Are you overwhelmed and living a life full of drama, stress, or pain? Jay Shetty believes the chaos of these things create anxiety, driving your desire to find some peace and balance in life.
The 2021 Global Peace Index1 ranked 163 countries in peacefulness, with the United States rating at #122. The top three most peaceful countries ranked were Iceland, New Zealand, and Denmark. The United Kingdom was 33rd on the list, and Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria rounded out the bottom spots. “We have to recognize that all the pain, pressure, and the lack of peace that exists within the world comes from a great sense of exposure to pressure, and so much pain that we experience within,” explains Jay Shetty.No matter what is happening around you, the focus needs to be on what is happening on the inside. The pain the world is feeling results from the lack of peace people are feeling inside. Helping the world around us starts with finding internal peace first. In this article, Jay Shetty gives us eight ways to create more peace and balance in your life.
Don’t Obsess Over Peace
What is one way to find the internal peace and balance you need? Jay Shetty urges people to stop obsessing over it. When we desperately crave something, we become more conscious of the fact that we don’t have it. This creates unneeded stress.. Continue to take steps to move toward peace and balance, but recognize that it does not happen all at once. Peace is the result of the combination of the little things we do daily that leads us to that place of balance and calm we strive to have. “We obsess about peace and balance in its very stereotypical, simplistic, binary way,” shares Jay Shetty. “We believe if we have stress, we can't have peace. We think that they are polar opposites on opposite ends of the spectrum. That is not true.”
Align Your Words and Actions
Gandhi once said, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Is that true of your life?Often we don’t say what we are thinking for fear that it may upset others, which we think will then upset our own sense of inner peace. “If you keep quiet and don't say what you want, you disrupt your peace,” explains Jay Shetty. “If you say exactly what you're thinking, you may disrupt the peace of others as well as yourself. Neither option is a good one. Peace is when you think something and you say it in a way that is peaceful for you and someone else. It can easily be digested by both parties.” Or maybe you do decide to say what you think, then end up doing something completely different. Your words and actions do not mesh, which leads to dysfunction and creates a lack of peace and balance. Think about your words and thoughts in a manner that allows them to become aligned. Don’t speak in haste. Take a moment to ask yourself if the words you are using are creating peace for you and those around you. Jay Shetty recommends thinking about how you want to articulate your response to things so that you’re using your words in the most effective way possible before you respond.
Start Your Day With Peace
According to Jay Shetty, peace is a muscle that needs to be exercised. It's something you have to practice day after day to strengthen your ability to find peace even in chaos. A great way to do that is to establish a morning routine that sets you up for a peaceful day. Meditation and breathwork are great ways to clear the way for peace. Maybe you like to engage in prayer or read a favorite poem. Whatever brings you peace, establish a routine to include it to start your day. Starting the day in a state of peace and calm will give you the right energy to get through the day, even when things don’t go your way.
Do What is Right Even When It is Hard
Have you ever lain in bed in the early morning and dreaded dragging yourself out from under the nice warm covers so that you could go to the gym? You might contemplate it for a few minutes—Jay Shetty certainly has—but you go because you know if you do, you will feel better once your workout is done. At the moment, getting out of bed doesn’t feel like the best option because you’re comfortable, but you decide to make the decision based on your future health and wellness. “Your mind is trying to choose pleasure, even though you are seeking peace,” Jay Shetty shares. “We're creating a life of pleasure by saying ‘I'm going to sit in bed.’ That's not peace. That's pleasure. By saying ‘I'm not going to work out.’ That's not peace. That's pleasure. When you do something bad for yourself because it feels good at the moment, that is pleasure. When you do something good for yourself that feels bad at the moment, that's peace.”Pleasure is fleeting. It is for a moment. Peace is everlasting. It transforms the way you live and how your mind and body function.
Tell the Truth
You may have heard that you should always tell the truth. This adage is ingrained in our minds from the moment we can speak. There are so many reasons why telling the truth is better than being dishonest. Jay Shetty gives us just a few. First, when we lie, we force ourselves to remember the details of the lie, which causes stress in the long run. That doesn’t mean telling the truth is always easy. Sometimes, telling the truth can be much more complicated than lying. Second, the fear of being judged by others leads us to lie to uphold what we feel is others’ perception of us. When we act in a way that does not line up with our truth because we worry others will find out who we really are, it is exhausting and stressful. “If you don't say the truth, if and when someone finds out, then they will want to know why you didn't tell them the truth,” Jay Shetty explains. “If you don't tell the truth, you will end up regretting it because you will carry around that lie.”Telling the truth might be challenging, but in reality, it’s what allows us to have peace in the long run.
Create a Peaceful Environment
Creating a peaceful environment with sights, scents, and sounds is a powerful way to invoke peace in your life.Research states that spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and well-being.2 When you break that down throughout the week, it only amounts to 17 minutes a day. When was the last time you stopped to look at the rising sun or watched it set below the horizon? Did you feel peaceful as you watched it rise into a blazing ball or sink into darkness? Time still passed, but it wasn’t rushed. It went at a natural pace.“Peace doesn't mean things are not moving,” Jay Shetty explains. “They're just moving at a natural pace. That's where we get peace. If we're not looking at connecting with peaceful things in nature, peaceful things in our lives, how can we expect to experience peace?”In addition to nature, scents and sounds are a great way to invite peace into your life. Light a scented candle or play your favorite song. Sit in nature and listen to the birds sing. Taking a moment to pause and take in a whiff of your favorite scent or listen to a melody that brings you joy is a powerful peacekeeper.
Don’t Assume Anything
We have all made assumptions about a person or situation at some point in life. When we make assumptions, we fail to give people the benefit of the doubt. By failing to communicate about the situation, we miss out on finding the actual facts. Making assumptions skews our ability to see the truth. This can lead to the creation of rifts in relationships.. Instead of creating stress for ourselves by assuming we know something, communicate. Communication leads to understanding and peace.
Do What Makes You Happy
Stress may not always be bad. Sometimes stress and pressure are based around things that make us happy. In those instances, the stress doesn’t feel so bad. Jay Shetty shares that when we feel the joy of having gone out of our way for someone or something we love, even if we feel stress when doing so, that can bring us peace.If you are on a journey to find more peace and balance in your life, try applying these eight methods to unlock the peace and joy inside.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “8 Ways to Create More Peace and Balance” in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.
1 Institute for Economics & Peace. Global Peace Index 2021: Measuring Peace in a Complex World, Sydney, June 2021. Available from: http://visionofhumanity.org/reports (accessed 12 Dec 2021).
2 White, Mathew P., Ian Alcock, James Grellier, Benedict W. Wheeler, Terry Hartig, Sara L. Warber, Angie Bone, Michael H. Depledge, and Lora E. Fleming. “Spending at Least 120 Minutes a Week in Nature Is Associated with Good Health and Wellbeing.” Nature News. Nature Publishing Group, June 13, 2019. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44097-3.
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