10 steps to inner peace and happiness

Wide open road

In today’s age, we are creatures constantly on the go. We spend week after week at work, or at school, paying bills, checking emails, having meetings, and counting down to that Friday night. We lose our true essence as human beings to the ever advancing world around us.That’s why I’de like to share with you my 10 steps to inner peace and happiness which has made every moment brighter, and everyday easier. We lose the people we really are, the people who our ancestors bred. We forget the natural world that gives us life; the sun that wakes us up in the morning, the trees that give us the oxygen to breathe, the plants that give us the food we eat, the soil that helps thrive our farms, the animals that are balancing our ecosystem. We forget that we are earthlings. We are people of the earth. We breathe from the trees, we eat from the earth, we breed like all living creatures and we feel, we sense, we smell like all living creatures. We can’t live without water, just like the plants, and we can’t grow without food, just like the animals. Unfortunately, its easy to forget that we are literally alive because of nature. It’s important to remember who we truly are as human beings, and get in touch with our core beliefs so that we are at peace and happiness with ourselves and the world.

1) Educate yourself

Education… I know it sounds boring, but its important. I read everything from the latest news articles on what’s happening around the world, to academic and medical journals, to non-fiction books about fairies and mermaids. I watched documentaries that inspired me like Cowspiracy, as well as documentaries by David Attenborough, and National Geographic. I even watched Youtube videos to learn from other people. I listened to Youtube artist Prince Ea who made raps about world issues like Dear Future Generations: Sorry, MAN vs EARTH, and Working to Live or Living to Work?. VERY inspirational and eye-opening, I must say. What I’m trying to get across is that your schooling is only a teeny tiny fraction of knowledge. You must do your own research about EVERYTHING. How much do you know about the leaf hanging from the tree in your backyard?

2) Follow activists on social media

I followed liberation causes for human rights, gender equality, freedom of oppression, poverty, world hunger, and many more. I followed organisations like Amnesty, UNICEF, Islamic Relief, as well as other individual activists. Every now and again, one of those pages will post an event their holding to help and/ or donate to those in need, and I attend, which leads me onto the next point.

3) Contribute to the community

I volunteered at many community events; I helped teachers at my local school every week, painted kids faces at festivals, etc. Not only do you meet so many people and make lots of friends, but the experience is fun, and great to put on your CV! Not to mention, it makes you feel great knowing that you’ve helped others.

4) Donate

Every month I donated to the poor, to orphanages and to any charity organisation (that I trusted of course) that supported victims of anything really. I also donated to movements like Stand for Trees because its important to help the source and centre of our life, which is nature, not just our fellow human beings. In addition to all that, I helped the homeless I see on the street by buying them a meal or just donating a few dollars. Not only does it make you a generous soul, but it brings a sense of happiness and satisfaction knowing that you’ve done something so small for someone that will change their world.

5) Spend time OUTSIDE

At least once a week, I would take a stroll through the Botanic Gardens, walk by the river, hop on a boat, watch the sunrise, or climb a hill, on my own or with a friend. I would just so something that will surround me by fresh air and positivity. And make sure you take a few seconds to breath in that fresh air and the earthy smell that surrounds you. These senses will touch a part of your soul that will make you feel at peace and belonging to the world around you.

6) Exercise more often

I made a membership at my local gym and signed up with a personal trainer just to get me going. I would attend a variety of classes every night, from yoga, to Zumba, to GRITT. I socialised with the people around me and before you know it, I had gym buddies to enjoy exercising with. It made me look forward to the gym every day.

7) Become organised

I bought a calendar and a diary, and not to forget the pen that matched. Yes, simple but life changing. Every night, I wrote my to-dos for the next day and had a look through my diary to see if I have any appointments that week. I would set my self mini goals to finish by a certain date, and if I did, I’ll reward myself, but not by buying a Louis Vuitton handbag, or the new Kardashian hair products. Rather, I would spend the day catching up on TV shows, or take a day or two off from the gym, or go and explore new places, or spend the time doing my hobbies like photographing, painting, and drawing, or I would just spend the day in bed. It’s important to remember that happiness and peace from the heart does not come from materialistic man-made things. Although, I reward myself such simple things, it is time I spend with myself to think, to plan, to meditate, and refuel.

8) Change your diet

Diet is an important component of someone’s health and happiness which I cannot stress enough. Without a healthy organic lifestyle, we end up feeling lazy, sloppy, insecure, stressed, and unhappy. I went from eating my mum’s cheesecake for breakfast, to having a large smoothie bowl full of fruit and greens, which gave me so much more energy! My snacks were all whole foods, and my lunch was always full of veggies, rice, and potatoes. I stopped drinking two cups of coffee a day, stopped craving sweets, stopped counting calories, stopped checking my weight, and just felt happy, light, and energetic. Life is better when you eat from the garden and avoid processed unnatural foods.

9) Meditate

So beautiful, peaceful, and calming, meditation at least twice a week is so important for one’s well-being. I do yoga classes at my local gym, or just sit in a quiet garden, and let every worry and stress leave my mind. I focus on the moment and that is something we tend to forget in today’s world. We don’t realise the importance of a moment. As small as it is, it makes up life. A moment with family, is worth a thousand more than the money you earn, and a moment with a friend, is worth a thousand more than the time you spend at work, and that’s because they are blessings you can lose with a blink of an eye. So meditate when your stressed, and become thankful for the little things you have been provided with, which leads me onto the last point.

10) Be thankful

When you’re complaining about an assignment, be thankful that this assignment means your getting an education, when you’re angry at your parents, be thankful that you have parents who care, when you want something you can’t afford, be thankful that you have what you need. Be thankful for the device that your reading this blog from, be thankful for the house your living in, be thankful for the food you eat and the clean water you drink, be thankful for the fresh air you breathe, be thankful for the clothes that keep you warm in the winter, be thankful for the education that you are provided, the job that you have, the peaceful country your living in, be thankful for your friends and family, and be thankful that your alive and given a chance to be better, become something, and reach your dreams.

These steps are easier said than done. It took me a looong time to find that inner peace and happiness, but I took everything one teeny tiny step at a time and now I’m in the happiest place I’ve ever been. Make sure you enjoy every moment of that journey because it’s all you’ll ever have.

 – Lujayn


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