01/14/2015 04:16 pm ET Updated Mar 16, 2015

2 Techniques to Achieve Peace

Isn't it frustrating...

... when you just CAN'T slow down?! And people like your significant other or your friends or your even your boss tell you to just chill out and get annoyed when you don't. But somehow you just can't? I understand. Up until the spring of 2007, I was in the same situation until I discovered the solution to this frustrating problem... Listen and Observe: If you feel like you're out of control of your time, it's usually because you have lost the sense that you have the power to make free will choices. Sometimes, this is due to outside forces like a demanding job, relationship or activity. But often times, you have subconsciously given permission to a voice within yourself to either drive you to be in perpetual motion or pull you down so almost anything seems to take ENORMOUS effort. The first key to uncovering those silent masters is to stop and listen. But since pausing may seem impossible to you right now, simply turn off outside noise like TV or music and pay attention to where your mind wanders in these situations:
  • Driving or taking public transport
  • Getting ready in the morning or preparing for bed
  • Exercising or simply walking between locations
Jot down your thoughts after completing these transitional activities as if you were an anthropologist studying a foreign culture -- without judgment. Make Peace: Then decide which of these two methods will help you to make peace with these thoughts so they no longer fight against you:
  • Unconditional Acceptance: Especially if some of these thoughts have echoes of critical people in your past, treating them like a scared frighten little child that needs unconditional affirmation and acceptance could be the best way to make peace. Here's an example of how I used this strategy to "kiss on the nose" my struggle with being a human doing instead of a human being.
  • Outright War: If you find these thoughts are coming out of nowhere and are just frustrating, ridiculous and something you want to pummel. That's OK too. BUT first, turn these thoughts into accusatory "You" statements (such as "You are incapable of doing anything right") BEFORE you start to beat them up. (You don't want to attack your "I" sense of self worth.) Here's a step-by-step plan of attack.
Once you've mastered your thought life, Then you'll have the freedom to choose to rest.

About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through training programs.

McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Harvard Business Review is publishing her second book How to Invest Your Time Like Money. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Lifehacker, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and the 99U blog on productivity for creative professionals and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.