Nine Ways to Find Peace of Mind

All of us can live a fulfilling life in the middle of the turmoil.

Copyright © 2003 Susan Jeffers, Ph.D. All rights reserved. Adapted from her book, "Embracing Uncertainty."

We are an anxious nation…in fact, we are an anxious world. There is no question that uncertainty seems to have increased dramatically in the last few years. We worry about terrorism. We worry about war. We worry about losing our jobs. We worry about the dangers confronting our children. And on and on and on.

This worry is understandable, given the state of the world at the present time, but there is no question in my mind that, with the right tools…

All of us can rise above any situation that life hands us.
All of us can live a fulfilling life in the middle of the turmoil.
All of us can find a sense of peace and purpose.

In my newest book, Embracing Uncertainty, I provide the tools that I have found most effective in helping us see the world in a more life-affirming and powerful way. Here is a taste of a few of the many tools I include in the book. 

1. “Un-set" your heart. Un-setting your heart means letting go of your picture of how you want it all to be. It means letting go of trying to control things over which you have no control. One of the prime causes of our suffering is our wanting things to be different than they are. Yes, we all want a peaceful world instead of a world filled with weapons of mass destruction. Yes, we all want health instead of illness. Yes, we all want healthy, happy children instead of children who break our hearts. But sometimes life doesn't hand us what we want. And when we un-set our hearts from our needing it all to be a certain way, we can breathe a sigh of relief and open the door to a more powerful way of living. 

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2. Create a "wondering" life instead of a "hoping" life. It helps us un-set our hearts when we replace the words "I hope" with the words "I wonder." Let me demonstrate. Instead of "I hope the war ends quickly," make it "I wonder if the war will end quickly." Instead of "I hope the stock market goes up," make it "I wonder if the stock market will go up." Instead of "I hope I keep my job," make it "I wonder if I'll keep my job." Notice the relief in this simple shift. Even with difficult situations in our lives, substituting “I wonder” for “I hope” keeps our hopes from being dashed and opens up the possibility of our learning and growing from whatever happens.  

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Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.
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