Happiness VS. Inner Peace
By: Leah Hovey
Last week I spoke about change and why it can take a lifetime to grow. I mentioned that not everyone is okay with change and very often people ask why they should bother to change. While you realistically do not have to change, I noted that many individuals would not find inner peace- not "happiness" but peace.
It's an important distinction to make because happiness looks different to everyone. One person's happiness does not equate to another individual's happiness as each person will have separate ideals of what being happy means to them. You can still be a happy person while still holding in anger, resentment, and while continuing these toxic behaviours.
This is why seeking happiness is not the quest. The true quest we all are on is to find internal peace.
So what does this mean? Internal peace means to be experiencing a psychological or spiritual calm despite there being stressors that surround you. This includes releasing feelings of anger, resentment, distress or trauma not because you have to, but because you are doing so for your own sake (Xu, W. et al., 2015).
Internal peace is a concept found within the Buddhist religion. To find true happiness and achieve inner peace, mindfulness is a large part of Buddha’s teachings. He believed that to find true happiness and to be enlightened one must let go of toxicity in their lives (Pursuit of Happiness, Inc., 2018). By finding this inner peace, we are able to move through life not ignoring or pushing away our conflicts, but by handling them with insight to provide ourselves with contentment.
Mindfulness meditation has been proven to help individuals find their inner peace. A controlled study had fifty-seven people enrolled in either a mindfulness meditation group or a waitlist control group. The researchers measured how mindfulness therapy impacted those who took the course and it was proven that those in the mindfulness meditation experienced a greater sense of inner peace after their experience (Liu, X., et al., 2015). By participating within mindfulness groups like the one the Conscious Counselling Team offers, you can boost your inner peace exponentially!
By the end of this week, January will have come to a close bringing a new month ahead of us. I truly hope that by thinking deeply about change, finding inner peace and reading the wonderful blogs my fellow content creators have written has helped you truly look at yourself, find helpful tips and make a promise to yourself to find internal peace. Our lives may never be peaceful… they can be chaotic, wild, frustrating and difficult but we can choose how to handle these situations. Regardless of what is happening in your life tune into your inner peace and be better for yourself.
For more information on mindfulness and our mindfulness groups check out the link below!
Buddha and Happiness. (2018). Pursuit of Happiness, Inc. a 501(c)(3). Retrieved from https://www.pursuit-of-happiness.org/history-of-happiness/buddha/
Liu, X., Xu, W., Wang, Y., Williams, J. M. G., Geng, Y., Zhang, Q., & Liu, X. (2015). Can inner peace be improved by mindfulness training: a randomized controlled trial. Stress and health, 31(3), 245-254.
Xu, W., Rodriguez, M. A., Zhang, Q., & Liu, X. (2015). The mediating effect of self-acceptance in the relationship between mindfulness and peace of mind. Mindfulness, 6(4), 797-802.