As an adult child of an alcoholic, the quiet in my household was most likely always followed by chaos. The thing I craved the most as a child was peace. The uneasy feeling of impending doom followed me well into my adulthood. When there was happiness in my life, I knew it would be short-lived because that’s what always happened. Why would it be any different now?
I had to learn how to obtain inner peace on my own– the hard way. I was in my early thirties when my body told me through panic attacks that I needed to find a sense of inner peace or else I was going to go crazy.
Enter—my therapist, Cindy. She helped me decipher the layers and layers of grief, heartbreak, and the loss of my childhood. She held the key that opened the gates to my hidden traumas. It became a daily battle to keep the flood gates under control. There were many days that I felt like I would drown.
According to the Adult Children of Alcoholics World Services Organization (https://adultchildren.org), “stuffing” our feelings is one of the traits identified in adult children of alcoholics. “We have “stuffed” our feelings from our traumatic childhoods and have lost the ability to feel or express our feelings because it hurts so much (Denial).” I knew I shut down emotionally because I had to survive. With Cindy’s help, I processed the painful discoveries by living through them again. Memories bubbled to the surface, and it wasn’t long before my insides felt like one big open wound. I knew it would only be a matter of time before the real emotions would come oozing out—and they did. Becoming overwhelming at times, I knew I had to find something to do with the residual feelings because they hung around for a while. It was then that I started reading Days Of Healing Days of Joy a daily meditation book that helped validate what or how I was feeling.
What is Inner Peace?
For me, it’s a sense of calm that everything is alright in my world, a feeling of complete serenity. It’s when I feel the connectedness of my mind, body, and soul.
Inner peace is something you cannot buy. It’s a sense of satisfaction and happiness that emanates from the soul, and it is something that we must learn to find within ourselves. There is no standard process or mandatory steps you need to follow to find your peace of mind. Finding your inner peace is individual.
Why Do We Need Inner Peace?
Following the path of true inner peace will help us navigate our lives through the high and low tides —waters of uncertainty, suffering, and sadness.
Inner peace involves gathering a collection of self-care techniques that can keep you rooted in your identity.
Inner peace allows us to confront life with an open heart and mind. It helps us keep track of what is important to us and eliminate harmful influences.
How to Obtain Inner Peace and Happiness
There are many ways to achieve inner peace and happiness. What may work for one person will not work for another. It doesn’t just happen overnight; it’s an ongoing process. I find my inner peace is when I am lying or sitting on my yoga mat and just listening to myself breathe, in and out. I become aware of something other than myself.
Spend Time In Nature
When you spend time with nature, you will find quiet and serenity. Taking in nature’s sights and sounds can relax your mind and prevent you from thinking about stressful thoughts.
Finding your sense of peace and taking care of your well-being means being grateful for what you have, not what you lack in life. When you appreciate what you have in life, you’ll find more peace. Individuals with a grateful heart find peace and happiness within.
Stop Being Critical of Yourself —Embrace Who You Are
Self-care is essential to finding peace and happiness. Loving yourself means looking after your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. These include eating healthy, exercising regularly, and looking after your overall well-being. Love who you are now. When you have a healthy relationship with yourself and practice self-care, you can also project this positive energy towards others. Imagine how happy and peaceful your life can be when you feel good about yourself and have a healthy relationship with the people around you.
Peace of mind comes with decluttering. If you get stressed out when you see clutter in a drawer or closet, then decluttering this cleaning will bring order to your life. It will give you peace of mind.
Believe in a power greater than yourself.
Meditation has many proven benefits for our physical, emotional, and mental health. Practicing mindfulness meditation can decrease anxiety and depression. You can try yoga, read a book in contemplation, or listen to a guided meditation. I like to read: Little Book of Inner Peace.
Take Responsibility and Be Accountable For Your Actions.
Even when it’s hard, you’ll find peace and happiness by admitting your mistakes.
In the pursuit of finding peace and happiness, acceptance and contentment is the key. Accept that you will have problems in your life and learn how to deal with them. Forgive yourself for past mistakes or failures—They are in the past.
The Benefits of Finding Your Own Sense of Inner Peace:
Finding your peace of mind will have less stress and fewer fears.
Better functioning in dealing with your day-to-day affairs.
A boost in your energy level.
Less stress and more positive thoughts.
A sense of compassion is shared towards others.
Negative energy will bounce off you.
You’ll learn how to deal with difficult emotions.
A good night’s sleep.
Susan Frances Morris is the author of The Sensitive One, a memoir dealing with childhood trauma, abuse, health, and healing. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing and was a practicing nurse from 1989 to 2011, primarily in Women’s Health. She was raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, the second oldest of seven siblings with two sets of twins. http://susanfrancesmorris.com