What is Peace of Mind?

“Set peace of mind as your highest goal,
and organize your life around it.”
~Brian Tracy~

Like many common sayings, the phrase “peace of mind” likely means different things to different people. However, it generally suggests a state of tranquility that results from not having worries, guilt, or problems.

“Peace of mind” is a concept that can be linked back to Stoic and Buddhist philosophies which assert that the sense of peace originates from within the individual, and further suggest that we can condition ourselves to be indifferent to external disturbances. In other words, we can learn to carry peace within ourselves and not allow it to be shaken by situations that are external to us. This is a mindset that allows us to positively manage our internal worlds even when chaos surrounds us.

Tranquility is described as a state of calmness and reflection. It is a restorative state that directly contrasts with the stressful effects of daily life, which requires constant mental engagement. According to research, tranquility plays an important role in providing relief from an overtaxed mental space. Accordingly, many psychologists consider tranquility to be a psychological need.

Neuroimaging studies indicate that tranquil surroundings have a positive effect on the brain. Utilizing scanning technology that measures brain activity, researchers have found that tranquil environments enhance certain neural connections within the brain, while non-tranquil environments tend to disrupt those connections.Therefore, when we elevate inner peace as primary goal, we are likely contributing to optimal brain functioning.

Mindfully striving for inner peace means that we’ve made an important commitment to ourselves. By disallowing ourselves from becoming immersed in situations, environments, and relationships that disrupt our ability to satisfy the need for tranquility, we are practicing an ultimate act of self-care.

References:

Hunter, M. D., Eickhoff, S. B., Pheasant, R. J., Douglas, M. J., Watts, G. R., Farrow,  T. F. D., . . . Wooddruff, P. W. R. (2010). The state of tranquility: Subjective perception is shaped by contextual modulation of auditory connectivity. NeuroImage, 53(2), 611-618. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.06.053

*Image: track5

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