I have been on a quest for peace for my entire life. After spending the last 10 years with peaceful people, peaceful products, and peaceful knowledge, I confidently list my top 10 ways to practice inner peace. Peace means lots of things to different people. Many of you pray for peace in war-torn countries. But how can we hope for peace on a global scale if we can't find peace within ourselves and in our own neighborhoods? It begins within each and every one of us each day.
1- Forgive yourself and others - So many of us have a lifetime's worth of anger toward others and ourselves. The past is gone and will not return. Do not let the past ruin your future. Release it and forgive everyone.
2- Follow a plant-based diet - Plants are miracles, just like we are. The facts are pouring in each and every day. I think we can intelligently say a plant-based diet is better for our health and our environment. Try to have the majority of your diet be plant-based.
3- Exercise - I cannot begin to tell you the incredible impact cardio workouts have had on my outlook and general well-being. Whether it is yoga or running, rebounding or cycling, get out and get it done. Exercise releases chemicals in the brain that actually calm us!
4- Follow your passion - We are all born artistic and with a desire to express ourselves for the greater good. Each one of us has an inner calling one way or another. Decide what your passion is. Practice and follow it with all your heart.
5- Foster a spirituality that includes meditation - Whether you believe in God, Buddha, the universe, etc., at the end of the day, having faith that there is something bigger than us brings a certain peace of mind.
6- Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude - It is a hot topic right now and rightfully so. The moment you are grateful for something, everything changes. Try it. Instead of walking around complaining, observe things from a grateful perspective.
7- Spend time in nature - I am an acknowledged tree hugger. Again, plants are alive, and miracles just like us. Hug a tree and feel the energy. Take some deep breaths in a forest ... feel the peace pouring in. Even if you live in a big city, spend time in a park.
8- Let go of judgements about others - Accepting others is one of the quickest ways to inner peace. We must remember that each one of us is on our own path. We cannot judge others for their decisions in life. We must only focus on ourselves. Let judgments of others go. Leave people to be on their own path. Other people's lives are really none of our business.
9- Simplify and release your attachment to material things - We are all overwhelmed with stuff. Living probably only requires 5% of the things we have. Stop for a moment and think about everything you own in this way: Does it serve a purpose? Will it help me achieve an ideal life? If not, toss it or, even better, donate it.
10- Cultivate healthy relationships with friends, family and animals - Studies show that those of us with healthy relationships live healthier, longer lives. Having a circle of people who support us can be incredibly nurturing. Pets can also be supportive because they help lower our blood pressure and increase our quality of life.