How to Create Peace in Stress

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.16.50 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 12.16.50 PM


Usually, we don’t see the peace around us.

Instead, we bury our heads in work and play and family and life-life-life and sometimes – only sometimes – do we raise our head and really see the world around us for the calm that it really offers. We may know that living in the present is key to health and happiness, but it’s hard to remember that in the midst of our eternal days of moving parts and stressful overwhelm.

But we can try.

Here are three ways to see the peace around you. Today, and tomorrow, and the day after that.

  • First Thing in the Morning, Do Nothing: I’m a big fan of having a morning routine (see my ebook about how to create one), and one of the key steps in the seven step routine I go through every morning is a moment of pause, wherein I try to do nothing. Nothing. I look at the wall, I drink my tea, and I let the thoughts flow in. There are other ways to do this to achieve peace – meditation and prayer, for example – but I find that actually having a moment of nothing is effective all on its own. Meditation and/or prayer can come later.
  • Take Mini Breaks Throughout the Day to Breathe: One of the best ways to bring yourself back to the moment in a day of stress or overwhelm is just to pull your hands away from the keyboard, move your eyes to the window, and breathe. Let the thoughts come in, and let the thoughts flow out. And breathe all the while. I’ve heard meditation practitioners say that making sure your feet are on the floor at key moments of grounding can also help you feel more connected to what’s going on around you as well. So try that as well as you breathe.
  • Find a Moment of Stop in Your Day: Mini breathing breaks are great, but what’s even better is a 10 or 15 minute period of time where you can take a stop and do nothing, all for yourself. I find that the best way to do this – especially in a corporate environment where it’s not necessarily possible to stare at the wall for 15 minutes while others look on in wonder (!) – is to take a short break to go on a walk. Outside. Combine it with a trip to get a coffee, say, or to run an errand you need to do. But in those 10 minutes of walking, don’t make phone calls. Don’t listen to podcasts. Just walk and breathe and wait as the thoughts jamming your mind slowly rearrange themselves into calm.

These tips aren’t revolutionary, and they also aren’t incredibly different from one another. They follow a key theme of taking time out – in small and smaller doses. But they are powerful. They are all about finding moments to disconnect from the speeding train of your life to bring your mind and heart back to calm. They are things I try to remember to do daily, and things that may help you as well.

What do you do to keep the peace in your day and ensure that you’re truly living some of the moments that are passing you by?




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29 thoughts on “How to Create Peace in Stress

  1. Claire, your first point is so true about starting your day doing nothing. I work for the human rights organization International Justice Mission. We fight slavery, human trafficking, and other forms of violent oppression and the battles we fight for justice can be stressful. Every day our 500+ staff worldwide start the work day with 30 minutes of paid stillness. We can read, journal, etc, but we cannot do work. This helps us center for the day and it is a business practice that we think maximizes productivity!

  2. Great post! Totally agree! I do nothing in the morning & be quiet I love looking up the sky and see how beautiful this usually forgotten part of the nature is. How the clouds moves, how blue the sky is in the morning, the gradients of the sunset or simply how the our tall green trees frames the sky…and that’s when thoughts just flow in and out so smoothly.

    It gives me a sense of comfort and gratitude..

  3. I open my arms very wide and I mean WIDE, then I stretch them for like 10 sec as I take a deep breath while am on my heels until I feel like my chest will crack. The feeling afterwards is awesome!

  4. I keep my eyes on the Sun! .. if I stand up in this time! But I like sleep in the morning – this is my stress! and I do not know – what I must do to struggle with this?
    I reply HGB : the world is the place where You can to get LOVE! This is truth – Always has been, always will be. Sorry, my English.

  5. Claire,

    When i wake up in a morning. First thing I do is to remember my Mom and God and then close my eyes for couple of minutes .it give me an immense sense of Calmness to jump-start my day. Then a cup of coffee along with inspirational music work wonders for me.

    I also take a definite 10 to 15 mins break after 2 to 3 hrs of continuous work help me to distress a lot.
    Break activity includes talking with colleagues and passing some fun jokes.

    Thanks for your Article

  6. Daily centering prayer in the morning, best done after a cup of tea.

    And, believe it or not, I recently took a line from a Will Smith movie, After Earth, where he tells his son, “Root yourself in this present moment.” It’s helping me find myself and my center as I walk the chaotic streets of Kolkata.


  7. Simple and solid tips. It does seem that if we stop and consider it, we all know ways to be more focused and open to peacefulness. The trick is remembering to consider… right?

  8. To get peace in stress , we should have patience, Regular yoga ,meditation , music , light excercise , spirituality keep away from stress.

  9. My morning tea is the time I relax the most. I never ever hurry through my tea then. Someone has said that ” when you are drinking tea, drink tea”. During the day, I change routine to browse on to websites concerning yoga, meditation, pranayam, reiki, NLP. I am a follower of Sudarshan Kriya of Art of Living and a reiki channel. All this helps

  10. Claire,
    I believe the best way to clear the congested head syndrome is to drive (even if only for 10 mins to shops), with music loud and forget about everyone (including the family) and everything. Makes you feel so much better afterwards. No thinking involved just singing along – and in my case with the windows up so I don’t scare anyone!!

  11. In the morning I prefer 20 min of yoga and then I am really in it,
    10 min of doing nothing is super after work.
    In the middle of stress I try to be rather observer of emotions and thoughts and breathing. It helps me to act effectively, however it may seem self contradictory.

  12. Peace is always “there”, and it’s never far away.
    We just have to remember that and connect with it.
    It’s never impossible and always a wise choice.

    • If you can’t find peace on the inside, you’ll never find it on the outside. The world is a dangerous place, full of fear, anger, hatred, violence and mayhem. Always has been, always will be. The only real peace anyone ever knows is the peace they find within themselves. “Seek and ye shall find. Knock and the door will be opened unto you.” I think a pretty famous guy said that, and he was probably right.