Millions of adult Americans are stressed. But you can chart a course through these five portals to a peaceful path. According to the National Alliances for Mental Health, anxiety-based disorders are now the most common mental health concern in the United States.
We have collectively experienced unprecedented stressors, including the global pandemic, war, and worsening climate conditions. In the explosion of fear and stress, many people seek healthy, cost-effective solutions that will help them survive and thrive in a complex, interconnected world.
Technology promised us deeper connections. Yet we feel lonelier than ever. Whether busy juggling work, home, or both, we are challenged to maintain our personal peace.
The Five Portals
What if there is not just one, but these five portals to help you release inner strength and find your peaceful path? Leveraging these portals can help you rise to daily challenges with deeper calm and unshakable peace no matter what’s happening around you.
1. Cultivate Cheer
Have you ever spent time around young children? They may be our most mindful reflections. When nurtured with love, they are naturally bright, energetic, and at ease with themselves and the world. Fun lurks around every corner, even in a simple game of peek-a-boo. Look for opportunities to view life with a child-like wonder.
A core component of mindful living involves being present in the moment without judgment. Full self-acceptance can inspire emotional generosity towards self and others. That in turn, will have a positively compounding effect. After all, most of us gravitate towards those who welcome us with sunshine and good cheer.
2. Increase Personal Clarity
Quick. Think of someone you know who is insecure. How do you know? Did they tell you? Or did you just sense it? Now think of someone who is passionate, creative, and motivated. Is that person also confident? We are often awed by such people, wishing we had even a few of the qualities we perceive in them.
You can face each day with a bravery that flows alongside the deep serenity of knowing who you are.
Nobody gets everything, but everyone gets something. Stop wishing for what others have. They are no more and no less worthy than you. If embracing this notion is difficult, affirmations have been scientifically proven effective in replacing negative thoughts with positivity that can expand your sense of self-worth.
3. Choose Joy
Some might be born joyful, but you can achieve joy because it is a skill that can be developed. Joy is not defined by external factors but by what’s happening between your own two ears. Imagine you joy as a thermostat with a standard setting. When something good or bad happens, your joy temperature spikes or tanks, but later resets. That’s why wonderful things can happen in your life, but you still go back to feeling unhappy or lonely or bored.
You can cultivate your glow from within. Look at life with wonder. Release your sense of gratitude at the things you take for granted. Intentionally choose to feel more alive, energized, and hopeful.
4. Be Softer
Historically, American culture – especially working culture – has touted the virtues of being hard-charging and unyielding. But as we have embraced concepts like emotional quotient and intelligence, we increasingly appreciate our softer side. Central to non-judgment is acceptance.
Without pain, joy cannot be fully experienced. Accept yourself as you are. Accept others without trying to change them. Flow with your circumstances rather than fight the currents. Rejoice in blessings and grow in challenges. Be slow to anger and actively compassionate. Embrace life and all it brings.
5. Generate Inner Support
Think of a time when you were truly seen. When you felt understood and accepted. Did you feel supported? Reassured? Fully authentic? Powerful? Worthy? Turn on your inner generator to feel validated and supported.
The Heartbeat to the Portals
Studies demonstrate that practicing mindfulness and meditation can reduces stress, increase your sense of well-being, improve relationships, increase creativity, improve cardiovascular health, enhance your immune system, and increase your ambient level of joy. Go within and cultivate a cheerful heart, increase your personal clarity rooted in joy, softness, and humble support of your higher self.
This article originally appeared as “5 Portals To Cultivating a Peaceful Path” on Wellness.com.