While it's important to understand, express, manage, diffuse, and heal your anger, imagine how much easier it would be to prevent outside forces from irritating you from the get go? You can learn to be emotionally unaffected by the drama and chaos around you. Rest assured, I'm not suggesting that you allow people to behave badly and simply shrug them off. Nor am I recommending that when you see an injustice or someone being hurt that you ignore it so as not to become upset. What I am saying is this: anger is a choice. So is inner peace. It is the ability to remain calm in the midst of chaos, to maintain focus when you are under attack, to make rational decisions based on intellect rather than feelings. It's similar to medical personnel in an emergency room. They see tragedy and crises every day and are trained to remain somewhat emotionally detached in order to deal with them in the most efficient way possible. In many cases, these are life-and-death situations and one cannot afford to make even the slightest mistake.
Creating a Peace Plan is like a diet: when you create a menu of foods that are healthy to eat, you stay focused on only buying, cooking, and eating those. In that way, you develop healthy eating habits and your body responds accordingly. Being tempted by high calorie, high fat, or unhealthy foods becomes less appealing as you savor the positive changes in your body. You don't ever want to lose what you have obtained.
So it is with peace: once you experience it you never want to succumb to angry outbursts again. Your serenity is sacred and you refuse to relinquish it to the offensive behaviors of others or to circumstance that are out of your control. While issues will always arise and need our attention, we are now able to address them from a completely different mind-set, from one of peaceful surrender (?)
In the same fashion that we create a diet or develop a business plan, we can also create a plan for peace than prevents anger from controlling our lives. You already know those activities and attitudes that contribute to your sense of well-being. Draw up a list and begin incorporating them into your daily routine. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Refrain from judging others. When we label other people ("she's a jerk", "he's a waste of my time") we are forming negative and unfavorable opinions of them. Any negative thought will generate a negative feeling. Replace judgment with understanding and compassion.
2. Be grateful. Many people continually complain about everything that is wrong with their lives and/or the world. None of us is without fault – everyone can use some improvement. As sad a state of affairs as the world is currently in, there is still much good to be found. Focusing on the blessings in your life rather than the shortages will enable you to maintain a feel-good attitude.
3. When given the opportunity to be right or be kind, choose kindness every time. (Note: you are always given the choice.) The payoff is huge.
4. Practice peace-inducing activities such as aerobic activities (releases endorphins), listening to soothing music, reading uplifting material, reciting a mantra to maintain focus.
5. Put everything into the proper perspective. Ask yourself, "Will this issue matter in ten years? Will I even remember it?" If the answer is no, let it go.
6. Choose to love unconditionally (it is possible, just takes practice) and forgive freely.
7. Remove all expectations of others. They are not here to be who you think they should be, to live their lives the way you feel is right, or to learn life's lessons in your time frame.
8. Practice deep breathing. Oxygen to the brain is very soothing and comforting.
9. Meditate, whether in the traditional form or simply by taking time to focus on something peaceful.
10. Spend time in nature. Her healing properties and abilities to calm are extraordinary.
11. Touch: human touch has been scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and produce a state of calm. Don't be afraid to hug one another. Human touch is very therapeutic.
12. Treat yourself to a good massage or reflexology session. Releasing muscle tension on a regular basis is physically and emotionally healthy. You can give yourself or your partner a good massage if a professional one is not within your means.
13. Spend time with your pet. My dogs have the ability to calm and soothe me immediately.
14. Sit in a quiet room with ambient lighting and candles. Simply sit and enjoy the quiet. Really. I know it sounds hard but it works.
15. Pray. Being connected to your higher power, to God, to your source of Love and Healing creates a sense of tranquility and stillness unlike any other. Rest assured that with God all is well, even though it may not be what you had expected or wanted. All is exactly as it is meant to be.
Peace is the ability to accept that which is. Life was never meant to go exactly as we had planned. Knowing that each experience we have, no matter how unfair, unjust, frightening, or painful is exactly what we must endure in order to fulfill a higher purpose in life, alleviates anxiety, anger, and suffering. It has taken me many years and a lot of angst to come to this awareness but having done so, I no longer fear what life has in store for me. My awareness that there is always a greater good to my current circumstance thwarts anger and fear. My faith in God restores my sense of stillness as I realize all is exactly as it is mean to be.
Practice peace. Make is a conscious part of your daily life. Eventually it becomes habitual and will require little if any effort.
"Some people believe that when you have your health you have everything. I believe that when you have inner peace you have all you will ever need."
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