How to attain mental peace
Peace of mind is the most sought after ‘commodity’ in human life. It appears that most of us are in a state of perpetual restlessness. On analyzing the causes of this restlessness, I have ventured to find for myself ten solutions that need to be followed religiously if we are serious about achieving perfect peace of mind.
1. Do not interfere in others’ business
Most of us create our own problems by interfering too often in others’ affairs. We do so because somehow we have convinced ourselves that our way is the best way, our logic is the perfect logic, and those who do not conform to our thinking must be criticized and steered to the right direction, our direction.
This kind of attitude on our part denies the existence of individuality and consequently the existence of God, for God has created each one of us in a unique way.
No two human beings can think or act in exactly the same way. All men or women act the way they do because they are prompted to do so by the Divine within them. There is God to look after everything. Why are you bothered? Mind your own business and you will have your peace.
2. Forget and forgive
This is the most powerful aid to peace of mind. We often nurture ill feeling inside our heart for the person who insults or harms us. We forget that the insult or injury was done to us once but by nourishing the grievance we go on excavating the wound forever. Therefore it is essential that we cultivate the art of forgiving and forgetting. Believe in the justice of God and the doctrine of Karma. Let Him judge the act of the one who insulted you. Life is too short to waste in such trifles. Forget, forgive, and march on.
3. Do not crave for recognition
This world is full of selfish people. They seldom praise anybody without selfish motive. They may praise you today because you are rich and have power but no sooner you are powerless, they will forget your achievement and start criticizing you.
Moreover, no one is perfect. Then why do you value the words of praise of another mortal like you? Why do you crave for recognition? Believe in yourself. People’s praises do not last long. Do your duties ethically and sincerely and leave the rest to God.
4. Do not be jealous
We all have experienced how jealousy can disturb our peace of mind. You know you work harder than your colleagues in the office but they get promotions, you do not. You started a business several years ago but you are not as successful as your neighbor whose business is only one year old. Should you be jealous? No, remember everybody’s life is shaped by his previous Karma that has now become his destiny. If you are destined to be rich, not all the world can stop you. If you are not so destined, no one can help you either. Nothing will be gained by blaming others for your misfortune. Jealousy will not get you anywhere, but will only give you restlessness.
5. Change yourself according to the environment
If you try to change the environment single handedly, the chances are you may fail. Instead, change yourself to suit the environment. As you do this, even the environment, which has remained unfriendly for you, will mysteriously appear to be congenial and harmonious.
6. Endure what cannot be cured
This is the best way to turn a disadvantage into an advantage. Every day we face numerous inconveniences, ailments, irritations and accidents that are beyond our control. We must learn to endure them cheerfully thinking, “God will it so, so be it”. God’s logic is beyond our comprehension. Believe it and you will gain in patience, in inner strength, in will power.
7. Do not bite more than you can chew
This maxim should be always remembered. We often tend to take more responsibilities than we are capable to carry out. This is done to satisfy our ego. Know your limitations. Spend your free time on prayers, introspection and meditation. This will reduce those thoughts in your mind, which make you restless. Fewer the thoughts, greater is the peace of mind.
8. Meditate regularly
Meditation makes the mind thoughtless. This is the highest state of peace of mind. Try and experience it. If you meditate earnestly for half an hour every day, you will tend to become calm during the remaining twenty-three and a half hours. Your mind will not be disturbed as much as before. This will increase your efficiency and you will turn out more work in less time.
9. Never leave the mind vacant
An empty mind is devil’s workshop. All evil deeds start in the mind. Keep your mind occupied in something positive, something worthwhile. Actively follow a hobby. You must decide what you value more – money or peace of mind. Your hobby, like social work may not always earn you more money, but you will have a sense of fulfillment and achievement. Even if you are resting physically, occupy yourself in healthy reading or mental chanting of God’s name (japa).
10. Do not procrastinate and never regret
Do not waste time in wondering “should I or shouldn’t I?” Days, weeks, months and years may be wasted in that futile mental debating. You can never plan enough because you can never anticipate all future happenings. Always remember God has His own plan too. Value your time and do things. It does not matter if you fail the first time. You can rectify your mistakes and succeed the next time. Sitting back and worrying will lead to nothing. Learn from your mistakes but do not brood over the past. DO NOT REGRET! Whatever happened was destined to happen only that way. Take it as the will of God. You do not have the power to alter the course of God’s will. Why cry?