07/16/2012 06:32 am ET Updated Sep 15, 2012

6 Ways to Find Inner Peace No Matter What

Life is full of situations that we deem "wonderful": weddings, new babies, pay raises, promotions, and vacations. It's so easy to feel happy and content when these wonderful events occur in our lives.

But life is equally full of "terrible" situations: getting fired, having cancer or a serious illness, death, dying, grief, financial strain, violent crimes and car accidents. It's typically very hard to be calm and serene when faced with such challenges.

However, peace of mind is largely a matter of attention. If we keep the flashlight of our attention on our negative circumstances, if we constantly attend to the "gloom and doom" voices in our heads, then we will surely be overcome by stress.

My husband recently had surgery to remove a cancerous lesion in his colon. Now he is facing six months of chemotherapy. It would be all too easy for me to stay focused on the fear, the medical bills, the sickness, the side effects, the uninvited changes, the "life interrupted" overwhelm. But I know that doing so will only increase my suffering.

Even having recently written a book about inner peace, my current circumstances have challenged me to be very intentional about how I focus my attention. Below are six specific attention practices that create a peacefulness through my days, regardless of my circumstances.

6 Ways To Find Inner Peace

I hope that if you use these six objects of focus, you too will find that it is possible for peace to pervade, even during the most challenging times of your life.

For more by Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.