We’ve all likely heard the phrase “fighting for my peace.” Some say it’s an oxymoron, others have issues with it, but I’d like to propose a thought:
What if fighting for our mental, emotional, and spiritual peace is the most noble thing we can do for ourselves?
Mental health is hard to balance. At this point, we are all aware of this. Our childhood traumas, the lies we tell ourselves, negative life experiences, and the daily struggles of being human all contribute to the fight we have in our mind. Taking control of the negative thoughts and behaviors in attempt to pursue peace is HARD work... but it is necessary if we want to be who we were made to be.
So how do we do this, on a day-to-day, practical basis?
I am not a professional. I merely do my best to learn and grow and pursue the knowledge needed to be better.
The best thing you can do is invest in therapy or counseling. The process of finding someone who can help you deal with specific issues and overcome them is hard work, but when you find that person it is SO worth it.
Spend time every day to do ONE thing that makes you happy. Getting that fancy coffee, playing with your dogs, hugging a friend, dancing like a fool, eating a piece of chocolate, etc. Whatever it is that makes you YOU, do it.
Read. Read the Bible, self-help books, the dictionary, I don’t care. Simply taking 20 minutes to increase your knowledge will help you feel better and train your brain for greater things than scrolling on social media or wallowing in your mind.
Listen to positive music. The depressing ballads are there for a reason, and I obviously I love them, BUT if you are wanting to take control of your mind, filling it with dark music won’t help you stay in a positive mindset. I know a great artist with uplifting music, if you’re looking for one! ;)
Move your body. Working out has been scientifically proven to get those serotonin hormones pumping, to help you feel better and more prepared to battle your mind.
Remember you have the freedom to choose. You can choose what you believe, what you want to think about, what you will focus on. It’s been said that what you focus on expands, so choosing your focus is VITAL. Choose healing.
Whenever a negative thought enters your mind, learn to treat it like rotten vegetables and throw it out. (Pro tip: you can argue with yourself and no one will know!)
Surround yourself with growing people. The growth part is KEY. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. “Upward” people are usually positive also, and will help keep you accountable and moving forward in the direction you want to go.
STOP PUTTING SO MUCH PRESSURE ON YOURSELF. We overachieving types struggle with this. There’s always a deadline, a crisis, etc. But there doesn’t need to be. Life isn’t necessarily going to be over tomorrow. If you only accomplished one thing today, it was a win! If you’re not giving up, you’re already winning. Enjoying your life on the way is just as important as the end result.
Set SMART goals and follow them. Having a sense of purpose gives the hope we all crave. Daily small steps add up to big goals. Don’t give up on yourself! Stay as consistent as possible and you’ll get there!
In my experience, this is often a fight. It’s a fight to stay positive and focused. It’s a fight to choose who you want to be. Learning to take my thoughts captive and cutting them out, takes daily effort. Cutting things (and people) out that are holding you back and making it an uphill battle is exhausting, but necessary. I can attest to this. I’ve won and lost and broke down and gotten up the next day to try again, then rinse and repeat. The exhausting road DOES end up being worth it, though.
Slowly at first, you work hard to practice. For moments, you find it. Some days you literally feel like you are stubbornly fighting to keep your mind at peace, but every day it becomes more possible.
But in the end, taking time to fight for your mental, emotional, and spiritual peace is worth the hardship. I’m not where I want to be, but I’m working towards it a day at a time. When you can look out at a beautiful sunset with a clear mind, you can have that moment where you discover that the best parts of life are worth fighting for.