31 Ways to Quickly Regain Inner Peace

Written by on April 25, 2016 in Emotional Mastery, Self Awareness with 48 Comments

Regain Inner Peace

Even when we know all the right things to do to manage the stress of this noisy, hectic world of ours, it’s natural for there to occasionally be times when even the most confident among us needs to sooth overwhelmed emotions, calm frayed nerves and regain inner peace. There are of course many ways to do this, but it helps to create a list of resources (think of it as your stress management toolkit) to have on hand for just when you need it most.

So, to complete our month-long focus on stress-awareness, I have compiled a list of activities, resources, and tools for you to use. This is longer than my usual post, but I believe you’ll find it worthwhile and if you like what you read, you’ll be happy to know you can download a copy (including relevant links) at the end.

Easy Ways to Quickly Regain Inner Peace

1.Breathe: Try this power breath, inhale for 4 seconds, and then imagine releasing your stressful feelings when you exhale for the following 6 seconds. Repeat 10 times.

2.Release Your Worries to the Universe: Visit the Quiet Place Project where you can type all your problems into The Thoughts Room and watch them disappear into the stars.

3.Write in a Journal: To reap the full benefits or journaling, go beyond the superficial by learning to use your journal for personal growth. It’s an invaluable tool to solve problems, get to know yourself better, clarify your thoughts and reduce stress by expressing your feelings – sadness, anger, and frustration.

4.Get Moving: It really doesn’t matter what you do here; just move out of your head and into your body for at least 5 minutes. Dance to your favorite song, jump up and down, do some head rolls or shoulder shrugs, move in a way that feels good to your body and your natural rhythm.

5.Do Nothing: Head over to the Do Nothing for 2 Minutes website and then just sit back – don’t touch your keyboard or anything else – listen to the waves and relax.

6.Express Your Gratitude: You may not feel like it when you’re stressed, but most people have way more to be grateful for than they realize. Making a habit of listing things you’re grateful for in your journal will give you a place to go for a quick reminder when you need it.

Tip: Typical advice recommends listing 5 things you are grateful for each day. I suggest you consider listing just one or two things and then 5 reasons you are grateful for each of them. What this does is force you to really focus and that generates more emotion and meaning.

Peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

7.Release the Tension: Find some place where you can be completely alone for at least a couple of minutes – even if it’s sitting in your car – and give yourself the gift of a mini ‘bitch, moan, whine, scream’ session to vent and release tension.

8. Focus on Your Senses: Drip some lavender, tea tree, citrus or another essential oil into your palm and then rub your hands together, moving them back and forth 10 times. Cup your hands over your nose and mouth and breathe in deeply for five rounds of breath. The soothing scents will help send stress and anxiety packing by stimulating smell receptors in the nose that connect to the part of the brain that regulates emotions.

9.Meditate: Just 5 or 10 minutes will help to calm and re-center you. Try this easy 5 minute guided calming meditation.

Tip: Download one of the many free meditation apps for your Smartphone so you’re prepared for a mental health break, where ever you are, just when you need it most.

10.Do a Random Act of Kindness: There are so many simple ways to help others, but a few ideas include stopping to talk to a homeless person, offer to run an errand for a neighbor or relative who can’t get around easily, say thank you – and mean it, buy a small bunch of flowers the next time you’re at the grocery store and after you’ve checked out give them to the person in line behind you.

Tip: For many more ideas here’s a link to 101 Easy Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness.

11.Have a Good Cry: No really, it’s okay to cry! Tears are your body’s release valve for stress, sadness, anger, grief and frustration. For both men and women, tears are a sign of courage, strength, and authenticity.

12.Create a Feel-Good Collection: What TV shows are guaranteed to make you laugh? Are there songs that never fail to make you smile? For example, classic I Love Lucy is guaranteed to make me laugh, and my favorite music video is Uptown Funk with Bruno Mars. I have a small collection bookmarked and anytime I need a pick-me-up I take a break and treat myself.

13.Create a Zen Zone: Hiding in a bathroom stall or stretching out in the back seat of your car may not sound calming, but when you seriously need to shut out the world for a couple of minutes they’ll do. At home, there’s always a soothing bubble bath or you might think in terms of the “man cave” analogy and create an area with a comfortable place to sit or curl up, some incense or scented candles where you can disappear for a few minutes when you need some space. Top it off with an attractive sign you can hang on the door to let others know you’re on a mental health break.

14.Hang Out with Your Pet: Cuddling, and playing with our four legged family members is a proven way to help us feel happier and less stressed.

15.Get Some Sun: A boost of vitamin D can keep the blues at bay. Head outside for a brisk walk around the block, or just take off your shoes and walk barefoot in the grass, even better head to the beach and dig your toes in the sand.

16.Try Progressive Relaxation: Progressive relaxation involves tensing the muscles in one body part at a time to achieve a state of calm. Start with your toes and work your way up: tighten your foot muscles as much as you can, then relax them. Make your way up, tightening and relaxing each muscle until you’ve finished with your face. It may seem silly, but this practice can help reduce anxiety and stress.

17.Do Something Silly: Just go up to somebody on the street and say “You’re it!” and then run away. Okay, maybe not, but I figured it was time for an attention check, but you have to admit this would be pretty funny, and laughter is actually a terrific stress reliever! You can thank Ellen DeGeneres for this suggestion. 🙂

18.Give Yourself a Stress Relieving Hand Massage No time to run out and get a massage? No problem! Try this DIY hand massage for instant relaxation that calms a pounding heart

19.Unplug: Seriously, turn the phone off, walk away from the computer and give yourself a half hour of uninterrupted quiet time. For all the great benefits of modern technology, smartphones, in particular, are linked to increased stress, as more and more people feel pressure to respond to messages at all times.

20.Take Time to Enjoy a Soothing Drink: Head to your favorite coffee shop and treat yourself to a peppermint mocha, chai tea or some other warm drink, BUT instead of rushing off actually sit and savor every single sip.

21.Count Backward: When worries are running rampant, try slowly counting to 10 and then back again to calm down. It’s harder to focus on whatever is stressing you out when you’re busy remembering what number comes before seven.

22.Use Creative Visualization: A short visualization is an easy way to re-center. Even the National Institute for Health recognizes the power of “guided imagery” to elicit a relaxation response. Simply make yourself comfortable (at your desk, in an empty conference room, in your car, sitting on your back porch, wherever!) and then picture a peaceful scene for a couple of minutes.

Tip: To learn more, visit the McKinley Health Center’s Relaxation Exercises page complete with guided imagery exercises you can download for free in MP3 format.

23.Rub Your Feet Over a Golf Ball: You can get an impromptu relaxing foot massage by rubbing your feet back and forth over a golf ball. Keep a golf ball or bottle under your desk so you can roll your feet on it when you feel stressed out. This not only soothes tense muscles but can also relieve mental and physical stress, fatigue and headaches

24.Squeeze a Stress Ball: On days when you want to strangle a co-worker, your neighbor, or the driver in the next lane, squeeze a stress ball instead. It’s an easy, portable, and non-violent way to relieve tension.

25.Drip Cold Water on Your Wrists: When stress hits, head for the bathroom and drop some cold water on your wrists and behind your earlobes. There are major arteries right underneath the skin, so cooling these areas can help calm the whole body.

26.Chew Gum: Chewing gum doesn’t just make your breath better — it can relieve anxiety, improve alertness and reduce stress.

If you are cold, tea will warm you. If you are heated, it will cool you. If you are depressed, it will cheer you. If you are stressed, it will calm you.

27.Create a Tea-Time Ritual: Studies have shown that a cup of tea can reduce stress, not just by drinking it but also because of the calming effect of the ritual of making the tea. So instead of microwaving a cup of hot water, actually put a kettle on and create your own tea ritual. Try some chamomile tea, known for its calming properties. Or, sip an aromatic cup of antioxidant-filled green tea — it’s a wonderful way to take a few minutes for yourself, unwind and feel that you’re being kind to your body.

28.Do Something Creative: One of the reasons that clinical art therapy is so effective is that the act of drawing and creating art can help you relieve stress in several ways. There are many different options to explore, adult coloring books, paint (with or without brushes!), doodling, work with clay or learn to make origami.

29.Pray or say soothing mantras, chants or affirmations: If you are religious or spiritual you are likely already aware of the benefits of prayer. But there are many forms of expressing beliefs, hopes, and desires including mantras, chants, and even affirmations.

30.Massage Your Ears: An ear massage is a great way to release endorphins in your brain and make you feel good and it only takes a few minutes. Start by gently rubbing your earlobes with your thumb and index finger. Then squeeze the outer edges of your ears all the way to the top. These parts of your ears have tiny reflex points that can relax specific areas of your body. Finish by using your index fingers and middle fingers to massage behind the ears on the bony part of your skull.

31.Write and Burn: I saved my personal favorite for last! Grab a pen and a single sheet of paper and find a comfortable place to write. Set a timer or clock in front of you. This is important because you need to give yourself a full 8 to 10 minutes to get everything out of this exercise. Now start writing and DUMP all your emotions on that page – anger, jealousy, sadness, whatever is creating turmoil in your life at the moment. When you reach the bottom of the page just go back to the top and keep writing over what you’ve already written because the point is to really feel that you are dumping all of your emotional energy INTO THE PAPER. Treat that piece of paper as though it has actually captured these harmful emotions that have been stored within you.

When you’re done, find a safe place, and with as much ceremony as you can muster, burn that sucker and send all of the negative energy back to the Universe!

Let today be the day you give up who you’ve been for who you can become.
About Marquita Herald

Marquita Herald

Marquita is an author, resilience coach and the chief evangelist at Emotionally Resilient Living. She’s also an unapologetic workaholic who loves red wine, rock n’ roll, road trips (and car dancing!), peanut butter cookies and (especially) a dog named Lucy.

She’s saddened and frustrated by excuses and cruelty and believes authentic compassion is the most powerful force in the world.

To learn more about Marquita and the mission of Emotionally Resilient Living  click here.

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48 Reader Comments

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  1. Ramona McKean

    Marquita, these are wonderful suggestions! When I am wound really tight I do something I read in a book Eckhart Tolle wrote for kids. A bit like your points 8 & 16. I go to a quiet place, close my eyes and focus on the energy in my body, as subtle as the sensations may be. I get so caught up with noticing the life force moving inside me that I actually get present.
    Ramona McKean recently posted…Deja-Vus are Glitches in TimeMy Profile

    • Yes, any type of activity where you can quiet your mind and breathe, whether it’s meditation, tai chi or just sitting under a shade tree, will help us to regain that precious inner peace. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Pam says:

    Great post. It gives readers several useful (and inexpensive) things they can do to help themselves find that inner peace. It’s also great that most of these techniques work quickly.
    Pam recently posted…A Shortcut to Serenity (But Not An Easy Shortcut)My Profile

  3. William says:

    Marquita, Yet again another informative resourceful post! Wow, inner peace can be such an extensive topic. A lot of people live stressed, worried, or afraid because they do not know these techniques you provided. I think these activities would help an addict in early recovery. stress, depression, boredom and multiple other negative feelings and thoughts can be overcame if people use these tools.

    • You are so right about the complexity of the topic of inner peace William. Actually, most of the topics covered here fall into that category, which is why I expand on the subject of each article in the weekly newsletter that I send to my subscribers. 🙂

  4. Joyce Hansen

    Anyone who reads this has no excuses to continue stressing out when there’re are so many options to relieve the stress. I especially like the golf ball and using the essential oils.
    Joyce Hansen recently posted…The Business Benefits of DaydreamingMy Profile

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know you enjoyed the post and found the tips worthwhile! I appreciate your taking the time to contribute to the conversation Joyce. 🙂

  5. Roslyn Tanner Evans

    So many awesome tips, some so simple to follow we might not have thought of doing them for stress relief. Like breathe.

  6. Mui Tsun

    So many great tips here Marquita! Writing and burning is one of my personal favourites, especially to release negative feelings. I love the quote is you image. It’s so true. We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace within ourselves.

    • Glad you enjoyed the article and tips Mui. The writing and burning strategy is also one of my favorites, though I tend to reserve it for “special” occasion. 🙂

  7. Summer Price

    This is a wonderfully extensive list. I especially like the little extra tips, things I wouldn’t have thought of. Inner peace is so important and you have some great ideas on how to recenter yourself and find that peace we all need. Thank you for sharing!
    Summer Price recently posted…10 Ways to get 10 Minutes of ExerciseMy Profile

    • Welcome Summer and thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the article and can hardly wait to jump over and check out your tips on how to fit in exercise, something many of us struggle with!

  8. Jeri

    Crying followed by deep breathing works every time, though it’s not always practical to cry. I really like your suggestion of going with one or two things you are grateful for and then writing five reasons why. I feel I would get more out of that than just listing five things a day.
    Jeri recently posted…#AuthorInterview: Madhuri BlaylockMy Profile

    • I have to admit I’m far more likely to opt for deep breathing than crying regardless of where I am, but I do know it helps to release the pressure. The tip on journaling is a personal favorite of mine since I’m a fan and you are right, it really does make a difference. Thanks for stopping by Jeri.

  9. Millen

    Thank you for a wonderful and thoughtful post, Marquita! It is so important to have the tools to release the pressure we ALL experience in our lives! I use a lot of the techniques that you’ve mentioned – love the progressive relaxation, meditation and breathing. Love the “dump writing” exercise, use it occasionally, not too often anymore. 🙂 But my favorite and new to me 🙂 is “Do nothing” – I will definitely start practicing this one asap. A great writing on a very important topic -Thank you so much for putting this “stress release” tips together!
    Millen recently posted…Investment Risk Management Strategies – Part 1My Profile

    • Glad you found value in the article and tips Millen. I like the Do Nothing site as well and bookmarked it for myself. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and contributing to the conversation. 🙂

  10. The Peacenik in me absolutely Loves this post Marquita! So many wonderful and varied ways to come back to a place of inner peace. Walking is one of my favourite ways, (as you’ll see in my post this week), especially if there is a cloud filled sky, as cloud watching always brings me a sense of wonder and peace. Creating art, listening to music and playing with our animals, all do it too. Dripping the cold water on the wrists tip reminds me of hearing about acupuncture/acupressure points that also relieve stress and bring you to a peaceful place. I had never heard of the “Do Nothing for 2 MInutes” website and look forward to visiting it as well Doing nothing is a big challenge for me. Thanks so much for all these resources. We could do one a month and then start over again!

    • Thanks for your kind words Beverley. I’m glad you found value in the post and I like your idea about trying these tips over a period of time, which is why I provided the free download. Appreciate you taking the time to contribute to the conversation. 🙂

  11. Julie Gorges

    Great stuff! As a writer, I use your last tip a lot. I have a journal and sometimes my blog even provides a much needed release. I have had a difficult year and have put many of your tips to use and know they work. I really like the golf ball foot massage idea – I’m definitely giving it a try!

  12. Mina Joshi

    Oh wow – so many tips. I visited some of the links like the quiet room and the meditation link. My husband has been unwell since August and these tips have really made me calm down and focus on feeling positive.

  13. This post came right on time. I haven’t been feeling my best the last few days. I know some of these tips will help me feel better.
    Jason Butler recently posted…Why I’m Not Giving Up Cable…..YetMy Profile

  14. William Rusho

    What a wonderful post. I know for me, just breathing techniques allow me to regain my posture. When you are relaxed you can deal with stress, it is when you are excited, the stress takes over.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • I agree William! Sometimes I’ll get so caught up in doing something and suddenly realize I’ve been holding my breath. It’s crazy, but just taking the time to take in a few deep breathes really does make a big difference. Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the conversation.

  15. Ken Dowell

    The thing that works best for me to regain inner peace is to do some sort of work around the house. I always find painting relaxing. Or it can be mowing the lawn and repairing a fence. But I also like the idea of “releasing your worries to the universe.” Never tried that one.

    • Ah, the paper burn tip is interesting. A few years ago I was in Boston with a couple of other sales managers and we had just completed a week of sales calls. If you’ve ever been to Boston you know driving conditions are insane. By the end of the week we were completely stressed out. So we wrote all of our frustrations out on the maps we’d been using all week, then took them to the back of the hotel parking lot and burned them as we did this sort of stupid little jig. Silly I know, but it felt great!

  16. Marquita — excellent tips. I just tried rubbing my ears! I’m not sure it worked because I don’t feel any different. When I tense up I massage my neck with my fingers. That’s where we store a lot of tension. Another thing I do is pick up the phone and call one of my most intimate friends. It’s comforting and they know they can always call me, too.

    • Well, I believe the idea is to do it when you’re feeling stressed and your muscles are tense. Not sure you would feel much different just rubbing your ears any old time Jeannette. 🙂 Neck massages are wonderful as are hand massages, and of course, it’s always nice to share with a friend when you can.

  17. Stella Chiu

    Hi, Marquita

    Wonderful list of relief stress and re-install calmness back to ourself. There are ways for every one.
    The one that I use most is to see funny movies. The belly laughs do make the pressure or stress to disappear right in front of me. I did not try some of suggestions like to “drop the cold water onto the wrist” which is supported by Lenie. I will try it for the next time.
    Thanks so much!

    Stella Chiu
    Stella Chiu recently posted…3 Keys to Have Good Life EffortlesslyMy Profile

    • Yes Stella, I’m a big believer in the value of laughter. I always take time at the end of the day to read or watch something uplifting and it makes a huge difference. Thanks for sharing and contributing to the conversation my friend.

  18. Mark

    Wow M!

    Thanks for sharing your “DIY” stress relief kit and or toolbox!LOL!

    This is pretty mind boggling, all of the effective ways, we can and definitely should go about reducing stress.

    And while all 31 tips and techniques are incredibly helpful & practical.

    I personally found #’s 6,35, 25 & 31 extremely helpful!

    Especially # 23!Now rather than just curse at your golf balls, you can get some unintended benefit out of owning them!LOL!

    Thanks for sharing a terrific series!
    Mark recently posted…Seven Proven Ways Extremely Savvy Entrepreneurs Make Really Big Money Giving Away Free Stuff!My Profile

  19. lenie

    Wonderful tips Marquita. One that really stood out for me is ‘drop cold water on your wrists’. Quite often when stress happens, it happens suddenly. Being able to stop it in its tracks by this method seems like a great idea. Once you’ve calmed down it’s so much easier to deal with things.
    But 23, 27 and 29 are terrific ones to follow up with.

  20. Donna Merrill

    What great tips on regaining inner peace Marquita,

    There is something for everyone here that you have listed. I love the way you compiled so many various things that really do bring your energy to that peaceful zone.

    I find so much peach when I am laying down in my bed with my dog. I just become one with his breathing and I often call him “Ambien” because he is like that pill that puts you to sleep lol.

    Praying: That has been part of my life since I was a kid. Because I’ve done so for many years, it takes my mind away from the world around me and immediately puts me in a spiritual place. Ahh Peace!

    This is wonderful and thanks for the gift.


    • Thanks for your kind words Donna. I admit I challenged myself with this post. When I first started my usual research I found the same list repeated time and again so I wanted to come up with as many different ideas as possible because different things work for different people. Always appreciate your thoughtful insights. 🙂

  21. Sabrina Quairoli

    What a great list! I have done and done several of these over the years. My favorite is going out back and water the garden. Thanks for sharing.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…Fun Cheap and Easy Practical Outdoor Gardening IdeasMy Profile

    • So glad you liked the post Sabrina. I am also a big fan of fresh air and make a point of getting outside with my dog at least a couple of times a day. Thanks for stopping by!

  22. I love this, Marquita!
    Especially #17…I’d have done that in Red Lodge, Montana, not so much in Pittsburgh.
    These are wonderful ideas for taking a break and refreshing.
    I’ve been keeping a gratitude journal for a few months and feel it has helped me be appreciative of life. I like your idea of writing less, but describing why I’m grateful for them. And that’s a good task for a writer!
    Rose Mary Griffith recently posted…Alec Baldwin, Historic Heinz Hall & the Sounds of the SymphonyMy Profile

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Rose Mary! I’m going to be writing more about journaling for personal growth in the next few weeks and I think you may find it helpful to see the different methods that you can use to increase self-awareness. Thanks for stopping by and contributing to the conversation. 🙂

  23. Dave

    This is definitely a go-to resource for stress relief resources, Marty. Very well done and much appreciated!

    You’ve helped me to understand why something has always been so stress-relieving for me. It’s no surprise that I am a Disney fanatic. But, I am drawn to Epcot and the Norway pavilion for some strange reason.

    It could be the wonderful pastry shop or the mythical world of trolls and Norse mythology, but I’ve found it’s something much simpler than that. They sell a men’s fragrance in the shop that draws me in – mostly because it revives such fond memories of my wife and I attending the food & wine festival together.

    It’s that appreciation of the senses (#8) that really resonates with me in this case, and many others, as I think about it. Thank you for such an encouraging and insightful series 🙂

    • I’ve only been to Epcot a couple of times but I absolutely loved it! You are right about the connection with senses. I have always loved certain flowers, for example, one of my favorites is Pakalana and it only blooms in the spring, so that makes it extra special. They are tiny pale green blossoms smaller than the size of a dime and not long ago someone gave me a 4 strand lei of Pakalana. There had to be nearly a thousand blossoms and I can’t imagine how long it must have taken to string it. Even better, I have it hanging over the corner of the shelf above my desk to dry so I’ll be enjoying the fragrance for months to come. Thanks for your kind words Dave and for taking the time to share your thoughts – always appreciated!

  24. Phoenicia

    Some great tips on maintaining peace – Marquita. I like your statement;
    “peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work.”

    Often we look for a perfect time to be at peace and at ease with ourselves. We have to create this time for our mental well being.

    Praying and reading helps me to be at peace. Going for a walk clears my head especially if I am over involved in a task. I see life so much clearer after having time out.
    Phoenicia recently posted…Are you a networker?My Profile

    • Absolutely Phoenicia! Reading is also a favored activity for me. Since I spend so much of my time writing I take several breaks during the day to move around and while most of the time I try to get outside for some sunshine and fresh air, in the afternoon I enjoy curling up with a cup of tea and whatever book I’m reading for a chapter or two. As you say, it really does wonders to refresh and clear the mind. Thanks for sharing and contributing to the conversation!

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