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The source of inner peace is within you at all times. Which means you can experience it at any time and any place. But it’s up to you to learn how to tap into it.
In this article, I’ll give you 21 methods to do just that.
But keep in mind everybody is different, so what works best for someone else, might not be what works best for you.
After reading this article, your job will be to choose the methods that resonate the most with you based on where you’re starting from and what inner peace looks like to you.
So, the first question you need to ask yourself is … what does inner peace mean to you?
What Does Inner Peace Feel Like?
The experience of inner peace is different for everyone. But there are some common experiences that most people will be able to relate to.
You know you’re at peace with yourself when …
- You feel at peace with life and the world. Like you’re finally home. An at-home-ness. Completeness.
- Feelings of hopelessness vanish and are replaced with a sense of excitement for the future. A knowing that you can have what you want for your life
- You feel a sense of calm. A softness that fills you up from the inside out
- The future seems brighter and full of new opportunities
- You feel optimistic about the direction your life is going
- You develop a belief in yourself that you can handle whatever comes your way
At this point in my life, I experience a sense of inner peace most of the time, but I didn’t always feel that way.
Far from it. I lived with depression for years. The worst period was during my college years.
Instead of being excited about my future, I felt depressed and hopeless. I dreaded the future. I usually felt worried about what was going to happen to me next and I rarely felt at peace.
I wasn’t at peace with who I was, with the things I’d done, or where my life was going.
What I wanted was a release from the mental and emotional pain that I lived with daily. But at that time, I didn’t believe there was a way out.
I felt trapped in a state of hopelessness.
A happy future seemed unlikely and I couldn’t imagine such a thing as inner peace.
Why is Inner Peace Important?
How we experience inner turmoil can be different for everyone. For me, life could only be referred to as a living hell that I couldn’t escape from.
For others, a lack of inner peace might be experienced as:
- A nagging restlessness that follows you around like a dark cloud
- Anxiety, depression, and worrying about things you can’t control
- Overthinking, over-analyzing, obsessing over the future or past, a busy mind, and feeling disconnected from life
- Feeling worthless or having low self-esteem
- Feeling like life is meaningless with no purpose or direction, feeling lost in life
- Being at war with yourself
- Feeling trapped in a state of uncertainty and self-doubt
- Fear and avoidance of the unknown
- Being overly critical of yourself or others, having a stockpile of regrets, negative self-talk, and judgmentalism, holding onto grudges
- Feeling overwhelmed by your lies and secrets, with a constant fear of getting found out
- Not being able to let go of your past mistakes and painful experiences
- Unhealthy stress management habits, obsessions, substance abuse, and addictive behaviors
We all experience these types of feelings and behaviors at some point throughout our lives and that’s normal.
It becomes a concern when feeling this way becomes a way of life.
And needless to say, no one deserves that.
21 Ways to Find Inner Peace and Happiness
“Look at how far you’ve come. Look at how much you’ve grown. If I don’t tell you enough that I am proud, I need you to know that I am. If I don’t tell you enough that I love you, I need you to know that I do.”
Now that you see the importance of developing a sense of inner peace, here are 21 different ways that have worked for me and others.
Consider your options and try out the ones that resonate the most with you.
Note: Some of the items on the list will overlap, so working on self-awareness, for example, will also benefit you in areas like self-acceptance and authentic living.
Tip: Don’t just consider the ones that play to your strengths. Sometimes going outside of your comfort zone can free up your biggest areas of inner tension.
1) Find Your Life Purpose
Naturally, I would begin with this one. Because for me, inner peace came as a side-effect of aligning with my life purpose.
Along with that new sense of hope, purpose, and security, I finally felt a release from the mental and emotional pain that I mentioned earlier in this post.
It was as if my life had been given back to me, along with optimism, and hope for a better future.
Discovering your purpose gives your life a positive direction to go in and also motivates you to become your best self.
With so much stress, indecision, and negativity lifted off of you, you’ll naturally feel more at peace with yourself and your life overall.
2) Develop Your Self-awareness Skills
When you choose the wrong path early in life, it can lead to unhappiness, a lack of motivation, and a feeling of purposelessness. You can end up wasting years of your life trying to get back on track.
The reason why this happens to so many of us?
A lack of self-awareness skills.
So instead of intuitively knowing who we are, what we want out of our lives, and what will lead to our own version of happiness and fulfillment…
…we end up lost and confused.
Leaving us to feel disappointed with our pasts, depressed about our present lives, and dreading our futures.
You develop your self-awareness skills by getting to know yourself better, through journaling, self-inquiry, practicing gratitude, meditation, and even by exploring your hobbies and passions.
“You find peace not by rearranging the circumstances of your life, but by realizing who you are at the deepest level.”
Whichever methods you choose, self-awareness is an ongoing process and leads to more peace and fulfillment in your life.
Self-awareness skills help you:
- Uncover the limiting beliefs and negative thoughts that keep you from dreaming big and going after what you want in life
- Confidently set goals that align with your life purpose and authentic self
- Find answers inside yourself, so that you are less dependent on outside sources to tell you what to think, believe, or do
- Improve your decision-making skills by helping you make decisions in line with your values and purpose
- Forgive yourself and others by reframing the past. Enabling you to look at it in a different way … a healing and empowering way
- Develop self-love, value yourself, and accept who you already are
3) Learn Self Acceptance
“The way you think about yourself determines your reality. You are not being hurt by the way people think about you. Many of those people are a reflection of how you think about yourself.”
-Shannon L. Alder
Learning to accept yourself as you are is a big step towards inner peace.
In other words, you’ll never be at peace with yourself if you continue to judge, criticize, and condemn parts of yourself.
So, get to know yourself through self-awareness and then work on understanding, empathizing, forgiving, and accepting yourself as you are.
This process is ongoing and the peace inside of you will grow as a result.
4) Be Your Authentic Self
“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.”
-Heath L. Buckmaster
Once you learn to accept yourself, the next step is to start showing up as your authentic self more often.
This includes living how you want to live, loving who and what you want to love, and being who you truly are inside and out.
When you live as your authentic self from the inside out, you won’t feel the need to try to please others to fit in or to rebel to prove a point.
You get to relax and “do you”.
Living intentionally and in your own way is a much more peaceful way to live than living in reaction to other’s judgments, beliefs, and desires.
5) Meditate Your Way to Inner Peace
Meditation is one of the most highly recommended ways of developing more inner peace and happiness.
Its practice offers so many positive benefits related to reducing stress and improving your physical, mental, and emotional health.
Meditation helps you relax and ‘let go of control’ on mental, physical, and emotional levels, giving your body a chance to function naturally, and heal itself.
Meditating also helps you become more comfortable with uncertainty, therefore lessening your potential for stress and anxiety.
It does this by helping your mind break its habit of anticipating the future and holding onto the past. In other words, you’ll become more at peace with change.
The more you practice meditation, the more often you’ll experience a peaceful and relaxed state of well-being throughout the day.
Back when I first discovered meditation and made it a daily practice, I came across a book called The Ego Identity Crisis: Handbook for Enlightenment.
A combination of the breathing techniques, prayers, and meditations I learned from the book had me feeling so light and peaceful that stress couldn’t touch me at the time.
There was a sense of security that surrounded me and I felt ‘complete’.
6) Practice Mindfulness
“By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.”
Although we start by practicing mindfulness, mindfulness is more than a practice. It’s a way of life.
Mindfulness means being present, aware, and mindful of the present moment … the only moment that truly exists.
The more you can stay mindful in your daily life, not only will your mind become more still and peaceful, but your overall spiritual presence (awareness) will increase and your level of consciousness will rise.
Inner peace is the byproduct of evolving spiritually.
7) Align With Your Inner Purpose
According to Eckhart Tolle, the inner purpose of all humanity is to evolve spiritually by increasing our Presence.
This includes being present in the Now, the present moment, and being aware of who and what you are at your deepest level.
I’m talking about your true Self beyond your thoughts, mind-made identity, life story, and belief systems.
The more you align with your inner purpose, the more everything else in life becomes part of your outer purpose (life purpose), and the more peaceful, purposeful, and loving you will become as a way of life.
8) Practice Gratitude
Another great way of evolving spiritually and purposefully is practicing gratitude.
Being grateful helps you become more positive, develop an optimistic mindset, and boost your overall feelings of well-being.
Therefore, an ‘attitude of gratitude’ naturally leads to more inner peace.
The best thing about gratitude is that it’s easy to practice and has a compounding effect.
Meaning, the more you realize you’re grateful for, the more you’ll notice to be grateful for, and the more life will continue to give you to feel grateful for.
You can easily practice gratitude by starting a gratitude journal and you can write in it as often as you like.
Just write a list of everything you are grateful for. Some days your list will be shorter and some days longer. Aim for five to ten things. But if that doesn’t work for you, start with three until you feel inspired to write more.
The important thing is that you’re being intentionally grateful.
9) Forgiveness Leads to Inner Peace
The more grateful you feel for what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown because of your past, the easier forgiveness becomes.
Forgiveness involves letting go of grudges, unraveling your anger, and looking at those situations non-judgmentally.
This includes observing what’s there under the surface … how you truly feel, what you can learn from the situation, and what it means for your life moving forward.
“When you initially forgive, it is like letting go of a hot iron. There is initial pain and the scars will show, but you can start living again.”
Ask God, the Universe, Source, etc for help if you need to. Forgiveness can be hard work but is extremely freeing and rewarding once you get through it.
Especially when the one who you need to forgive is the one in the mirror.
Try this affirmation:
I feel calm and have compassion for myself. I have forgiven myself for my past mistakes and have moved forward with my life.
10) Lose Yourself in Your Passions and Hobbies
Time flies when you’re having fun!
When you’re deep in focus doing something you love, you’re more at peace with yourself and the world around you.
Whatever gives you that feeling, do more of that.
What are some hobbies or passions you haven’t had as much time for as you’d like?
Find a way to work them back into your life.
Self-Inquiry is another great way of getting to know yourself.
It involves introspectively questioning your belief systems and negative thoughts to uncover and release the limiting beliefs that have kept you stuck and suffering.
The longer you hold onto beliefs and ways of thinking that no longer positively serve you, the longer you’ll continue to sabotage your life.
But if you can release outdated blockages, false beliefs, and attitudes, you can free yourself mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
When you approach this exercise with honesty and the willingness to look into your shadow, it’ll help you figure out which beliefs, goals, dreams, shoulds, shames, and self-imposed limitations need to die inside of you.
And once they do, you’ll be able to move forward as the real, authentic you.
Some of the problems you uncover will immediately dissolve into your awareness just by bringing them to the surface. This means they were only able to complicate your life because you weren’t aware of them.
Some thought-provoking self-inquiry questions to start with are:
- Who am I? And how do I know?
- Why do I believe what I believe?
- Where did my beliefs about myself, the world, and my existence come from?
- Why did I choose my current career? If I could go back and choose something different, would I?
- What makes me happy?
- What brings me peace?
- Where do I want to be in 1 year? 5 years?
- What’s holding me back from living the life I want? What are my biggest obstacles?
- What are some problems in the world that I care about?
12) Read Books of Truth
Reading books of Truth help to dissolve your ego and realize your true nature.
They help to dispel the illusion that you are an individual identity separate from God/Self/Existence/The Universe, etc. Our identification with that false self is the root cause of our suffering.
Books of Truth are high-powered spiritual books on topics like consciousness, metaphysics, awareness, Oneness, enlightenment, the infinite Now, Vedanta, and non-duality yoga.
And the teachings of highly evolved teachers like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, the Vedas, Zoroaster, Pantanjali, Dr. David R. Hawkins, Eckhart Tolle, Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj, Papaji, Huang Po, Osho, Mooji, and many more.
Spirituality isn’t about finding more beliefs to add to your mind. The universal truths spiritual teachings point to are already living inside of you, waiting to be rediscovered.
So explore the teachers/teachings/topics that resonate with you. And let them help you reconnect with your inner spirituality.
The high consciousness level energy adds peace and positive energies to your energy field. Raising your overall level of consciousness as you absorb it.
Plus, negative thoughts, attitudes, and low-level beliefs will be dissolved by the higher-level energy field, as well as by the realizations and revelations that occur as your overall spiritual energy field expands and ‘enlightens’.
13) Journaling for Inner Peace
Journaling gets thoughts and feelings out of your head and onto paper, which can immediately release tension in your mind and body.
The act of writing is emotionally freeing. And for some reason, thoughts seem less threatening once they’re out of your head.
Journaling gives you a more complete look at what’s going on inside of you (which is why it works so well as a self-awareness technique!).
Once you can see the bigger picture, you’ll be able to uncover hidden insights by unraveling painful thoughts and emotions down to their root causes.
The increased awareness and understanding of the situation can help you come up with solutions to problems you thought were unsolvable … and were blocking your sense of inner peace.
How to journal for inner peace?
There are several different ways to journal for inner peace. Journaling prompts like, “I feel peaceful when…” or “I would feel more peaceful if…” can get the ball rolling and thoughts flowing.
But if prompts aren’t your thing and feel too restrictive, just do a brain dump.
Take a blank piece of paper (or open a new electronic doc) and write down everything that comes to mind. No filtering and no stopping till you feel a sense of relief.
Brain dumping is my favorite way to cleanse emotionally whenever I feel backed up or numb.
14) Develop A Growth Mindset
Mindset doesn’t just affect how you think, it also affects how you feel and colors your overall experience of life.
For example, a scarcity, negative, or fixed mindset:
- Won’t let you see solutions, opportunities, or think optimistically
- Won’t let you feel hopeful for a better future
- Keeps you believing your options are limited and that you’re not good enough to overcome your challenges
- Convinces you everything will stay the same, including how you feel and what you’re capable of
Whereas a growth mindset focuses on learning, growing, developing new skill sets, and open-mindedness.
A growth mindset allows you to see your life, yourself, and the world in new ways. Self-empowering ways where you get to choose how you see the world and what you believe is possible for yourself.
For example, setting goals past your comfort zone can help you believe your life situation can change.
The more you allow yourself to grow, the more competent and confident you become in the areas of your life that are holding you back. And the more at peace with those areas you can become.
You may even start to enjoy pushing yourself to grow outside of your comfort zone. Because you’ll be having new experiences, discovering new passions and interests, and meeting like-minded people who might have a similar life purpose or passions.
Related Reading: Is Your Life Purpose Being Held Hostage By Your Fixed Mindset?
15) Devote More Time to Self Love and Self Care
How does self-love increase your inner peace?
All love stems from self-love. Because you can only love and connect with others as deeply as you can love and connect with yourself. And that inner self is also the source of your inner peace.
The more you allow yourself to open up to, connect with, accept, and nurture your inner self, the more peaceful and loving you’ll become as a way of being in the world.
Begin by treating yourself the way that you treat the other people in your life that you love.
- How you talk to them
- How you take care of them
- How you support them
- What you want for them
- How you want them to feel about themselves
And intentionally choose to treat yourself the same way.
In other words:
- Develop a self-care routine consisting of whatever makes you feel the best about yourself
- Commit to taking better care of yourself and putting yourself first more often
- Treat yourself better, talk to yourself better by using positive self-talk
- Learn to say no and set stronger boundaries when it comes to how others treat you, if necessary
- Learn to love, accept, and forgive yourself
16) Gain a Better Understanding of Emotional Intelligence and Empathy
You wouldn’t believe how much of the inner peace, I gained after my depression, came from gaining a better understanding of my emotions and their true functions.
It changed my entire understanding of the difficult emotions I’d been going through. I had to stop judging them as ‘good or bad’ to hear the messages they were trying to deliver.
When I did, I discovered layers of life I didn’t know existed. And learned how those layers of mental processes and emotional energies had been affecting my life and my interactions with the world around me.
It turned out nothing that had happened during my life had been a mistake. My new understanding allowed me to see the “electronics” behind how life events were working.
I found peace as the emotional turmoil faded away and both my inner and outer worlds changed for the better.
A few tips for gaining emotional intelligence:
- Make sure you’re being present and aren’t reacting to current situations from old habits and patterns.
- Identify and be aware of your triggers.
- Practice your social and communication skills because you’ll have less social anxiety when you feel more competent and confident handling social interactions.
- Read Karla McLaren’s book, Emotional Genius, or something similar that deals with grounding, centering, and understanding the language of the emotions.
“As you grow a more mindful relationship with your emotions, you flex the muscles of emotional fitness. You’ll wonder why you waited so long to embrace your emotions. The more self-awareness you cultivate, the easier it is to self-calm. Whenever you feel and accept an emotion, the more you’ll experience inner peace.”
17) Shadow work, trauma healing, Inner child work
“Shadow work is the process of working with our shadow selves to eradicate their negative effects in our lives and to integrate the separate parts of ourselves into one whole.”
Shadow work, trauma healing, and inner child work all have to do with becoming aware of and healing the emotional blockages, behavioral patterns, and belief systems that are negatively affecting your life.
The issues that are operating under the surface like a malware app running in the background. Popping up and taking over whenever one of your triggers is triggered.
If you have already done any of the above, you know how intense it can feel, but also how emotionally freeing it can be when you come out on the other side. Like a weight that’s been lifted off of you internally and sometimes your entire body feels lighter.
I suggest you do your research before attempting any of these because once you get started, the only way out is through.
18) Overcome limiting beliefs for Added Peace
The limiting beliefs we hold are major inner peace drainers.
Limiting beliefs can:
- Block you from reaching (or even attempting) your goals
- Hold you back from moving forward with your life
- Sabotage your efforts
- Make you believe things will happen the same way they did before and stop you from trying
- Lead to fear of failure, insecurities, and anxieties
- Cause you unnecessary stress, worry, and overwhelm
All of which adds up to a lack of inner peace.
Instead of living the life you want, limiting beliefs keep you right where you are, preventing you from venturing outside of your comfort zone or making any big changes to your life.
But releasing them is freeing.
Mentally, emotionally, and depending on how deep the belief runs, spiritually freeing as well.
The first step is to become aware of your limiting beliefs in a specific area and how they’ve been affecting your life.
Next, question them to see if they’re true. Spoiler alert: Most of them won’t be!
Most of them are beliefs you’ve picked up from other people or as a result of painful past experiences. The only reason you’ve held onto them was to protect yourself in some way.
For the beliefs that do have some truth to them, this is where developing a growth mindset comes in.
For example, maybe you aren’t capable of reaching one of your goals yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t develop new skills, practice, or grow in some way and reach your goal in the future.
19) Gaining Confidence
A lack of confidence has led to so many regrets throughout my life.
Regrets that have me replaying past mistakes, being dissatisfied with my life, and feeling disappointed with the person I am.
In other words, not the best soil to grow inner peace.
So whether your lack of confidence plays out as perfectionism, procrastination, making excuses, not taking risks, or fear of failure, building your confidence is a must if you want to live a happier, more peaceful life.
You can do this through a combination of mindset work and confidence-boosting exercises.
A few confidence boosting exercises are:
- Daily success journaling
- Reciting affirmations
- Taking action while feeling afraid
- Doing something outside of your comfort zone
- Developing competence in a new skill
- Setting and reaching small goals
- Taking full responsibility for your life, actions, reactions, and results
I’ll be writing more about them in my next article: Increase Your Confidence Everyday With 5 Powerful Confidence Boosting Exercises
The goal is to develop the belief in yourself that you can learn new things and handle whatever happens to you in life.
You’ll feel more at peace with yourself and the world when you know you can trust yourself and your capabilities.
Here are a few affirmations to help with the mindset part:
I summon enough courage to start with what I have and learn as I go. The more action I take, the more confident I feel.
With confidence and courage, I take action daily for my ideal life.
Challenges are opportunities. Change is an adventure. Failure is growth and learning.
20) Start Living By Your Values
Have you taken the time to define your personal values?
Before you can start living by your values, you have to know what your values are.
By values I mean your ideals, standards, and beliefs about how you should live your life and what you stand for (and against) in this world.
Not what your parents, your church, or society tells you they are … your personal values are how you feel deep down inside.
Once again, this is where having strong self-awareness skills is essential. Knowing yourself is the only way to separate your true values from your ‘borrowed’ values.
When you align your actions, goals, career, and overall way of life with your true values, life runs smoother and ‘feels’ right. But when you don’t, something usually feels off.
So if your goal is to live with inner peace, living by your values is a must.
“All this is very important because, when what you do and how you behave is consistent with your values, then life feels good, and you feel good about yourself and life. However, when what you do and how you behave is not aligned with your highest values (priorities for life), then that’s when discomfort and pain sets in.”– How to Uncover Your Personal Values
21) Be of Service to the World
The last way of developing inner peace that we’re going to discuss in this post is being of service to the world.
Since you’re reading a personal development blog post, I’m going to assume that part of the reason you want to improve yourself, is to make a difference in the lives of the people around you.
And if that’s the case, you already know how good it feels to genuinely help someone else. Whether that means responding to a request for help or offering your assistance to someone in need.
The more you give, the more you realize you’ve had within you to give all along.
Plus research supports that we are happier when we give. Generosity has positive effects on the brain … It reduces stress and anxiety.
“One such study showed that generosity does make us happier, and it confirmed this by highlighting the brain regions involved.”
How to make a difference in the world?
Make it a priority to give more generously of your time, energy, knowledge, and your authentic self.
Put yourself out there. Let yourself be vulnerable. Create something. Tell your story. Let others relate to you and your struggles.
Share your passions, interests, hobbies, and experiences with others.
Listen to the stories and life experiences of others. We tend to have more in common with people than we usually think we will.
Another way to make a difference is to coach or mentor others who are just starting out on something that you have experience with.
Do whatever you can to make a difference in other people’s lives. You’ll feel better, they’ll feel better, and you’ll have more inner peace.
The source of inner peace is within us at all times. But we have a habit of cutting ourselves off from it without realizing we’re doing it.
Sometimes it’s because we overthink everything and are overly critical of ourselves, other times our lack of inner peace is due to the grudges we hold or the unresolved traumas living inside of us.
Whatever the reason, instead of feeling happy, hopeful, and at peace with the world, we end up feeling hopeless, depressed, worthless, or like our life doesn’t have any meaning.
But now that you know 21 ways to tap into your inner peace for yourself, you’ll be able to:
- Grow your inner peace
- Feel happier more often
- Be more at ease with life
- Have an optimistic and hopeful relationship towards the future
- Free yourself from emotional stress
- And develop the belief that you can accomplish anything you put your mind to
But as always, I can give you suggestions and advice, but only you know what’s right for you. And the more you grow to trust yourself to make decisions aligned with your values and self-knowledge, the more empowered you will become.
So young padawan …
Which options seem best for you?
What actions will you take?
And when will you start?
I hope you found this article helpful and good luck on your journey towards inner peace and happiness!
P.S. – If your lack of inner peace comes from feeling stuck where you are in life, unable to move forward, make sure you grab a copy of my free eBook below.