A Grab Bag of Zen Tricks: The Art of Achieving Peace of Mind

A life coach will tell you to shut your eyes, take a deep breath, and envision yourself sitting on a beach on a warm and cloudless day. Breath. Envision. Feel. With a few more breaths your mind will be as clear and free of clouds as the tropical sky. “This is your inner paradise,” the life coach says. “It’s the safe spot you escape to when life becomes too stressful.”

Yeah, right. In this day and age, who can afford a life coach? Furthermore, who has time to sit around and listen to half-baked New Age philosophy? Peace of mind at work and at home has nothing to do with visualizing beaches and lulling waves. In order to achieve mental clarity, you need to simplify your life, declutter your routines and sharpen your coping mechanisms. Life is filled with difficult transitions; from starting a new career to being laid off from a job, there are times when you’re going to feel stressed, anxious, apathetic and vulnerable. When that happens, you’re going to need to reach into your grab bag of Zen tricks in order to achieve peace of mind.

Editing Errands and Powering Off

While it’s easier said than done, simplifying life will help you achieve peace of mind. That’s not to say you need to quit your job, move to Vermont, live off the grid and raise goats for an organic farm. How about starting the simplification process by powering off the computer or iPhone once in a while? Take a long, hard look at your daily and weekly routines and eliminate something extraneous; one less errand a day or weekly commitment will free up your time, and extra time is vital to peace of mind.

Reclaiming the Gym

Regular exercise and a healthy diet can go a long wait toward combating stress and fatigue. If your time is crunched and you’re eating boxed meals and fast food every other day, the first thing you need to do is reclaim your time. After that, you can exchange the Extra Value Menu for some leafy greens. People complain they don’t have enough time to exercise or eat right, but peace of mind is achieved through prioritizing. Breathe. Visualize. And yes, go to the gym.

A Safety Net

Worry and stress are magnified during life’s transitions. If you’ve lost a job or are stuck in domestic limbo, doing laps on the track is probably not going to be enough to give you peace of mind. In other words, a safety net is needed. A short term medical insurance policy is ideal for individuals or families in the midst of a transition. The type of stress you feel from a busy and hectic day pales in comparison to the level of anxiety you’re going to feel if a medical emergency arises.

Voltaire concluded his novel “Candide” with the following statement: “We must cultivate our garden.” In other words, happiness is achieved by focusing on the well-being within oneself. A grab bag of Zen tricks like the ones above can give you the tools for working in your garden.

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