Published On: January 31, 2024

Does your mind ever feel like it’s racing at 100 miles per hour without the ability to slow it down? Do you have multiple thoughts racing around inside your head without any control over them? In those moments, all you want is some peace within.

I have experienced this feeling many times and still do occasionally, so I want to provide a few tips for finding inner peace in a chaotic world.

You don’t necessarily have to sit in a yoga-style position with your eyes closed to tap into a state of being more mindful. Every waking hour presents opportunities to enrich your life with mindfulness and find inner peace.

  • Learn to focus your concentration: Concentration is the active force in the practice while mindfulness is passive. Think of concentration as the anchor and mindfulness as the ship. You are the captain and in charge of where you set the anchor. In this case, consciously decide to focus on your breathing and ground yourself.
  • Apply mindfulness when needed: I recommend using the acronym “STOP” to help you become more mindful in your daily life.

“STOP” stands for:

  • Stop
  • Take a breath
  • Observe
  • Proceed

Once you’ve stopped and connected with your breath, observe what’s happening in your body and mind. Maybe your chest tightens, your heartbeat quickens, your stomach turns, or you hear a patient screaming in pain (I’m a nurse). Once you’ve observed these sensations, proceed with your activity with a greater awareness of yourself and your surroundings.

  • Don’t be overly critical: Mindfulness is about being an observer and not passing judgment. Openly accept everything, including your thoughts, feelings, and sensations that pop into your mind. These are simply distractions to your concentration that will subside as your mind quiets.
  • Get comfortable with sitting in silence: Sitting meditation is like returning home to give full attention to and care for ourselves. If you experience intense thoughts and sensations, the best way to handle them, in my experience, is to simply allow them to be. Keep breathing and relax your body. Remember that you are safe, and your body needs to regulate and return to safety instead of running from it.
  • Be patient: We’re taught to multitask, move quickly, and be as productive as possible. We’re used to rushing around all day and simply forgetting that there is another way to live.
“The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

With that being said, mindfulness will take time to develop, and patience is a virtue to have on this journey. Remember, being mindful is available to you at all times. Your mind is always with you; you just need to choose when to become aware.

Your inner peace always exists.