By Mia Barnes
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
If you asked someone to sum up your life in a sentence, what adjectives would they use? Which ones would you choose? Is it chaotic? Hectic? Busy?
While it’s fine to go hard sometimes, doing so all the time can lead to burnout. Why not strive for a life of harmony and balance? Here are seven intentional tips for creating more peace and quiet in your life.
1. Add Water Features
Research indicates that people who live near the water have lower stress and anxiety levels and increased happiness. However, you can replicate the healing effects, even if you live on the dusty Oklahoma plains.
How? All you need to do is add water features to your home. You can pick up inexpensive fountains at nearly any department or discount store, with prices ranging from $20 and up — go as extravagant as your budget allows.
Another idea is adding an aquarium. Your fish will adore a bubble wall, and the filter creates the auditory effect of a small screen in your living room.
2. Keep Clutter to a Minimum
Can a messy house leave you feeling stressed? Science says the answer is yes — here’s why.
Clutter signifies to your brain that there is still work left to do. It’s kind of like having your supervisor handcuffed to you — they’ll let you rest a little, but you know they’ll be right back to prod you into productivity if you enjoy too much downtime. Your home should be a haven from such demands.
However, if you let things go for a while, you could feel overwhelmed. Instead of throwing up your hands, make a list and tackle one small area per day — or each week, if you need more time. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment whenever you tick off an item.
3. Create a Sacred Space
Urban life often entails dealing with unhealthy decibel levels, and the problem increases if you live in an apartment with thin walls. Maybe you can’t afford to soundproof your entire home — or feel like dropping that much cash into your landlord’s property. However, you can create a small sacred and quiet space.
If you have the money, you can invest in acoustic panels that have design features minimizing echoes from footfalls and knocks. You can also create barriers with soft objects like blankets and drapery — hang one over a room divider to make a small, quiet space. You can also use sound-deadening sheets under doorways if noisy roommates interrupt your zen.
4. Set Clear Boundaries
Peace doesn’t only come from your environment. Part of inner tranquility derives from managing your relationships and not allowing toxic people to ruffle you by taking up more of your life than necessary.
For example, you might not be in a financial position to quit your job or stop relying on that narcissistic family member for child care help. Such realities don’t change overnight. However, what you can control is how their toxic treatment impacts you psychologically. Learn techniques such as gray rock to deal with these people as necessary without letting their verbal poison ruffle your mental zen.
5. A Bit of Background Music
Don’t overlook YouTube as a fabulous resource for creating more peace and tranquility in your life. You can find thousands of peaceful background music recordings. Try searching for terms like “bamboo water music” or “relaxing spa day.”
Some people believe that certain frequencies improve your concentration. If you find it helps to play some binaural beats while writing your daily journal entry, feel free. You might experiment with different frequencies to see if varied tones aid your concentration.
6. Surround Yourself With Softness
You’re a creature of all five senses. Use touch to help you create more peace and tranquility in your life by surrounding yourself with soft things.
Instead of practicing yoga in a too-tight sports bra, get fitted for one that provides comfort — you won’t believe the difference it can make on the mat. Pile your bed and sofas high with squishy throw pillows and cozy throws that invite you to curl up and meditate on all the things you’re grateful for.
7. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a useful technique for easing anxiety and stress. It takes you out of an uncertain future or past ruminations and centers your attention on what’s happening currently. As such, it calms you, reminding you that whatever you fear most isn’t happening right now. It gives you the necessary perspective to make better decisions.
You can practice mindfulness in dozens of ways, from focusing on your breath to eating a small square of chocolate. The trick is to slow down and savor each sensation. What can you see, hear, taste and touch? It takes practice, but eventually, you’ll break the spiral of negative thoughts — and reap more enjoyment from daily activities.
Soothe Yourself With a Few Simple Tips
Few people want a life defined by chaos. Follow these seven intentional tips to create more peace and quiet in your life and embrace the tranquility.
About the author:
Mia Barnes is an online journalist and Editor in Chief at Body + Mind.