10 steps to peace and balance in your daily life

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Our lives are made all the more stressful by the external conditions out there as well as our internal conflicts. If you’re seeking inner peace and harmony, here are some practical, simple steps to increase feelings of comfort and calmness and to lower your cortisol levels – also known as the ‘stress’ hormone.

1.Focus on one thing. Most of the tasks we do on a daily basis are not really that stressful. Of course, the dishwasher can bring unexpected surprises and so can traffic jams! Or, perhaps a few more emails have snuck into your inbox. But honestly, most of the time we’re not stressing out because of theses but rather because we’re multitasking. The situation really only gets stressful when you’re stuck in a traffic jam on your way to check the overflowing dishwasher, while you mobile phone beeps with new emails. Stop thinking about the things you can’t change right now. Focus on one particular problem – that helps to slow things down and will hep you de-stress a bit.

2.Prioritise experiences over photos. It can be hard not to snap that perfect sunset whilst walking along Mount Maunganui beach. Most people have no idea how stressed they actually become while looking for the perfect angle and deciding on whether to share their post right now or wait for after their walk. Trust us, we all know the Mount sunsets are the best and we can all survive a day without a photo reminder. Just enjoy your walk. Be in the moment. Unwind.

3.Admit you were wrong. It’s hard to admit that other people or circumstances are not always the only reason we freak out. Sometimes it’s our own actions that shatter our inner peace. Yelled at your partner because you were tired and disappointed after work? Didn’t appreciate your friend’s success because you suddenly felt a pang of jealousy at her perfect life? We’ve all been there. And the only way to bring back harmony into your life now is to apologise and remove that sudden negativity and tension between you and your closest. Both of you will feel better!

4.Declutter. Although, in an ideal world, nothing outside of ourselves should have the power to make us feel less peaceful, in real life there’re a lot of little things that can become really annoying … a messy bedroom, disorganised desk, dirty dishes in the kitchen. Take some time to do a bit of cleaning and watch how a calm environment and mind come back into your life.

5.Piece and quiet. There’s a solid reason for these two words to stand next to each other. We often think of a peaceful place being quiet (Indian silent retreat, anyone?). You don’t need a soundproof room in your house to feel in peace. Rather, find a quiet corner, choose some relaxing, calming music and take some time to chill out.

6.Reunite with nature. Listening to real birds tweeting is way more relaxing than your phone’s notifications of Twitter tweets! So, when feeling annoyed or frustrated, take a walk in a park or along the beach, or at least watch the clouds floating past your office window. Get out over the weekend – Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk is one of the beautiful destinations to explore.

7.Do something simple. Sometimes the only way to stop thinking about a stressful situation is by focusing completely on the mechanical actions of an activity. Be it gardening, painting or even washing your car – these will keep your hands busy and your brain occupied for a while. That’s a game changer!

8.Befriend an animal. Animals are used for a number of therapies and are beneficial with emotional, social, and cognitive functions. They help bring peace to a home. Animals are often easier to hang out with than human beings so a quick cuddle with a pet or a weekend volunteering at an animal shelter is maybe what you need. Training guided walk dogs is the next level for an epic de-stressing pastime.

9.Have a massage. Seriously, do we really need to remind you how amazing this process is? Relaxing your body will certainly help to relax your mind. And we know an amazing place in Tauranga to visit.

10.Simplify your life. Our modern day schedules are filled with commitments, places to be and places to see. It can be be exhausting so, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, cut down on all the unnecessary things you have to do. You just have to!