In the world of counseling and self-care, increased moments of peace in our lives are common suggestions. With schedules continually to become busier and busier and our responsibilities growing it can be very hard to feel any inner peace in all the rushing around and moving right on to the next thing to do. When we live a life full of stress and business with no time for meditation or down time, our bodies as well as our minds become overloaded. Our systems suffer and our bodies cannot recover as well as it needs to. Today, we are going to talk about the need for peace in our lives and steps we can take to increase it. Ready to dive in?
What are the Risks of No Inner Peace?
When we push through life and ignore our bodies need for rest and recovery, we open ourselves up to many potential negative impacts. Increased anxiety and depression are often seen in the lives of those who have not taken steps to care for themselves. More frequent illnesses are also more common in those who lack self-care. Some of us will carry on through life not even realizing the harm in doing so or that there are other ways to take care of ourselves that can help us to develop inner peace. This could be because it is what we know, what we have be taught and modeled or what we have just fallen in to. Below are some possible things to consider when evaluating your lack of inner peace. Do you find these familiar in your life?
- Multiple people in your circle who are toxic or negative
- Always chasing something to make you happy
- Often self-blaming for everything
- Afraid to do new things that are uncomfortable
- Blaming all your problems on someone else or something else
- Desire approval from others
- Struggle with being perfect
- Consistent desire for some materialistic new thing
If you read through these things and found yourself familiar with multiple points, I commend you for making it through them. Simply put, we cannot grow if we are not willing to recognize areas where growth is needed. We cannot grow if we are not willing to see areas of our character that keep us stagnant. You are not alone and there is help. Below we will talk about why we need peace.
Why Do We Need Peace?
Peace in our lives and moments of calm relaxation helps us to focus and stay on track in life. It is easy to think that happiness or a good time is enough to carry us. As we walk through life and the trials we sometimes face, a deeper place of calm and stability is needed to remain focused and able to process what is needed to thrive. This can be different for each of us as we have different belief systems. The need for inner peace is the same in us regardless of our beliefs. The list below can help understand what establishing peace in your life can benefit.
- Keeps our mind able to focus and process
- We increase our ability to embrace life
- We rest better and recover quicker
- Helps us to enjoy the moments, to be present
- Helps how we perceive the world and others
It is easy to see that there is benefit from taking steps to bring inner peace into your life, but how do get there? We will take a look at that below.
What are Steps to Increase Inner Peace?
We are people who have personal or unique interests and so the steps needed to increase inner peace could look a little differently for each of us. What you will notice is that the feel of each recommendation has the same characteristics. They are quiet, calm and bring stillness. We can’t fill our time from morning until night and squeeze “peace” in during the minutes before we sleep. We will need to be intentional in making changes. Our extracurricular things may need to change. Change will be necessary. Without choosing to change we will not be able to increase our inner peace. Ready to take a step that could help gain inner peace?
- Mediate – clear your mind and focus on good thoughts
- Take responsibility for your actions
- Spend time being grateful – make a list of those things
- Spend time in nature
- Take walks and notice the trees and leaves instead of your list of to-dos
- Declutter and/or organize your spaces
- Reduce social media time
- Practice deep breathing & count them – clear your mind
- Enjoy time with people who make you smile and laugh
These are steps you can choose to try to change the structure of your days and open time for peace. Hopefully, over time, you will feel a lighter weight on you, free space in your mind with a more positive outlook. You are worth it. You deserve inner peace.
If you have taken steps for inner peace and find that you still struggle to balance your thoughts, your desires and responsibilities, we are here. You are not alone.
Grief is our response to someone or something we have lost. Grief comes when someone passes away, but grief can also come with lost relationships or major life events. Can you recognize grief within you? The goal of processing grief is to help move you beyond the initial event and the emotional response from receiving the information. It is important for us to know if we have taken the time to grieve so that we can continue excelling in life. If we haven’t, it is possible we have stuffed our grief inside, ignoring it. Storing up grief can affect us mentally, emotionally and physically as well as affect our relationships. Today we will talk about healthy ways to grieve.
Am I Grieving?
Grief is different for each of us. It is important to know that how one person grieves is not necessarily the way another one will. With that in mind, lets go over some characteristics of grief. You may be experiencing sadness or other emotions after you have loss someone or something. The sadness and emotions may not come right after a loss. Often, we have to push through the initial feelings of loss so it can take a little while before we can take the time we need process the loss. This does not always come right after losing someone. Grieving is not a onetime processing and can also come when you experience, it can also come when you experience something that reminds you of your loss, such as a holiday or a yearly event.
Grief can also come in forms of denial, disbelief or shock. Our bodies are designed to go into protection modes to keep us from becoming so overwhelmed that we shut down. These feelings seem to be the greatest at the first knowledge of the loss. Do you find yourself not able to accept the loss after a lengthy time frame? You could be stuck in this part of grief. It is important to recognize if you have been in a denial state for too long as you can completely stop processing grief it all together, giving yourself the false feeling of being numb to it.
Some people struggle with feelings of panic or confusion when they try to process a loss. It is easy to wonder and worry about how you will be able to fill the gaps of the loss. This can leave you to experience feelings of anger or feeling overwhelmed.
Not everyone will experience negative emotions at a loss. Sometimes your loved one may have been suffering and you feel relieved that they are no longer. This, too, are perfectly normal emotions to experience. Having these feelings or even mixed feelings, don’t mean you don’t love the person. Desiring the very best for someone, even for them not to suffer, is often times the deepest of loves. Can you recognize your ways of grief? Have you properly processed the losses in your life? Below we will talk about the importance of doing so.
What If I Don’t Grieve?
Often times, I think we try to convince ourselves that we are ok. That someday soon, everything will be ok and life will go back normal. We delay processing that fact that we lost someone important to us. We can make it sound ok in our minds, telling ourselves “life goes on” or “I should be over this” or … but recognizing whether we are actually processing the grief is very important. When we don’t process our grief the emotions of the event stays inside of us. These unresolved emotions can lead to serious issues in our lives. It can affect us physically, mentally and spiritually. Below are just a few examples of what could become of not processing grief.
- You could become obsessive over thinking about it
- You could develop anger issues
- You could partake in addictive behaviors
- You could become fearful of loosing others
- You could remain mentally unhealthy, affecting each day
Holding on to your feelings and emotions is not a sign of you loving them more, but can an sign that you need to talk about your loss. Talk about your loss and seek help if need be. Can you recognize any struggles that may be affected by keeping grief inside? Do you want to heal, but don’t know how?
Steps For Grief.
By now, I hope that if you have held on to past grief, you are ready to take steps to try to process your thoughts and emotions about your loss. Deciding to take a step forward is huge. It may be hard, but it is necessary. Below are a few suggestions of steps to take to grieve in a healthy way.
- Describe your pain and/or loss. What you loved about them and miss.
- Accept any emotions or changes that are within you
- Give yourself grace, we each grieve differently
- Seek support from someone you trust
- Take a step to care for yourself physically
- Be honest with yourself if you are depressed or withdrawing
- Envision your future. What new things need to happen?
- Unresolved past grief
Processing grief doesn’t take place overnight. In general, we can only process a bit at a time. So, as you work through some steps for grief, allow yourself to pause and process and decide what steps you want to take for you and your future.
If you have tried to overcome a hard circumstance in your life and you need help taking a step, you are not alone. We are here to help. Upstate Restorative Counseling has therapists waiting to listen and help you establish a plan for your future.
Self-love is to accept yourself fully, to treat yourself with respect and kindness. When you nurture your growth and well-being, you are practicing self-love. When we give thought and time to how we treat ourselves as well as how we think, we can improve ourselves and our outlooks to life. Does this mean that we can come to a place where we feel good about ourselves all the time? No. In order to have a healthy balanced self-reflection, we will indeed need to see the good and the areas that need improvement. Each of us will always have areas where we exceed as well as areas that need improvement.
Do you question if you practice self-love often enough? If so, below are symptoms that could reveal you are in need of increased self-love practices. Do you find yourself thinking the below often?
- Beat yourself up for failures
- Focus on past failures
- Think you have no talents
- You are self-critical
- Feelings of unworthiness
- Lack self-confidence
- Fear of trying new things
Having these thoughts can not only prevent your growth but can also affect your relationships. Do you desire a more positive reflection of yourself? Today we will talk about ways you can increase your focus on positive and balanced self-love.
What are Self-Love Phases?
More than likely, if you suffer from lack of self-love, you can relate to multiple patterns listed above. Tackling them all at once could be overwhelming. Below we will discuss some phases of self-love that can be worked on a little at a time. Can you appreciate it when changes are broken down into bite sized pieces? Me too. So, let’s look at these areas and talk about ways to improve each one.
Phases of Self-love
Phase 1 is self-awareness. This phase is where we get to truly know ourselves and not just our “roles” we have in life. Ponder on your authentic self. What drives you or motivates you? What excites you or creates disappointment? What things saddens you or makes you angry? Knowing these things about yourself will help connect who you really are and what values you truly stand for.
Phase 2 is self-acceptance. In this phase you may recognize there are things you love about yourself, but also things you don’t like about yourself. Try to accept both without weighing either at this point. Give yourself grace. Remember the goal to discover the whole you. There is time to work on steps in changing the aspects you don’t like. If this phase has revealed to you for example, that you work and strive for one thing, and that makes you feel a certain way. Try to put your current goal on paper and accept that as “today’s version of you”.
Phase 3 is a self-confidence phase. In this phase you look at who you are and what you value, and you walk that out. As you are faced with decisions that go against what you listed as your true value, you make a different decision and celebrate that. You choose to not make decisions based on status or what others expect.
Phase 4, the last phase, is self-love, the reason for this post. This phase is where you have come to accept who you are, what you stand for and you praise yourself for doing so. You take small changes to carve out time for you. You reflect on the phases and how you are doing, tweaking inconsistencies. Choosing the values you have set for yourself. This is not a one-time process, this is a process that we have to revisit throughout our lives.
How Can I Self-Love?
This exercise can be hard. Don’t allow yourself to believe anything different. Life, upbringing and experiences can all affect how we think or perceive ourselves. We don’t have remain where we are though. We can take steps to change thought patterns or choices. We can own who we are and what we stand for. Then we can show ourselves love. If you are anything like me, you could use suggestions on how to do that. Read to self-love? Take a look below to some suggestions that could give you ideas.
- Start a gratitude journal or list
- Celebrate small wins (even reading this post)
- Limit time on social media
- Prioritize something you enjoy
- Speak to yourself as you would a friend
- Forgive yourself and move on. Write it out if you have to.
- No one is perfect. Ever. Believe that.
- Live for today, making it the best you can
- Spend time with a trusted friend
- Take quite time to remember who you are
- Embrace learning and trying something new
Overcoming lifelong patterns of being critical or living with low self-esteem can feel hard to overcome. Remember, it took your life up to this point to create what you have going on inside. It will take to overcome some of those things. That is ok. Today, make it the best day you can. Receive the highs and the lows of it. Add the highs to your gratitude list. If needed, process the lows. If they are outside of your control, write it down as a disappointment or whatever you feel and accept it.
What If I Need Help?
If you find you have fallen into a negative thought pattern again, do not beat yourself up. Expect it! Changes take time. As you make changes in how you deal with the thoughts, the thoughts can become fewer and change. It may help to review your phases again to remember who you are, what you stand for and love that person. You deserve it!
Sometimes we need someone to confide our thoughts to. Someone who can help us understand why we think the things we do. That’s ok if you do. Upstate Restorative Counseling is here for you. We can listen to your concerns and help you establish a step towards your goals for your life.
Procrastination is the action or choice to delay or postpone something. It can not only affect you physically but mentally as well. Did you know that studies show that people who procrastinate have more negative experiences in school, work, finances, relationships and personal well-being? Often times, we procrastinate if we overestimate how much time a task will take. When we feel tasks coming from all directions, we can put off important responsibilities. Can you relate? Today we will talk about how procrastination affects you, how to recognize if you procrastinate and also some suggestions to help improve time management. Are you ready to take back control of some things you have been putting off and overcome procrastination? Today’s post can help.
What Does Procrastination Look Like?
Putting tasks or responsibilities off, as a habit, can affect more than the due date. It can affect your body. Studies have shown those who suffer with poor time management skills have increased medical conditions as well as elevated cardio issues. Procrastination is also known to decrease our mental well-being leading to other symptoms that can be seen below. Can you recognize any of these in yourself?
- Increased Anxiety
- Feelings of Guilt
- Experiencing Fear of Failure
- Having Issues Concentrating
- Becoming Easily Board
- Low Self Esteem
- Increased Medical Conditions
- Increased Addictions
If you find that you can relate to these symptoms of procrastination, you are not alone. Between 50-80 percent of college age people procrastinate. Over twenty percent of those will carry over to adulthood. The good news is there are tools to help you improve time management. Deciding to seek help can benefit not only you, but relationships you have.
How Do I Know?
Recognizing if you have issues with procrastination could be tough. Not everyone who misses a deadline, has been irresponsible with time. A key factor that could help you know the difference is how often you find yourself with the below feelings or choices.
- Blowing Off Important Events
- Not Doing Personal Chores
- Missing Deadlines
- Making Excuses
- Setting Unrealistic Goals
Do these actions seem too familiar to you? Take a deep breath. Read the remaining portion of the blog with patience for yourself. Know that there are steps you can take to help improve your time management. You don’t have to change everything at once. You can choose a step, commit to it, then move to another step. Change is possible, when you commit to changing your actions.
How Do I Overcome Procrastination?
There are steps that you can take to help overcome the old ways and grow you toward a new, accountable time management system. If you are feeling overwhelmed by reading so far, choose one step to try today and come back to this post when you are ready for another step. Just choose to step forward instead of staying where you are. Sometimes the hard step is to choose just one small change. Working on one small change will give you the confidence to take the next step of change.
Improving time management can take time but can be accomplished. Below are suggestions to help decrease procrastination and help grow time management skills.
- Realize that progress is better than perfection
- Think positive thoughts
- Identify your fear
- Create a to do list for the task
- Step into the goal in short time intervals
- Take breaks to reflect and regroup for the next hour
- Eliminate distractions
- Block small blocks of time on your calendar for each task
- Encourage yourself with positive celebrations of each small task
- Celebrate at task end by looking over your accomplishment
- Practice Self Love
You can choose to take a step for yourself to help you balance your abilities and accomplishments. If you are ready to take steps of moving forward, but just don’t know where to start, you are not alone. Upstate Restorative Counseling is here for you. We can help you discover where your stuck and establish a next step forward.
By definition peace has a couple of meanings. One is freedom from disturbance, tranquility. Another is a state or period in which there is no conflict, or a conflict has ended. Today we will be taking a look at how you can bring peace into your life. Do you long for less conflict, more peace? Fewer disturbances, more tranquility? We all need balance in our lives. When our circumstances as well as our wellbeing puts us in a mindset that is too often in chaos or turbulence, it can affect our whole body. Our physical body is affected as well as our mental capabilities.
Can you relate to an internal chaos that disrupts one or more areas of your life? Have you felt unable to be effective in decreasing it? Maybe there is one small step you can take away from today that will help you regain some balance, bring some peace into your life.
Lack of peace in our lives can be recognized physically by several symptoms. Some are listed below.
- Constant patterns of thoughts
- Loss of interest
- Excess dwelling or fear or worries
- Unable to be silent
How Does Peace Affect my Physical Body?
It is common to strive for peace yet have no idea how to accomplish more peace in your life. Afterall, this world is at constant battle to win your attention and mind space. Whether it is our families and friends, tv, radio, podcasts, responsibilities, the news, social media or anything else, it is easy to see how many inputs we can have in one day that takes a toll against our peace. Ready to take steps toward bringing peace into your life? To initiate even one change for yourself? The reward could be life giving. Take a look below to see if any of these would fit into your schedule to help bring some peace into your life.
- Start a list of things you are grateful for
- Practice acceptance and contentment of your reality
- Declutter your spaces
- Practice deep breathing throughout the day
- Read something inspiring daily
Inner peace will most likely not come immediately when implementing one of these steps. However, as you put one into practice and then another becoming intentional with seeking inner peace, you can, over time, start to experience a calmer inside and less chaos.
Peace and it’s Affects Mentally.
Feelings of lack of peace in our lives can cloud our abilities to process the things of life we mentally need to. Recognizing the importance of peace and implementing measures to bring peace into your life can change the trajectory of our thought patterns as well as our abilities to critical think and make decisions. Many report a decrease in feelings of anxiousness or worry. There are also reports of decreased stress, aches and pains when peace enters your life.
Could you use better sleep at night? Many who work on the lack of peace in their lives report having sleeping more soundly and waking feeling more refreshed. I don’t know about you, but I could always use some more peace. Below are suggestions that could help introduce improved mental peace, freeing up capabilities for you live more calm.
- Journal what all is in your head
- Connect with people you trust and love
- Practice forgiveness
- Redirect negative thoughts
- Decrease your schedule, where possible
- Listen to soothing music
Again, finding mental space and freeing yourself from chaos will most likely not come immediately. Progress is impossible without change. Knowing this, I encourage you to take some time and reflect on which physical symptoms or mental symptoms you can relate to. Read through some of the suggested ways to increase peace and set a mini goal for yourself. Plan to exercise that step several times in a week. Over time, you too, could celebrate the increase of peace into your life.
Sometimes we need help to unpack all the things that have stolen our inner peace. You are not alone in that journey. Upstate Restorative Counseling has therapists available to listen and if needed, establish steps for you forward.
We have spent a month learning about SMART goals. We’ve looked at what they are, how to create one, ways to measure one and now, today we will talk about how to celebrate accomplishing your goal. Do you currently celebrate working toward and completing your goal? Establishing goals and keeping them is an important step to grow you toward your plans. It moves you forward. It is worth celebrating!
Why Should I Celebrate My Goal?
Recognizing accomplishments and celebrating completing your goal helps you in multiple ways. Taking time to recognize your accomplishments before moving on to the next goal helps you be successful. Do you find yourself questioning why you should celebrate completing your goal? Take a look below at just a few positive outcomes when you complete your goal.
- Promotes positive thoughts and mindset
- Increases our motivation to set future goals
- Releases Dopamine – makes you happy
- Grows confidence in yourself
- Helps you know what works for you in goal keeping
How Do I Celebrate?
Now that you have reasons why you should celebrate completing your goal, do you need suggestions in how you can celebrate? Celebrating yourself may come hard. Maybe you are used to quickly going from one task or goal to another. Today, I encourage you to slow down just a bit. Celebrate your accomplishments. That will look differently for each person. Below are suggestions for ways you can celebrate accomplishing your goal.
- Get a massage or other self-care
- Write thank you notes to those who helped you
- Reflect on what you are thankful for
- Grab a coffee or tea with a loved one
- Plan something you enjoy doing
Setting a goal and accomplishing it is a task worth doing and celebrating. Goals can help you be more successful in completing tasks but also projects. Are you considering your what your next SMART goal will be? Go for it! Create your goal.
If you have tried setting goals and don’t see success in completing them, you are not alone. It is common for people to struggle in setting goals and being able to keep them. Upstate Restorative Counseling is here to help. We have a compassionate ear to hear you and help you define a plan of action. Are you ready to accept help in setting and accomplishing goals? Would you like to know more about how we can help you? Get started today.
Upstate Restorative Counseling provides other services that can help you! We provide assistance with counseling in Trauma, Anxiety, Depression, Navigating Life Transitions, Resolving Relationship Issues, and Online Therapy. When you are ready, our team is here to support you. Would you like to read more on this topic? Check out this blog post for ideas to help with embracing habits.