Look…I’m not a monk; I’m just a college student. So you may be asking, “who are you to tell me how to find peace, how on earth could you know any better than I do?!” The simple answer is, I don’t. But let’s be human for a second; somewhere if we search in the messy drawers and unkempt cluttered hallways of our minds, there’s probably a couple ideas about peace that we can pick out. I found one while I was rummaging around, feel free to let me know what you think about it.
Peace, to me, has always had to do with where we place our awareness. There’s this idea I learned about in my History of Religion class when we were going over the ideology behind meditation, and it sort of stuck with me. It roughly goes like this: your awareness is a bright ball of light, and as that ball of light travels to different sectors of the mind, say food, or love, or sex, you begin to concentrate on those concepts.
This got me thinking, what if we began to concentrate on the spaces between those sectors—in a sense, becoming aware of concentration itself. Focusing my mind on the present and physical moment and paying attention to my breath.
In a way, this is what peace is to me, the permission to be one with yourself—to unify thought with feeling. Hopefully this idea of peace connects with you, but if it doesn’t there’s really no pressure, peace is something that is ultimately an individual journey. The idea of peace that I may have do not necessarily have to be those of your own. Nevertheless, I hope this inspires you to find what peace means to you.
In case you need a little help, as we all do, to get into that mindset of discovery and self exploration I’ve come up with 5 ways that you can kick start that process.
Do something that makes you feel calm—we all have something in our lives that we can turn to for that big sigh of relief. Don’t forget to treat yourself when you’ve been working hard all day on a project or class—it’s important to give back to you.
Something I do to fall into a state of relaxation and reward is listen to music. The BeSababa “Morning Movin’ and Groovin’” playlist is perfect as a morning pick-me-up, and for more calming tracks I personally recommend listening to albums such as: Satin Psicodelic by Sunni Colón, Driving to Hawaii by Summer Salt, or Green Juice by Papooz.
These are the types of albums that make you forget you’re even listening to music. They songs fade into the backdrop of your day and become one with your emotions, your activities, and your thoughts. Let music guide you into a state of calm and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find yourself drifting off into a world of peace.
Pick up the phone right now and call someone you love, whoever that may be. Search within your mind and ask yourself questions like: “who will always be there for me?”, “who makes me smile the most” or even, “who can’t I get off my mind right now?” Well, who did you think of? Is it a friend? Is it your mom? Is it that cute girl at Chipotle that you talk to on Snap? Whoever it may be, reach out to them and tell them how much you appreciate them.
If you couldn’t think of anyone, slide into our DMs, one of us is always logged into the social media account here @besababa on Instagram and we’d love to make a new friend!
Expressing how you feel or even making a new friend is a good way to let some pressure off of yourself and hone in one the peace that lies within you.
Finding Peace Yet?
Stay up-to-date with all the new tips we provide!
GET OUT! I know I’m not supposed to be saying this during the pandemic, but I’m talking about you and you alone going into nature and genuinely having fun. We are animals of this planet; we all have a part of nature that makes us feel most comfortable.
For me it’s the ocean. I feel like in a past life I was probably like an eel or something nasty like that. With you on the other hand it may be the snow, the forest, or even the desert. If you don’t know which part of the world that is for you yet, then make sure not to skip out on this one, you have a lot of adventures ahead to plan!
Don’t forget, when you’re finally in that place in nature that makes you feel most like you, have something with you to make it even more enjoyable: a hammock, a book, a new album you downloaded that you’re excited to hear, a sketchpad, some bars you want to try out while no one is listening, whatever it may be.
Something I really like to do when I’m alone in nature is scream at the top of my lungs. This sounds pretty crazy I’m not gonna lie, but you never realize how quiet and domestic you’re acting till you let out a nice big roar. Going into nature like this and concentrating in on your place, your self, and your connection to the things around you will help you be more at peace with who you are and ultimately the person you will become.
Do something that makes you laugh! Talk to people who you think are funny, watch a comedy special on Netflix, go to a laughter yoga session—all of these are great options to achieve that blissful glee you can get when laughing.
Laughter is really interesting because, while it often is tied to an excitatory state and large emotional response, it also has a way of being blissful and placing you perfectly in the present moment.
When you laugh, and I mean really get a good holler in there, you lose yourself a bit to the joke or whatever it was that sparked your laugher. It’s often described that in losing ourselves peace becomes most attainable.
I think this is referring to the type of losing yourself that occurs during laughter, instead of the type that occurs on a weekend bender with your friends (although that’s great too, don’t get me wrong). So, don’t be afraid to laugh a little and really lose yourself in it, maybe there you can get into a state of mind, or body, and of soul where peace feels most attainable.
This last one is a touch more conceptual than the rest, but it may hit home for some of you so come along with me on this one.
Try out this thought experiment with me for a second–what if we viewed happiness as no better than sadness and sadness no better than happiness? We may feel nicer existing in a state of happiness, but ultimately try to allow yourself to recognize that both are necessary.
There’s this doctor whose work I find really compelling, Barbara Fredrickson, and much of her work speaks upon the human relation to emotions and the ebb and flow that emotions can take in our lives. She describes this emotional balance as a sailboat—when you look at a sailboat most of what you see is above the water, the sail and the boat itself, that’s the positivity in your life that pulls you towards the things you love, but what you don’t get to see is what’s below the water, the keel, and it plays this role of guiding you and allowing you to steer yourself in the right direction.
The idea of not weighing an emotion greater than another isn’t saying that you should devalue your happiness and seek out sadness. What it’s saying is for you to go with the flow and to acknowledge the beauty of happiness, while at the same time not beat yourself up for feeling sad—it’s as valid as happiness. Both emotions have some resolution to teach you.
So, stop beating yourself up for not feeling happy all the time, it’s ok to feel shitty once in a while, we all do it! Not putting too much pressure on your emotional state will ultimately leave you closer to finding peace. Click here to learn more about these ideas from the doctor herself!
I hope at least one of these spoke to you as a way for you to find peace for yourself, but if not, don’t stress about it. We at the BeSababa team are here for you, reach out to us and let us know how you’re doing on your journey towards peace!