When inner peace is achieved, external storms seem less frightening. Because you have faced your fears, you are free from feelings of guilt, grudges and insecurities. Who wouldn't want to achieve such a psychological balance? Find out how.
Written and verified by the psychologist GetPersonalGrowth.
Last update: 15 November 2021
Living in peace with yourself ensures satisfaction, inner harmony, better stress management and a general well-being that is reflected in the body and mind. It should be noted, however, that learning this art is not easy at all, especially in a complex society like ours. The days are getting more and more complicated, the noises are louder and uncertainty is an eternal constant that keeps us immersed in anxiety and worries.
The truth is that it is difficult to give due attention to one's inner world and manage it when our lives seem to have been sucked into an eternal vortex. However, one important aspect should not be forgotten: it is in the present that you have to give your best. And this is possible only by reaching inner calm, when one is relieved of guilt, fears and resentments and when the shadow of the past does not cloud the present.
When there is peace of mind and heart, everything is seen more clearly and one feels more confident in solving challenges and in facing life with greater boldness, humanity and security. Living in peace with oneself is therefore not an appointment to be postponed. On the contrary, let's see how to reach this psychological state which is so rewarding and healthy.
How to be able to live in peace with yourself?
The emperor and philosopher Marcus Aurelius stated: "whoever lives in harmony with himself, lives in harmony with the universe". It is a great truth, which probably not even he could apply to his life despite his wisdom and his stoicism. To achieve this feeling of balance, we must put aside the guilt, the regrets and the shadow of all that we have left undone and that still afflicts us.
A mental hygiene, an ability to extinguish those psychological and emotional black holes that take away our stillness, and that requires us to face our torments. Only in this way can we give ourselves permission to be imperfect, to forgive ourselves once and for all or to stop punishing ourselves for dynamics that are beyond our control.
Living in peace with yourself is more than just spiritual comfort. It is not about washing away the sins of the past or stopping those inner battles that we often fight relentlessly. In positive psychology, in fact, the term "peace" is often used to indicate an intrapersonal mechanism through which psychological well-being and happiness can be achieved. We are talking about a very useful psychological exercise.
Capaldi, CA, Dopko, RL and Zelenski, JM (2014) in this research define it as a state of calm, serenity and mental tranquility that emerges in the absence of alterations such as worries, anxiety, hatred, regrets, feelings of guilt, etc. According to the authors, inner peace is achieved through emotional self-regulation. So let's see what are the mechanisms that allow you to live in peace with yourself.
Stop self-imposed obligations
What do obligations have to do with mental rest? Actually, a lot. Let's think about it for a moment: many people apply a hyper-demanding approach to themselves, subordinating their happiness to a series of obligations or conditions:
- "I'll be better off when I get a better job."
- "I'll find my balance when I show my family what I'm worth."
- "I'll be calmer when I manage to lose weight."
Such conditioning not only deprives us of inner peace, but also subject us to unnecessary suffering. It therefore becomes necessary to stop placing obstacles between us and the horizon. Life is easier if we stop putting too many conditions on happiness.
Value yourself, consider yourself important
When we walk the world without the support of self-esteem, our inner universe fills with voids and lives in a constant state of war. We expect the approval of others, their attention and positive reinforcement to feel recognized. As you can imagine, there is nothing more exhausting than begging for someone else's attention.
To live in peace with oneself, one must be able to give oneself the affection and recognition that is expected of others. When self-esteem and self-love are strong, you get that inner harmony in which nothing is missing. That moment when, finally, you stop expecting something from others and understand that you have to get it for yourself.
To live in peace with yourself, you have to learn to forgive yourself
Forgive yourself to free yourself. Asking your forgiveness because everyone makes mistakes and every mistake is a lesson and an opportunity to remedy, change and start over.
To live in peace with oneself, one must understand and accept that one is not infallible, but also that being one's own executioner does not lead to anything good. The pain, in this case, feeds itself and we lose the precious opportunity to prove that we are better, to show a brighter and more human version of us. We are much more than our past mistakes, so let's do it: let's forgive ourselves.
To curb resentments and negative emotions
On the journey of existence it is not good to venture with a cyclone in the mind and a constant war in the heart. Resentments, frustration, anger caused by disappointment or hatred towards someone who has hurt us are black clouds that obscure our being. No one can find calm in an inner storm.
Do not hesitate, therefore, resolve all these inner dynamics. Turn off the hatred, the anger, the pain of disappointment… Heal the emotions that hurt you and leave room for new opportunities and experiences. To live in peace with oneself one must undo those knots that do not allow one to breathe.
Make a commitment today to carry out this important task. Don't put off the calm of mind you might get today until tomorrow.