As the holidays approach and as the year comes to an end, you may find that things are getting chaotic, especially if you’re replaying the year in your head and going through the highlights and low points. You might be thinking about how you want the new year to turn out so much better. 

Maybe you want to make it the year you finally start a new project, go on a trip, move abroad, change careers or learn a new skill. Whatever your goals are, in order to keep thriving, adventuring, going places – you can’t let yourself get drowned in chaos, whether it’s physical chaos, or mental chaos. 

Everyone deserves to go places. When it seems like you are overwhelmed with chaos, keep your focus, because you can’t go places without finding inner peace first. 

What is inner peace?

Inner peace is when you are mentally and emotionally in a peaceful state, with no negative thoughts or moods controlling you. You can find inner peace by accepting the situation that you are in, and going on a journey to make the best of it. 

Why is finding inner peace important?

Once you find inner peace, you’ll lead a more positive and creative life. You’ll feel happier, have the ability to focus more, be able to solve problems more quickly, feel less anxious and stressed, be more grounded and more organized. This will help you plan and achieve things. It is especially helpful if you are planning a big trip or a huge transition. 

Take the next few weeks to work towards leaving all negativity behind, especially as the year comes to an end. This way, you’ll start the new year with a more positive mentality, and be able to go places, whatever that means to you. 

Here’s a little guide to finding inner peace:

Spend some time in nature or explore a new neighborhood

The peace sign sculpture in Toronto's Distillery District

I recently walked through Toronto’s artsy and historical distillery district and coincidentally, came across a giant sculpture of a peace sign. I thought of how peaceful it was at the moment and as I was walking, I noticed that my thoughts were clearer – I was in the perfect mindset for planning some things, which I did shortly after. When you’re in an unfamiliar situation, county, or planning something big,  it helps to take some time alone outside to clear your mind before.

Don’t let other people’s worries become your own

If I had done that, I would have never left my routine life and experienced some adventures abroad. Everyone was worried about me when I set off to travel and live abroad; while it was hard to not listen to them, I refused to let their worries get in the way. It’s ok to have your own worries – when you do, it’s usually an opportunity for you to explore whether it’s right or not. But you shouldn’t let others decide what you should be worried about – after all, they are not in your situation. 

Don’t let issues become bigger than they are

Sometimes, we forget to look at the big picture and start stressing about things for nothing. When in a situation that seems catastrophic, take a step back and ask yourself if things will be the same in the long run. Will it matter in a few weeks or affect your life in the next few years? Situations change all the time; you also have the ability to change things for the better. Sometimes, we end up making things worse because we’re not thinking clearly. Take a step back and assess, and you’ll feel calmer. 

Be open to all possibilities and set your limits

When you have high expectations, you’re more likely to be disappointed if things don’t turn out the way you wanted them to. This is expecially true if you’re a traveler. So far, not many of my travels have turned out as planned. Defining your limits will make your expectations more realistic and eliminate some anxiety. Often, we set expectations based on what other people think, or by comparing ourselves to others. We want to achieve perfection, and then, we get disappointed when we don’t. Don’t aim for perfection. As a self-confessed perfectionist, I know that this can be hard. But once you learn to ask yourself what the most important things are at the stage that you are at, you’ll be able to set more realistic goals and feel more at peace if things don’t turn out as you expect them to be.

Practice gratitude

Research has shown that if you practice gratitude by taking the time to think about what you are thankful for everyday, you’ll feel more positive, less tired, express more compassion, have a stronger immune system, and are generally happier and at peace. Try this exercise: start your day by listing three things that you are grateful for. They can be simple things, like the breakfast you’re about to eat. By doing this, you’ll feel more satisfied with life, and you’ll feel more driven and be able to achieve more. 

Don’t become too absorbed by social media

There’s a lot of negativity out there. Reading negative news and posts can be condescending and discouraging. This heightens anxiety and sometimes makes situations seem worse than they are; they’ll bring on fears and uncertainties that may stop you from planning things. While I was in Spain, the media kept highlighting Catalonia as a place of political unrest. Many were asking if it was safe to be there; it was.  Know that the media sometimes only shows one side of the coin and don’t let it depress you.

Show compassion

When was the last time you did something good for others? Doing something good and making a positive impact on the world is great for your mental health. It’ll give you a boost and make you feel more uplifting; you’ll then feel like you can conquer anything, which is the best time to take action and go places! 

I hope you all take some time to find some inner peace today. Do you have any advice on finding inner peace? Share them in the comments below!

Featured blog post: You might want to read about how my adventure started


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