April is National Stress Awareness Month. As a result of this reminder, I thought I would share some tips to help with stress, personal happiness, and inner peace. This tips are courtesy of Heart Math.
Control What You Can… and Breathe
We all have moments of worry, yet our care is most effective when we are in balance — we think clearer, and we’re more creative and intuitive. Worry can become an unhealthy emotional habit that acts like a hole in your gas tank, draining your vital energy and certainly robbing you of peace. Next time you find yourself in a mental loop of worry, take a time out — stop and sit quietly for a just couple of moments. Take a few breaths, a little deeper than normal. Breathe in an attitude of “ease” and breathe out the feeling of worry. Do this for a few moments with the intention that you are creating a new habit of inner ease while letting go of that old unhealthy pattern of worry.
Quiet the Inner Chatter
It’s surprising how much inner chatter runs all day long, much of which depletes our inner peace. For many, the chatter consists largely of self-critical and self-judgmental comments. Negative self-talk lacks the qualities of compassion, love and care and it creates distance between you and inner peace. Try this exercise, start with a 30-minute observation period (increase duration or how often you do it as desired) to build inner awareness. During the 30 minutes pay attention to inner dialogue. Replace old negative views with a new, compassionate inner message. For example, if the negative thought is, “I’m stupid, I should know how to do this by now.” Stop that thought and say, “This thought doesn’t serve me.” Then replace it with, “I’m still learning how to do this. No worries, I’ll get it down soon.” It may feel a bit superficial to start, but the more you play with this simple practice, the more your feelings and thoughts start to align with a positive and loving inner dialogue.
Connecting With Purpose and People
Connecting with others that share the desire to create more inner peace and give back to the world can increase your feelings of purpose, and in turn, create more inner calm. Consider signing up for a prayer group, yoga or meditation class, or think virtual. There are a growing number of online groups and virtual hang-outs for people that want to pray, meditate, or exercise their practice of choice in order to gain inner peace and focus on positive intentions to benefit others. Volunteering is another way to feel more content and less stressed. By concentrating your attention on others, your inner focus shift from being self-centered to more altruistic, as your focus shifts from centering on your worries to helping others.
Match Body and Mind
Our mind and body is so interconnected that even our heart rhythms reflect our feelings. By practicing techniques designed to access a mind body state that science calls “coherence” we can get our whole system working better and we start feeling better. Simply said, coherence is when the heart, brain and nervous system are synchronized, or working together with more order. Science has observed an important connection between heart rhythms and emotions; demonstrating that when we feel love, compassion, gratitude or other core-heart feelings, it causes the heart’s rhythm to enter into the coherence state. When we are in a heart-coherent state we feel more balanced and peaceful, our mental clarity gets sharper, and we have less fatigue and more energy. We created the Inner Balance app and sensor to help teach people how to intentionally shift heart rhythms and increase the experience of inner peace.