you do (a verb), not a noun (something you have or don’t have). An example of practicing patience is telling yourself “it takes as long as it takes” when waiting in line of when stuck on a freeway. Many more techniques are available in the book The Power of Patience by M.J. Ryan.
This list or inventory is only a partial list, but it’s a good start in attaining more general peace of mind. Other factors to consider for peace of mind: practical time management, procrastination, how to handle troublesome relationships, coping with losses in our life.