One of the prevailing misconceptions about inner peace is that that “peace” is an absence of turmoil. A life without problems and stress is impossible.
To find inner peace, you must acknowledge and accept the conditions around you. Peace is not blissful ignorance; rather, it allows you to cope with the fact that some circumstances are beyond your control. Then, you can “let things be.”
Achieving peace within takes time, patience, and practice. Fortunately, there are tools and other techniques that can help the process.
When you cultivate a peaceful mindset, you will often discover many benefits for your body, mind, and spirit. If you face a crisis, your internal peace may offer clarity and better-coping skills.
You do not have to be an aged hermit on a hill to live more peacefully. Inner tranquility is available to all seekers—regardless of age, gender, race, religion, or social status. You are not required to adopt another religion or have any religion at all.
Finding peace within is called a “practice” because humans are continually evolving and learning from their mistakes. You may practice any way that makes you feel comfortable. This helpful guide offers insights into developing inner peace and enjoying the benefits it has to offer.
What You Can Expect From This Guide
We cover eight different tools and methods that have helped others in their path to finding true inner peace. While we cover quite a bit of ground (just over 2,600 words), this guide can be useful for both those simply curious about finding inner peace and serious seekers alike.
The eight topics we cover in this guide are Meditation, Crystals & Gemstones, Symbolism, Mediation Aids, Essential Oils, Incense/Aromatherapy, Healthful Eating, and Music.
This text is not meant to be a definitive resource, instead, it should be treated as a starting point and a reminder on the path to inner peace.
That said, let's jump right into it.
Using Meditation on the Path to Inner Peace
Meditation may be the earliest form of communicating with the inner Divine that we know. It is recorded in Hindu, Buddhism, and Chinese traditions that go back thousands of years.
Just as exercise benefits your body, your mind and spirit are benefited when you meditate. It is a way to reveal the soul and bring your whole Self into the present moment.
Meditation is a way to bring your whole Self into the present moment.
A common form of meditating comes from the Buddhist tradition of mindfulness.
This is much more than sitting on the floor and daydreaming.
Mindfulness relaxes your body and soothes it from head to toe. It also calms your mind and makes it fully aware. It just allows you “to be.”
Other types of meditating include transcendental, heart rhythm, and guided visualization.
For those that are skeptical, numerous scientific studies suggest that meditating can reduce the chronic pain and symptoms of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. Mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, and obsessive/compulsive disorder also benefit when meditating is added to the treatment plan.
Meditating does not require a lot of time or expensive equipment. All you need is a quiet place to sit or lie down comfortably. While there are just as many meditational poses as there are techniques, the lotus position is the most common.
When meditating, clear your mind as much as possible so it can enjoy being in the moment, as the Buddha taught. Incense, candles, mantras, singing bowls, gemstones, and prayer beads are tools that many people use to help them meditate.
There is nothing so disobedient as an undisciplined mind, and there is nothing so obedient as a disciplined mind. - The Buddha
Mindful breathing slows the body and clears your mind of stressful thinking. As thoughts come into your mind while meditating, just acknowledge them and let them float by, like clouds.
Meditating also helps to open the “third eye” of the mind, and gives you clarity to see your life and problems in a different light.
While it may seem strange at first, almost all students are able to fully meditate with some practice.
Crystals and Gemstones for Health & Tranquility
Ancient doctors and philosophers believed that humans, animals, earth, and the heavens are connected in an infinite web of energy. The Chinese call this life energy chi and the Hindus call it prana.
Humans, animals, earth, and the heavens are connected in an infinite web of energy.
When these and other early cultures discovered crystal and gemstones in the earth, they believed that they had mystical powers. They thought that they could harness the earth’s life energy from these beautiful stones, and use that life energy for healing.
This energy is believed to be constantly flowing through our bodies to keep us healthy, in mind, body, and spirit.
Millennia ago, the Indian Hindus mapped out seven different spiritual centers in the body (called chakras) that were responsible for channeling energy to their respective area. The Chinese also recognized a complex grid of meridians which corresponded to energy points.
Each chakra has its own gemstone, according to color and characteristic. Early doctors held that these stones were alive, and vibrating with terrestrial and cosmic energy.
When someone in their village had a disease or ailment, the doctors believed that one or more of the patient’s chakras were out of balance. After diagnosing the spiritual center that was to blame, the doctors used the respective gemstone to align chakras. Their work is the foundation for crystal healing that has been practiced throughout history.
Modern practitioners of crystal healing believe and observe that these stones have health benefits and help to clear the mind.
Patients with various disorders have combined traditional medical treatment with crystal therapy. Many patients feel they have better control over pain and fewer symptoms. Crystal healing has also been reported to improve symptoms of insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Some people have done work with these stones to help them break addictions, such as smoking and overeating.
Crystal healing has also been reported to improve symptoms of insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
Here are a few prominent stones, corresponding colors, and how they are used in chakra therapy:
- Amethyst - Purple - Crown Chakra (Spirituality)
- Purple Fluorite - Indigo - Third Eye Chakra (Awareness)
- Aquamarine - Blue - Throat Chakra (Communication)
- Jade or Rose Quartz - Green or Pink - Heart Chakra (Healing/Love)
- Topaz - Yellow - Solar Plexus Chakra (Wisdom/Power)
- Moonstone - Orange or Light Red - Sacral Chakra (Sexuality/Creativity)
- Tiger's Eye - Red - Root Chakra (Basic/Trust)
The Powers and Use of Symbolism
Ancient sages attributed powers to certain words or syllables that seemed to resonate with human energy. Some of these cultures codified imagery and words into sacred symbolism to use for spiritual rites.
This symbology was handed down through generations and assimilated into other cultures around the world. Here are some prominent symbols that are used for meditating and finding inner tranquility:
Om: This syllable is probably the most sacred word in Hindu prayers, and is prominent in Vedic scriptures. The three phonetic sounds in the word are said to represent the Hindu trinity.
Some people who practice Yogic tradition opine that Om is the resonating sound of the Universe. When they chant Om, they believe that it brings their body into balance with universal peace. The Sanskrit or Tibetian pictograph for Om is also frequently used in jewelry or meditation tools in order to remind and invoke its power.
Sri Yantra: A mantra is a spoken word, while a yantra is a geometric drawing. Both are said to connect seekers with the Divine.
Sri Yantra is a complex and beautiful symbol handed down from ancient Vedic traditions. It has a group of triangles that represent male and female forces, and a centered dot that represents the Universe and creation. It is a symbol of prosperity and well-being.
Shanti: When searching for internal peace, people often repeat this Sanskrit word for “peace” as a mantra. It can also mean a feeling of calmness and serenity. Repeating “Shanti” may be a positive affirmation that brings the whole being into balance and peaceful awareness.
Tree of Life: Many cultures include trees into their mythology as symbols of the life force. The Tree of Life is a potent symbol that shows perpetual connections within the Universe.
The tree roots represent balance and grounding in the earth, while the branches reach toward the heavens. Smaller branches and twigs in the Tree of Life interconnect to bring nutrients up from the roots, and food from the leaves.
Lotus flower: According to Buddhism tradition, the Buddha received enlightenment while meditating under a lotus tree.
Ever since then, the lotus flower has been a symbol of purity and enlightenment. It is often worn as a Buddhist mandala to attract internal peace.
Accessories to Help Focus Your Spiritual Journey
Ancient cultures developed tools and symbols that helped them meditate. They often turned their symbols into sacred mandalas that they could wear to remind them of perfect peace. Symbols were painted or tattooed on their body, as well as their clothes.
As you meditate and cultivate peace within yourself, you may consider using tools and accessories to enhance your practice.
One traditional tool to try is mala or prayer beads. In the Hindu tradition, malas are long strings with 108 small beads, and one larger bead at the end (called the Guru Bead). The Guru Bead may also be a charm instead of an actual bead. Be sure to read more about using mala beads in meditation.
Many practitioners count the beads as they recite their own mantras.
It is thought that the Roman Catholic rosary was modeled after these sacred beads and some Native American tribes use their own mala for meditations and rituals.
Do you have a favorite symbol, such as the All Seeing Eye, or yin/yang? Maybe you have an animal spirit for a totem. You can wear your mandala as a ring, necklace, or bracelet.
Wear them as a piece of jewelry, or put them in a velvet satchel to keep in your pocket or purse. You may hear people describe them as their “touchstones”, which remind them of spiritual awareness each time they touch them.
Use your touchstones to remind yourself of spiritual awareness and your journey to seeking inner peace.
As you go throughout the day, your mandala will draw positive energy, and repel negativity. Each time you see your unique symbol, it will remind you to stay present in the moment, and to remain calm.
Maybe you are attracted to individual stones or crystals. Their energy may resonate with you, and help you to be mindful or provide relief to you of some kind.
Essential Oils to Soothe the Mind & Soul
Our brains are wired to enjoy pleasant scents. Prehistoric humans ground spices, herbs, flowers, and fruit to extract their oil. They diluted the oils with other ingredients to make extracts, which created the world’s first perfumes. Some of the extracts were added to food and beverages to make them more palatable.
These ancient doctors discovered that the pure oils also had medicinal qualities. When their patients rubbed them into their skin, or inhaled them on a regular basis, some symptoms either diminished or disappeared.
Ancients from around the globe used these oils for meditating and spiritual work. They recorded the characteristics and benefits of each oil and used them accordingly.
Many oils are well-known for their benefits. Oil of cinnamon or clove can energize you and may lift depression.
Have problems with restful sleeping? Try soothing ylang-ylang oil or orange bergamot.
Aromatic geranium or patchouli oils have been used for thousands of years to bring awareness and peacefulness to people as they meditate. There are a plethora of oils and combinations from which you may choose.
You can also use pure oils for meditating or healing. Dilute them with a neutral oil (also called a carrier oil), such as grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil.
Use a roll-on applicator to apply it to warm spots on your wrist or neck. When you put oil into a diffuser, it will send out a fragrant mist that will scent the whole room. Consider one or more of these methods when using pure oils in your practice.
Using Incense & Aromatherapy in Meditation
Of course, communicating with your inner-being requires using all five senses.
Ancient humans discovered that most botanicals had unique scents. Some of these smells were pleasant and gave them a sense of well-being. They learned how to extract essential oils from herbs, spices, and plants, and how to combine them to burn as incense.
The oils and scents were integrated into their personal and religious rites. It was beginning of aromatherapy, sometimes called scent therapy.
Scientific studies demonstrate that sense of smell has powerful influences over the brain. Just a brief whiff can instantly evoke pleasant memories of childhood, like the smell of cookies baking. Proponents of scent therapy point to studies that suggest some disorders respond positively to certain scents.
Many people claim that aromatherapy alleviates their chronic pain and minimizes some of their symptoms. People with high blood pressure, migraines, ulcers, and even cancer have touted the benefits of using scent therapy along with their conventional medical treatments.
For example, inhaling fresh citrus oils almost instantly refreshes you, and gives you a boost of energy.
Lavender and chamomile oils have substances that promote serenity, relaxation, and restful sleep.
Other natural scents, like peppermint or sweet basil, target areas of the brain to relieve anxiety and depression.
Burning incense is another form of this therapy. Early humans believed that burning aromatic ingredients was a way to communicate with the Divine or the spirit world.
They noticed that the warm fire and sweet smells from their incense burner brought their minds into focus, and soothed their spirit. It is an essential tool for most religious cultures since it encourages silent meditation.
Aromatherapy with oils or incense is an excellent way to encourage internal peace for groups or individuals.
Because scent preferences may vary, it is essential for people to find an oil or burning scent that works best for them. All that is needed is an incense burner & and either incense cones or sticks, or a pure oil.
Healthful Eating for a Healthy Mind, Body, & Spirit
The body, mind, and spirit and are intrinsically connected, and proper nutrition affects all three.
Food gives the body energy, much like gasoline fuels a car. If you are not eating “living” food with essential vitamins and minerals, your body will experience energy lags because of the substandard fuel. Don't forget, we are what we eat.
Processed “junk” food prevents the body from cultivating a peaceful mind and spirit. These foods are stockpiled in grocery stores and fast-food restaurants. They are loaded with processed flour, added sugar, sodium, and artificial ingredients.
Cookies, candy, cakes, and other junk food directly contribute to the obesity epidemic in the developed world.
Also, alcohol can rob the mind of clarity, and may also cause other serious health issues.
While it is okay to have an occasional sweet treat or a cocktail, these foods should rarely be consumed by those who are seeking internal peace.
Eating right includes a rich variety of foods as close to nature as possible.
The bulk of your calories should be from fresh leafy vegetables and fruit. The more colorful the veggies are the more essential vitamins and minerals they have.
Eat dark, green varieties such as kale, spinach, and other greens. Dark fruits like blueberries, cranberries, and pomegranates are also considered “superfoods.”
When being mindful of what you're consuming, don't forget that proteins also crucial to a healthy body and mind.
If you get most of your protein from animals, remember that red meat should be eaten in moderation (no more than once per week), so consider more poultry and fish (unless you're vegan or vegetarian, of course).
Other excellent sources of protein include legumes (beans), eggs, nuts, and soybeans (in moderation).
The body needs the fiber from whole grains to digest food properly, so it is wise to get daily portions of these.
Dairy products can also provide protein and calcium for healthy teeth and bones.
Since the 1950s, doctors told their patients that fats were the enemy, and to avoid them. However, we now know that there is more to the story.
Our bodies need essential fatty acids to keep the joints lubricated, and for other systemic processes.
Eating avocados, nuts, and fatty fish (like salmon) gives the body the fatty acids it needs. These fats may be unsaturated, or polyunsaturated, and are part of a nutritious diet (in moderation).
Proper nutrition keeps your body receptive to peace and tranquility.
Music for the Mind & Third Eye
Prehistoric humans were always aware of sounds, tone qualities, and rhythms displayed in nature. These sounds resonated with their spirits, and they learned to imitate them.
So of course, the first musical instrument was the human voice. Like birds and other vocal animals, humans discovered how to manipulate their voices to produce pleasant sound waves. When another person joined them, they experimented with blending tones and creating a harmonic sound.
Music became an integral part of cultures and sacred rites. Over the centuries, humans carved primitive instruments that produced a range of tones. They used drums and other percussion instruments that mimicked beats and cadence in the world around them. Music has long been used to improve moods and to bring peace to the whole being.
Even if you do not know how to play a musical instrument, you can integrate music into your meditative practices with recordings. The soothing tones and rhythms quickly bring you into a tranquil state and help with mindful breathing.
Music therapy has been used for years in traditional medicine to relax patients, and help them manage pain better. It is also helpful for those who have mental issues.
Experiment with different musical styles and sounds until you find one that makes you the most comfortable or helps you find your "flow."
Do you have problems meditating? Many people have found the benefits of binaural beats. These are the brain’s response to hearing tones from both ears. Specialized music with binaural beats trains your brain to relax and go into a meditative state. These beats can relieve stress and increase your mental awareness.