Peace of mind is not a goal I need to achieve.  It’s a place inside I never want to leave.  Close my eyes, I still my thoughts and then I say I will choose to live in peace today. – Robert Alan

Chronic stress can be a never-ending cycle of anxiety. You are automatically wired to respond with the fight or flight response that send messages to your body that you are in danger. Your body then continues to pump hormones that indicate that you need to run or flee. This is most likely the furthest from the truth. Chronic stress keeps you reacting to work, family and other problems as if it were an emergency. This type of stress only leads us further from reality since our minds play games that distort the truth. You see, your mind plays tricks on you when it begins to live in regret or worry about the future. There is no inner peace in either of those places. The truth is that you can’t have inner peace and worry at the same time.  However, you can be at peace and feel gratitude together.

Inner peace is not something that we can find outside of ourselves. It is space that rests inside of you. It’s the place where you stay in the present moment. The actions of the past and worries about the future do not exist.

Oftentimes your reaction to stress moves you into panic mode. Some choose certain behaviors that aren’t healthy to soothe anxiety. Sometimes it’s misusing food, addictions or other distractions, such as procrastination or perfectionism.  Other behaviors that sidetrack you can be staying in and unhealthy relationship. Usually anything that leads to immediate gratification can fall into this behavior list. It’s as if you slip into a mode of illogical thinking from the stress reaction.

After you realize chronic stress harms you, you can choose to change your behavior by breaking your racing thoughts. Breathe, focusing on air passing in and out your nostrils. Gently remind yourself that you are hurting yourself each time you follow this behavior pattern. Stay in this place of inner peace.

Practicing meditation and deep relaxation will allow you to find inner peace when you are stressed. Practice staying in the present moment when you are not in panic mode. Make space within your heart to rest within the peace that is your own.

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