Inner peace is one of the most precious things in life. I say “precious” because it’s so hard to achieve, especially in the midst of all the noise in the world today.
I think of it like a rare gem – if all the mental/emotional states were put on display like jewels in a jewelry store, inner peace would probably be in the fanciest glass case on a pedestal, locked and protected with extreme security measures.
It’s hard to get, but once you do, it unlocks a range of skills that let you navigate life with much more ease. Like I said, precious!
Now, it can be hard to tell if you’re on your way to inner peace because it’s such a gradual process. But you know what? It’s going to show up in the way you think and behave.
Here are 9 signs that you’re further along on the path to inner peace than you think:
1) You no longer worry so much
I’ve had a long, slow road to inner peace myself, but one of the first things I unlocked is the ability to stop worrying.
I used to be a top-tier overthinker. I’d lie awake in bed at night going over things, thinking up countless what-if scenarios, or beat myself up over my mistakes.
In fact, my husband, who of course knows me so well, would get awakened by all my tossing and turning and nudge me to stop and “lay it all down”.
So it was a real blessing when I finally learned to do exactly that – to lay it all down and fall asleep faster.
Do you notice this in yourself, too? That’s a good sign that you’re slowly finding inner peace.
Truth is, you find it easier to let go of your worries now because you’ve already come to terms with the fact that there’s much in life that you can’t control.
You’re already figuring out how to keep a good balance between planning and letting things unfold as they will.
2) You no longer seek other people’s approval
Similarly, you’ve figured out that if there’s anyone who must approve of the things you do, it’s yourself.
Not your parents. Not your friends. Not your coworkers.
In the past, you may have contorted yourself into all kinds of shapes just to make people happy or proud of you.
But today, while you still want to do that, there’s a slight difference – you’ll no longer do it at the cost of your own self-worth.
That’s your inner peace talking, and I commend you for letting it have a stronger voice.
3) You’re feeling more confident in your decisions
A natural consequence of doing away with people-pleasing and accepting what you can and can’t control is that decision-making has become much easier too.
When I look back at my life, it’s like there’s an imaginary line between the old, inner peace-less me and who I am today. There’s a clear before-and-after version.
The old me took a long time to make decisions. I’d weigh the pros and cons endlessly (hence, the sleepless nights).
And the strange thing is, even with all that weighing and thinking, I’d still be so unsure with my final decisions.
In contrast, today I take much less time to decide. And whatever decision I land on, I have a certain come-what-may attitude about it.
That’s not to say that I care less what happens, just that whatever happens, I feel more capable of dealing with it.
4) You’re comfortable with being alone
Inner peace also has a way of making us more comfortable with solitude. In fact, I’d say solitude has become a necessity for those with inner peace.
You see, to get to that place, one must have time for reflection and meditation. It’s in these quiet moments alone that we can truly:
- Listen to our thoughts
- Understand our emotions
- Confront our fears
- Clarify our dreams and desires
- See what needs to change in our lives
- Pinpoint which beliefs and habits are limiting us
People think of alone time as a lonely time, but it doesn’t have to be. As the list above shows, it’s the perfect opportunity to nourish your soul.
Personally, I find it to be the best way to disconnect from all the external influences and distractions out there and breathe. I wouldn’t have been able to get to the peaceful state I’m in now if I hadn’t discovered the power of solitude.
5) You manage to stay calm in tough times
I guess this goes hand in hand with reflection and meditation. These two practices go a long way in keeping you steady during hard times.
But aside from that, inner peace involves a certain knowing that’s hard to explain. Perhaps the closest I can think of to describe it is this:
When all’s right with you on the inside, you feel like all will be right in the outside world, too. It’s as if your inner calm creates a ripple effect, which in turn influences how you perceive and interact with the world around you.
Of course, your life won’t be challenge-free. But your approach to handling them is now grounded in a stable, peaceful mindset.
Inner peace enables you to trust in your own ability to deal with problems. That’s how you can manage to keep your cool during trying times.
6) You’re learning how to slow down
The more you have inner peace, the less you feel the need to hop onto the crazy-making, constant cycle of busyness that the modern world calls for.
You’ve probably even noticed how you now take the road less travelled. By this, I mean, you no longer feel the pressure to follow fast-changing trends, work more hours to make more money, attend every single social event and all that.
Learning to slow down is a key component of inner peace, as it allows us to connect more deeply with ourselves and our environment.
I’m willing to bet that your days look less frantic now. You’re enjoying a more balanced, healthy, and fulfilling life. A life where quality trumps quantity.
Which brings me to my next point…
7) You practice gratitude
The other night, I was sitting in my reading chair about to start on a new book. My dog was on my lap, a blissful expression on his face as I was rubbing his belly. We were the picture of contentment.
At the risk of sounding cheesy, it was enough to fill my heart with gratitude, and I suddenly thought, “Oh, I have such a good life. I have a really good life.”
You might have your own version of this, your own simple pleasures and joys that fill your heart with appreciation. Whatever they are, that’s a really good sign that you’re slowly on your way to inner peace.
Because it means you’re paying attention. You’re reflecting. You’re filtering out the noise and seeing what’s good in your life instead of what’s not so good.
And I’m pretty sure that you’re now doing this next thing…
8) You operate from a place of love
When you have inner peace, a lovely chain of events happens:
First, you learn to love and accept yourself no matter your flaws. Your inner critic may still show up from time to time, but it doesn’t stay long because you’ve learned to not give it too much attention.
You let go of your internal conflicts and all sorts of expectations. You become more patient and understanding.
This in turn increases your capacity to love others. Which is why…
9) You no longer judge other people
Like I said, inner peace expands us to be more patient and understanding people. We learn to stop judging others and entertain the idea that we don’t know what their story is.
There’s an old saying that goes so well with this: “What you say about people says a lot about you.”
Isn’t that so true? When we’re unhappy and troubled in life, we tend to be more critical of others, don’t we?
And in contrast, when we’re at peace, we have a certain magnanimity of the spirit. Not only are we less prone to judging, but we also become more forgiving.
All that to say, you can’t give what you don’t have. So when you’ve got grace inside, it’s easy as well to give grace to others.
If you’ve noticed this in yourself, then that’s a pretty clear sign that you’re well on your way to inner peace.