3 Surprisingly Simple Keys to Inner Peace

by Alan Hewitt on June 13, 2012

By Michelle Mayur
June 13, 2012

Inner peace is a feeling, a way of being, on the inside. It is not something you can find outside of yourself through amassing material possessions, status symbols or from having the ideal partner. Inner peace just is.

If your life is chaotic on the outside with frequent conflicts, frustration, emotional hurt and anger, chances are this is the mirror being held up to show you that there is also turmoil in your body, mind and emotions for you to take ownership of and heal.

After many years of avidly studying personal development techniques, learning through trial and error, I have found 3 powerful, yet surprisingly simple keys that allow you to experience inner peace on a daily basis until it becomes your normal way of being.

Then you feel you can transcend the daily challenges of life and view them from a higher, more loving vibration where so many of those things that used to trigger you just simply drop away.

Key 1 – Deep Breathing and Meditation in the Present Moment

Did you know that most people who are stressed or anxious breathe in a shallow manner, which causes the physical body to be in a constant state of ‘flight or fight’? This creates havoc with your hormone system as adrenalin continues to be pumped into the body until eventually over time the adrenal glands become exhausted.

However, when you breathe deeply you automatically turn on the body’s natural relaxation response through the parasympathetic nervous system and switch off the excess adrenalin production.

You also allow more oxygen into your body to assist in the transportation of more nutrients into the cells. Combining deep breathing with meditation in the stillness is particularly potent.

This is one of my favourite breathing techniques for experiencing inner peace:

Calming Breath / Tummy Breathing

* Lie on your back or sit comfortably. Place the right hand on the abdomen and the left hand on the chest.

* Inhaling through the nose, fill the abdomen first with air, then allow air to fill the lungs.

* Hold the breath briefly, then slowly exhale through the nose, allowing the abdomen to empty first then the chest. Notice which hand moves up and down as you breathe.

* Aim to keep the left hand still and breathe down into the abdomen so the right hand moves as you breathe, filling the abdomen, hips, pelvis and lower back.

* Complete 5 of these breath cycles, rest a minute or so and then repeat the cycle again, imagining that air can flow into any part of the body that needs it.

* Practice this Calming Breath or Tummy Breathing until it becomes a habit.

When your attention is 100% in the present moment you are not thinking about the past or the future, so it is impossible to feel anxious. Anxiety is a forward-projected fear.

Combine deep breathing with the exercise below to centre and calm yourself in the present moment:

The Power of Now Meditation

Concentrate your awareness on your 5 senses.

* What can you see around you? Look at the details of colour, shape, size, light, shadow, etc

* Close your eyes and be aware of all the sounds around you.

* Notice physical sensations in the body – comfort or otherwise of the clothing and shoes, temperature, feelings of chair / pillow against the body, etc

* What can you smell?

* What can you taste?

The calming technique below works rapidly with just about everyone and is ideal to use daily and whenever you feel under stress.

Yoga Position for Calmness

* Sit with your left ankle over the right ankle.

* Cross your arms with your right arm on top, fingers under your armpits and thumbs on top.

* Focus gently just on the physical sensations in the body, such as tingles and twitches.

* Focus on using your preferred relaxation breathing technique.

* Hold the position for at least 2 minutes, then uncross the ankles and put your fingertips together in the prayer position. Hold that position for one minute.

* Notice how calm and clear headed you feel.

One of my favourite meditations for finding inner peace and calm is to do a ‘walking meditation’ in a beautiful place in nature, even if it is just in my garden.

As you walk, stop and touch the leaves and flowers, examine their complexity, patterns and perfection, and smell the delicate aromas of the flowers. Stop in front of a big tree and feel its mighty, yet peaceful, power.

Notice how calm, refreshed and energised you feel after being in nature. This is a wonderful pick-me-up every day and especially helps you to let go of stress.

Key 2 – Forgive and Release the Past

Many chronic diseases such as fibromyalgia, arthritis, diabetes type II and autoimmune diseases indicate a body, mind and emotions in distress. As well as a problem with underlying chronic inflammation, in the mind/body connection there is also likely to be unresolved anger.

Especially with autoimmune diseases, on the metaphysical level there may be anger and unforgiveness towards the self. Know that at any given moment you were doing the best you could with the skills and resources you had available to you.

Many people hold onto anger towards the person they perceived as having wronged them as some kind of ‘revenge’. It is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will get sick! Do you really want to hurt yourself as well by not forgiving?

Many times the perceived perpetrator doesn’t realise they did anything wrong, or they have long since forgotten the issue and moved on. So by holding onto unforgiveness the only person you are hurting is yourself.

One of the most powerful gifts we can give ourselves is to forgive, both ourselves and others. In forgiving we are not condoning the behaviour of the person we perceive as having wronged us, but rather we are allowing ourselves to break the hold that person has on our lives.

Feeling anger towards that person may have been well-justified, but unless it is dealt with and processed it becomes a corrosive aspect in our bodies, leading to physical disease and emotional illness.

Even if you feel you can only make baby steps towards forgiving someone, at least forgive yourself for having allowed yourself to be caught up in the drama for so long. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness.

Try saying the affirmation below with feeling with your hands on your heart: 

Affirmation of Forgiveness and Atonement

I don’t know why you did what you did,

And I don’t know why you said what you said,

And I don’t know why you are the way you are,

But I accept that’s where you need to be now,

And I forgive you and I forgive myself.

I release all anger, bitterness and resentment,

Past or present,

And I release us both in my love.

And so be it.

There are as many forms of symbolically releasing the past in your mind as your imagination will allow. In a quiet, meditative space you may like to imagine the issue you need to let go of, or maybe whatever has been holding you back from experiencing inner peace, and throw a symbolic representation of this over an imaginary cliff, release it in a hot air balloon, burn it in an open fire or blast it to smithereens with imaginary dynamite, etc, etc. Have fun being creative in detaching from and releasing the past!

Key 3 – Self-Nurturing

OK, be honest, how much time do you devote to looking after yourself first? If you are like most people with busy lives, then probably not nearly enough. Maybe your idea of self-nurturing is a few glasses of wine, ‘pigging out’ at the cinema or being a couch potato in front of the TV with a pizza?

That’s definitely not the kind of self-nurturing I am talking about! I mean the kind of self-nurturing that brings you feelings of real inner contentment and peace, rather than numbing your senses.

How often do you find yourself going through periods of procrastination with doing your work or feeling resentful about other people having fun while you are working? These may be signs your Inner Child just wants a bit of playtime.

Honour this and set aside regular ‘playtime’ in your day to keep your Inner Child happy. You will be rewarded with inner peace and be able to work far more efficiently. She may even want you to spend more time playing with animals and children.

Your body is the temple of your soul. Honour it with high life-force food, such as fresh fruit and vegetables and reduce all refined carbohydrates and heavily processed foods. Drop foods from your diet that cause lethargy, bloating or other discomfort as they do not suit your body. Enjoy the increased vitality!

Take up a new creative project that excites your soul or maybe try yoga to stretch and relax both mind and body. Enjoy a regular aromatherapy massage.

Catch up with friends and nurture your relationships. Nurture your soul by feeling Gratitude for all the wonderful things you already have in your life.


The path to experiencing inner peace takes practice, practice and more practice! Develop a regular daily discipline of meditation – even if it is only 10 minutes a day – including deep breathing, forgiving yourself and others and releasing the past.

Enjoy regular doses of healthy self-nurturing and playtime, preferably in nature, and feel yourself experiencing more and more inner peace in your daily life.

To find out more about how you can experience a more awakened, conscious way of living in inner peace and greater joy, no matter what life is throwing at you, check out Michelle’s new audio program and private mentoring here.

About the Author

Michelle Mayur has been in private practice in Melbourne since 1995 specialising in spiritual healing and hypnotherapy, in person or by phone. She is also an international speaker.

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{ 1 comment }

Judy June 13, 2012 at 3:04 AM

Kind and thoughtful words. Thank you for reminding us all again. We are always busy and we do forget the things that really matter. Judy

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