In our hectic world, it can be difficult to protect your peace from outside influences. Modern life is in no way peaceful or calm.
Our smartphones are constantly with us to keep us updated on all the worrying things happening in the world. Day after day we have to deal with other people, and not everyone is great company!
What Does It Mean to Protect Your Peace?
It means to keep your inner harmony intact, no matter what other people are doing and what is happening in the world and your daily life. Your peace of mind is the key to sound mental health and overall wellbeing.
So, how to protect your inner peace from all the negativity and stress that arise from everyday challenges and other people?
How to Protect Your Peace from Negativity and Toxic People: 15 Ways
1. Be careful about what information you consume
We live in the era of information where we are constantly bombarded by all kinds of news and updates. In this chaotic ocean of information, it can be easy to stumble upon texts and videos that not only are a total waste of time but also do harm.
That’s why it’s important to be careful about what information you consume. Don’t overload your brain with negative news and posts. It’s understandable if you want to keep up with what’s happening in society—just don’t overdo it.
Also, make sure that the information you consume comes from reliable sources. There is so much disinformation and biased content all over the Internet that it’s much easier to get affected than you think.
2. Unplug more often
If you are serious about protecting your peace of mind, make sure to do digital detox regularly. This is especially true if you have a lot of screen time at work. A constant connection to technology and social media is overwhelming—it drains your energy without you even realizing it.
So, when you get home from work, don’t replace one screen with another. Instead, choose some other pastime that doesn’t involve technology: play a board game with your family, read a book, or take a walk in the park.
Avoid or at least reduce screen time before bed. Studies demonstrate that the blue light emitted by screens can mess with your circadian rhythm and decrease the quality of your sleep.
Unplugging from technology can do wonders for your mental health. And it will certainly help you protect and keep your peace.
3. Set boundaries and don’t hesitate to say no
Other people often overstep our boundaries. Be it a co-worker or a family member, there will always be someone who meddles in your life or asks you to do something you don’t want.
When you succumb to other’s wants while neglecting your own, it’s a sure way to get your inner peace destroyed. That’s why you need to learn to set boundaries and recognize the situations where it’s absolutely necessary.
It can be difficult to stand up for yourself and say no when you are used to doing what other people want. But it’s vital for protecting your peace. Check this guide if you struggle with setting firm boundaries:
4. Be socially selective
Being socially selective doesn’t mean becoming a recluse. It’s about being mindful of who you surround yourself with.
When you make chaotic connections with different people, it’s easy to find yourself in the wrong company. Some of your “friends” may only seek to take advantage of you. Others may just not be the right ones for you.
The problem is that hanging out with the wrong people is not going to bring any quality to your life. It only drains your energy and wastes your time. And oftentimes, it destroys your inner peace, too. Some people are too negative and judgmental, others love drama and gossip.
Therefore, to avoid wasting your life on someone else’s toxicity, it’s always better to be selective about your social connections. It’s not selfishness or arrogance. This is how you protect your peace.
5. Practice mindfulness
Everyone can practice mindfulness—you don’t have to sit still for hours or possess any special skills. Mindfulness is about being present.
You can practice it while walking down the street or even washing dishes! All you have to do is focus on the surrounding environment and what you are doing at the moment.
Instead of being immersed in your thoughts, shift attention to your physical senses. Take notice of what’s happening around you, be it a bird singing or water gently flowing through your fingers. This is how you tune into the moment and learn to be present here and now.
Mindfulness is a simple and effective way to keep your mind in perfect peace.
6. Get in touch with nature
Nature has a soothing effect on our psyche, and numerous studies confirm it. Observing it induces a feeling of peace and calm.
It’s great if you can plan a short getaway somewhere in the countryside. But even if you can’t, a simple walk in the park still brings you closer to nature. Make sure to be present though—if you are absorbed in your negative thoughts and worries, it’s not going to work.
Instead, leave the realm of your thoughts and turn your attention to the outside environment. Notice every detail you can see, hear, and smell, and enjoy the calming beauty of nature.
Getting in touch with nature on a regular basis is one of the most fulfilling ways to protect your peace from the hectic world of today.
7. Don’t over-share
It’s true that other people often destroy our peace. It usually happens when we let the wrong ones into our lives. That’s why the best strategy is to carefully weigh your words and be mindful of the things you share with others.
When you get too personal with someone who is not to be trusted, it can have negative consequences. This person can start to talk behind your back or meddle in your life.
As a result, you have to deal with their nosy behavior and unsolicited advice. You may also feel bad about yourself because you opened up to the wrong person. All this takes away your peace of mind.
That’s why, before confiding your personal problems to someone, think twice about whether you can trust them. Keeping a reasonable distance from others is the key to protecting your peace.
8. Spend time alone and connect with yourself
Whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, spending some time in your own company is crucial to finding inner peace. Not only is it a great way to relax and put your thoughts in order, but it also helps you connect with yourself.
There is so much noise and distraction in the modern world that it can be difficult to hear your inner voice. Your real needs and desires often get lost in other people’s and society’s expectations. One day, you may wake up and realize that you are living a life you never wanted.
If you want to avoid that and reconnect with yourself, make sure you spend time alone. After all, listening to yourself is one of the most important things you could learn.
If you have issues with that, read this guide:
9. Know your triggers—and avoid them
We all have our own list of things and behaviors that get on our nerves and disturb our peace. For example, you may feel annoyed when someone talks too much or takes your effort for granted. Or you may lose your temper when other people peep into your life or give you advice you didn’t ask for.
We all have our triggers. So, if you want to know how to protect your peace, do some self-analysis and learn to recognize your triggers. As soon as a situation is starting to get on your nerves, withdraw. It’s better than taking part in pointless arguments and tolerating annoying people in your circle.
When you know and avoid your triggers, this will save you a lot of time and emotional resource. This, in turn, will lead you to a calmer and more peaceful state of mind.
10. Learn to put yourself first and not feel guilty about that
Just as you learn when it’s better to withdraw to protect your peace, you also should recognize the situations where you need to put yourself first. Sometimes giving too much consideration to other people can leave you neglecting your own needs.
Of course, it’s natural to think of others and what they want, but you shouldn’t forget about yourself either. Not taking care of your emotional needs is a one-way road to losing your peace of mind. You get sad and annoyed for no reason, and you don’t have the desire and energy to do anything.
To avoid that, learn to recognize the situations where you please others at an expense of your own mental wellbeing. And don’t feel guilty for saying no to people who only seek to exploit your kindness.
11. Choose to stay away from tension and withdraw when necessary
I love the quote,
Be selective with your battles. Sometimes peace is better than being right.
It can be tempting to take part in an argument when you have a valid point to share. There also comes a time when you should voice your needs and stand up for yourself in a relationship.
But be mindful of pointless arguments—these are the worst. When you know in advance that the other person is too stubborn or narrow-minded to even listen to your point of view, don’t waste your time.
Instead, choose to withdraw from things and people that get on your nerves. It’s much better than wasting time and effort on proving who is right. Stay away from unnecessary confrontation and choose peace of mind over being right.
12. Stay away from toxic people
There are some people whose presence alone has the power to take your peace away. Some examples include:
- judgmental, overly critical, and negative individuals,
- emotional vampires,
- attention-seekers, those who create drama and thrive on gossip,
- all kinds of toxic personalities, such as narcissists and Machiavellians.
The problem with such people is that when you deal with them, they pull you into their toxicity. They spoil your mood with their negativity and cut your wings with their critical remarks. Some people complain all the time and are so exhausting that just being around them drains your energy.
So, how to protect your peace from toxic people? There is only one way—stay away from them. If it’s impossible, then at least cut your contact with them.
13. Make sure to keep a work-life balance
An unhealthy work-life balance is one of the most common reasons for chronic stress and a lack of inner peace. In our society, it’s easy to fall into the trap of pursuing material goals and give less importance to your family and emotional wellbeing.
You think that you are doing this for your family—to give them everything they need. So, you sit in the office for extra hours and take your work home. But the result is that in your pursuit to advance your career and make more money, you forget to live.
Thus, one of the most crucial and yet overlooked ways to protect your peace is to keep a healthy work-life balance. Make sure your work stays in the office. Allow yourself to relax and detach from work mentally and emtoionally when you are with your family at home.
14. Detox from social media
There is a long list of negative effects that social media has on our mental health. Using social media too much can make you compare yourself with others and feel inadequate as a result. It also may prompt you to project a false image of yourself in an attempt to look better in other people’s eyes.
There is also so much negativity and drama. Therefore, scrolling through your Facebook or Twitter feed all day long has the power to destroy your inner peace. If you want to prevent this from happening, detox from social media regularly.
Also, make sure you don’t fall into the trap of oversharing. It can be tempting to upload one selfie after another to get likes, or write a post about your personal drama when you feel broken.
As we said above, sharing your personal problems with the wrong people can bring unnecessary chaos into your life. So, don’t disclose too much online. It won’t do you any good and it will certainly not help you protect your inner peace.
15. Be mindful of what you spend your energy on
We already talked about being socially selective. Yes, it’s always best to be mindful of who you surround yourself with, but it goes beyond that. It’s also what and who we choose to spend our energy on. Let me explain what I mean.
You might deal with dozens of difficult people daily at work, but you don’t let their behavior affect you emotionally and destroy your peace. You know they are just clients/co-workers, so you don’t take things they say or do personally.
On the other hand, there might be just one person in your life who takes all your peace away. This can be your father who happens to be a high-conflict personality, so you have one wearing argument after another. Or this can be a needy friend who always dumps their problems on you, and you have to clean up their mess.
Alternatively, you can also spend a great deal of your time dwelling on self-pity or worrying about the future. There are so many ways we can waste our time and destroy our inner peace with our own hands!
In the end, what really matters is the things and people we choose to spend our energy on. Now ask yourself,
- Which of my habits waste my time and take my peace away?
- Do I have thinking patterns and mental habits that weigh me down?
- Do I get too emotionally invested in situations and connections that are not worth it?
To sum up, to maintain and protect your peace of mind, you don’t need to be a Shaolin monk or meditation guru. All it takes is to stay connected with yourself, be mindful of your habits and pastimes, and take a distance when other people are trying to bring unnecessary tension into your life.