Wellness That Works

How to Find Inner Peace in Tough Times in the Workplace? Why You Should Take a Different Approach

By Celine Healy Find Your Inner Peace at Workpace

How To Find Inner Peace In Tough Times In The Workplace?

You’re feeling uneasy.

Your stomach feels queasy. Not quite sure what it is. But you know you’re not in control.

You seem to be stuck. Not able to make a decision. To move forward. To let go. Or. To move on.

You aren’t at peace.

You don’t know how to find inner peace.  What that is. Or. What it feels like to find your inner peace.

In some respect, you aren’t even sure what the problem is in finding inner peace.

You’ve had it for ages. A long time. It’s cluttering your mind. It’s clouding your perception. Your vision. Your quality of life.

How can you achieve what you desire if this internal unresolved conflict keeps presenting itself? Pulling you off your path? Making your life hell?

Inner peace can be hard to find. Hard to define, especially if you have never experienced it? Hard to work out what to do about it? Or. Why it’s there in the first place?

Perhaps you’ve been looking in the wrong places.

Let’s see what can be done about how to find inner peace, for you. For good.

Inner turmoil is rife in today’s fast-paced world. There are so many options to choose from, daily. Decisions to make. Choices to be made, that, by choosing one option over the other, can also be a source of conflict.

Why? Because when we choose one thing we have to let go of the other thing. And. We may make a mistake in that choice. The constant comparison, contrasting and competition between choices and actions can lead directly to a lack of inner peace.

In-decision is rife.  In essence, you simply cannot have it all. Do it all, And. Be all to everyone, even to yourself.

You’ve been taught that you need to be successful. To have and be achieving those goals.

To succeed at work, you also need to be focused, disciplined, volunteering for all kinds of extraneous tasks, and putting in extra hours to show your commitment and dedication.

If you don’t do these things, what will happen? You fear the outcome of this decision. The non-compliance of exceedingly difficult and impossible requests of staff to perform. Hence, your place of work can become a fearful place.

These are not imaginary and subtle requirements, work constraints. They are real. People who go above and beyond at work (or in their personal lives), who persevere, and who practice, practice, practice, are the ones who win. Yet. This constant driving-force, this competition to succeed at all costs, leads to internal turmoil for many employees.

Is this the problem? This constant focus on winning at all costs? Or. Is something else triggering your lack of peace?

With the push to demonstrate leadership qualities, followers and team players can sometimes be pushed beyond their capabilities. Their limits. This creates unhappiness. A lack of engagement. This is due to the constant contrasting, comparison and competition between employees to succeed. Workplaces, in general, can be the cause of lack of inner peace for many staff.

Let me tell you it’s not your fault if you feel in conflict. This dis-ease. Being in turmoil, and lacking in inner peace.

This constant striving for the sake of winning, of succeeding, overrides matters of health and wellbeing and whether the individual needs to be pushing that hard. And. In fact. Whether they need to be doing this.

Many workers just want to be able to contribute to the team in a meaningful way. And. To have a nice work-life balance. They don’t need to be adding further turmoil and lack of inner peace to their daily lives. Life is tough enough.

The real questions for you are: What do I want to achieve in my life? Is there some lesser alternative to constant striving to be successful, at all costs? How can I be the best version of myself and be at peace, whilst juggling the demands of the work environment?

That is part of the inner conflict. These extra demands without providing a suitable, easier solution to the needs, desires and wants of individual staff.  That is what is causing the conflict in the first place. This conflict manifests externally as unhappiness and dis-engagement.

Does everyone want that? That lack of inner peace?

How can leaders of teams provide a nourishing and nurturing environment that brings out the best in employees, without sacrificing those top ten percent of D personality strivers, who understand this type of environment, and who willingly participate?

You see, whether you are at one extreme or the other (more laid back versus a being a striver) you can still lack inner peace.

Why?

Because this type of behavior has surreptitiously snuck up on us and we accept it as being the “norm” in organisations.

Because of the constant comparison, the constant contrast with others, and being in competition, that everyone secretly does. That is also now accepted as being natural and normal.

The constant competition that pits people against each other that makes them feel insignificant, or somehow less. If you feel that way, then you will lack peace in your life.

The constant striving to be “better”. It’s an inbuilt human capacity. Our society ensures growth and survival by engaging in comparison through greater possession of goods and services. Theoretically, that will make life better or improve your wellbeing or standing in some way. You see this in ads every day in the media. Always comparing. Contrasting and forcing competition on us.

So, if you lack inner peace in your life, whether it is at work or in your personal life, although it has been thrust upon us, we humans, as a collective, have created this situation, and have imposed these restrictions on ourselves.

How lack of peace arises and can be turned around

Let’s define the terms first.

I find, when and if discussing any topic, it is useful to make sure we are all coming from the same place. Why? Because inner peace means different things to different people.

So, when we talk about how to achieve peace, let’s first define what that means as a general concept.

A definition of peace might be: freedom from disturbance. It is a feeling of tranquility. A calmness. A quietness. A noiselessness and a stillness.

It can also be described as: serenity, having composure, being at ease, or being in comfort and contentment.

Some say that being content leads to happiness and joy. Yet. Happiness can be fleeting, such as the accomplishment of some goal. In arriving at a place for a holiday. In having a partner or a great job. Happiness appears to be about an end result after you have strived for something. Not an end in itself.

Inner peace is something else. It is a state. It appears to be freedom from conflict. A freedom from inner fear. A freedom from fear of self and others and groups. It is a state of harmony, a calmness. A still pond.

This means that intrinsically inner peace is a constant or feeling.
It is not fleeting.
It is not achieved as an end goal such as in the achievement of happiness. You can gain happiness after you gain inner peace.

It is an acceptance. An understanding of where you are at. An acceptance of self, exactly as you are. Who you are. And. That you are good enough as is.

Inner peace appears to be about integrity of the whole mind, body, emotions and spirit.

One way inner peace can be achieved is by letting go. By letting go and moving on. However, this is a hard concept to grasp, especially when you are mired in comparison, contrasting, constant striving and competition.

This is also about being in competition with yourself. The inner versus the outer you. It is about your perceptions of how you see yourself in the world and how others perceive you because of your own attitude towards yourself. Your confidence. Your esteem for self. Your respect for yourself. Your acceptance of who you are. Where you are. And. Being grateful for what you have. Not always trying to be, do or have something else.

Inner peace is an appreciation of you, exactly as you are now.

So, if you accept who you are and where you are as a person right now, then later, if you want to improve skills for: life, for better communication in relationship, for improvement at work etc., then that is a separate matter. Those decisions to gain extra skills, are an acknowledgement that you recognize you are less skilled in certain areas. And. You now want to put in conscious effort to achieve those goals. It is not about lacking in self-worth.

And. That is the point entirely. You are no longer trying to get somewhere else. To, be or do something other than what you are doing now. That constant comparison and competition with others is what creates this inner conflict.

To gain inner peace you need a conscious effort, after you have come to an acceptance, a gratitude and an appreciation of who you are, that will finally give you the inner peace you desire. Then everything after that will seem to be easy.

That’s the end goal, that freedom from inner conflict

Why, where and how does the inner conflict arise that keeps you in turmoil?
At work? Or. In your personal life? That keeps you from having the inner peace you deserve?

From my perspective, turmoil, lack of peace, is both intrinsically and extrinsically derived.

Extrinsically, lack of peace can come from your relationships in your personal life and at work. It could be also because of your financial and social obligations. It could be from the demands of family that exceed your capacity to cope. Overall. It could generalized as coming from stress.

Intrinsically, lack of peace, can come from your beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours that you are unable to reconcile within the environment you are now in. You keep beating your head against things and don’t know why and how to stop this. In fact, many people do not recognize that they are stuck in patterns of self-destructive behavior.

The interesting thing is, that both the externally and internally derived lack of peace, stems from a stressor trigger of some kind.

The external, due to your individual capacity to cope with stressful triggers and events (your stress barrel). It is when you have reached your limit of coping skills. You then boil over. You create symptoms. You can create nervous breakdowns. It means that you now need to take something out of your stress barrel so that you can cope better.

The internal, also being from a stressor trigger that has activated your emotional responses. These emotional responses generally come from a place of lack. A feeling inadequacy. Of not being good enough. Of feeling insignificant. That life is unfair. That you don’t deserve success, peace or happiness. And so on.

In both instances: internal and external, implicit stressor triggers underlying these symptoms, active states of lack of peace.

These implicit, underlying triggers, can manifest externally at work, as a worker being disgruntled and stuck in comparison and competition. Or. In a whole host of other symptoms.

Or.

These triggers can manifest internally, as negative thoughts that you keep repeating, unwanted, negative patterns of thought and behavior, that keep you stuck.

However. Evidence indicates, that both internal and external states, all manifest from negative beliefs about self, about situations, about others. All of these triggers are internally generated, even though it appears that the trigger may be external. Triggers such as a co-worker saying something negative about you, or putting you down. Being stuck in traffic. Being overlooked for a promotion at work.

Being constantly bombarded with stressful situations keeps our body/mind in an alert state. This triggers chemical reactions as well as physiological reactions that trigger alertness. This “alertness” leads to our body/mind being tense. This means our muscles, organs and even our cells are in a state of dis-ease.

The dis-ease, this tension, is the cause of our inner turmoil. It throws off our decision-making ability. It keeps us stuck in negativity and negative patterns of behavior and response.

If this tension is the cause of our lack of inner peace, and our physical body is feeling dis-ease, then logically it follows that our feelings, and our mental state will also be at dis-ease.

This physiological response to stress leads to our mental and emotional states.   It is all-encompassing. Lack of peace can be ingrained. Right down to our cells. This then dictates how we respond to life, in general.

So, if you want to resolve this inner turmoil, this conflict between your external and internal states, you need to change how you respond to stress.

You see. Stress is a physiological response to a trigger. A stressful thought, feeling, event or even a “perceived threat of some kind. This response is automatic when we feel under threat and feel we need to safe-guard our person, our body, our identity.

Because stress response is automatic many people are not aware of how stress affects them. Nor are they aware of what is triggering their reactions. The chain of events that leads to these feelings of inner conflict, turmoil and hence a lack pf peace.

Imagine new ways of resolving this lack of inner peace

OK. So, if that is the situation, what do you need to do about how to change how you respond to a stressor trigger. To change how you react? To change the outcome and how you feel?

The answer? This all comes down to being honest about how you are feeling and, trying to understand what issues you need to address, to help clear a path to resolving these issues, one step at a time.

So, one of your first tasks and questions might be: to be honest about what you are feeling. Take an inventory. Acknowledge this and tell yourself that, yes, you do seem to have a problem. This problem creates inner turmoil. And. Then you need to take responsibility for naming what that might be, and describing how it might have arisen.  

So, you will need to ask: Why does this issue arise? When does this feeling of inner conflict arise? What do I think the triggers are? And. What have been my responses up until now?

You have to take an inventory. You have to acknowledge that you have an issue. Then you have to examine and dissect when these conflicting inner turmoils, this lack of inner pace, happen, before you can let go and move on.

Let’s give an example here.

Say your manager says to you: “I have noticed your work lately and I think you might be able to do better, or put in more effort”.

There are a number of reactions you can have:

  1. You can say that this person is a fool and knows nothing and therefore I will ignore them
  2. You can feel guilty because you know you are not putting in the required effort
  3. You can become the victim and blame the manager and the lack of support you have at work, or
  4. You can go inward and take on feelings of being inferior when compared to your co-workers, or
  5. You can internalize these words further and project onto yourself that you are “not good enough” -at your job, at life, or in general.

Any or all of these responses will generate inner conflict. The inner conflict will be the result of conflicting emotions about weighing up your actual versus your perceived notion of self-worth. All of these feelings will lead to a lack of inner peace.

Okay. So, what can you do about this state of affairs, knowing now that the lack of inner peace is driven internally or externally?

Many writers have derived lists of what to do when you feel this lack of inner peace. They offer tips or strategies e.g.

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Have a holiday
  • Meditate
  • Set limits
  • Let go of things you don’t control
  • Slow down
  • Unclutter your world
  • Surrender and accept what is
  • Learn to take criticism
  • Ease up on expectations
  • Take a few steps back

….. and so on.

Look. These tips and strategies can work. However, from my perspective, you need to get to the root cause of the inner conflict and resolve it at that level, before you can instigate any tips or strategies on how to achieve inner peace, let go and move on.

In essence, the healing, the resolution, the repair of the situation needs to come first before you instigate any other technique or strategy or tip.

What do you need to do?

From above you learnt you need to identify the triggers, the beliefs that activate your stress response mechanism that throws the body/mind into a state of inner turmoil, into lack of peace. The triggers are negative beliefs that you hold about yourself, which keep you repeating unwanted behaviours and which keep you stuck.

At our core, most of us have a distinct lack of self-love. We do not think we are good enough, Why? Because we have learned these beliefs in our early childhood. And. Later in life we constantly compare and contrast ourselves with others – which is what we do in the workplace on a daily basis.

So, you have to identify those negative beliefs that drive your lack of inner peace, your inner turmoil and conflict.

How do you do that?

By examining situations that give rise to inner conflict and identify the elements such as: when he says this, I respond this way. Then ask yourself why do you do that?

This is about acknowledging and taking responsibility for what you are thinking and feeling, and doing something to change that. It takes enormous courage to be able to do that.

The next question you might ask yourself is:

Okay. I’ve done that and I now know the trigger – what next?

There are several ways to deal with this next step.

  1. You need to find ways to be more present. To be in a place of increased self-awareness. This involves not zotting into the future or going back to the past.
    You can achieve this with correct breathing (see
    www.stresstosuccess.com.au)
    Correct breathing is a useful mindfulness technique that, with practice, brings great inner ease, peace and contentment.
  2. Take an interested increase in self-care approach
    Be kind to yourself as you go through the process of taking positive action, learning how to improve, how to improve inner peace.
    Have proper rest.
    Eat better food.
    Move more.
    Know that changing habits takes time.
  3. Acknowledge the triggers and name the emotion that is activated
    a.Put a name to the emotion – is it fear, overwhelm, anxiety? 
    b. Feel where that emotion is in the body.
    c. Amp it up and intensify the feeling.
    d. Then breathe into the middle of the intensity and allow the emotion to dissipate. You may need to do this several times.

    Finding inner peace takes time and effort. However, release can be powerful and can give you a senses o the feeling of letting go. You will feel lighter. Freer. Happier.
  4. Engage a Therapist
    Another way to do this, and which is far easier, is to engage a therapist who deals in letting go of negative beliefs. This is the most pain-free way of achieving inner peace. And. In some circumstances, almost immediately. You will also feel lighter. Having a facilitator makes the process quicker and easier.

What will “peaceful” feel like after you let go of all of the inner conflict, the inner turmoil?

You will feel:

  • Freer
  • Have a sense of calm
  • Have a sense of control
  • Have a sense of tranquility
  • Have a sense of being able to move on, as well as letting go
  • Have a sense of contentment, inner ease and happiness. Happiness in that you have achieved some end goal.

Once you have gained back some control of how you feel, you might then like to look at some of the lists of ways to let go and move on, those tips and strategies, and ways to help you gain inner peace, and instigate them.

So, you can see there are practical ways by which you can gain peace in tough times in the work-place, or in your personal life.

Now it’s a matter of doing something about that.  

Cart before the horse

There is no easy way around this “stuff.” Around getting well on many levels. About finding inner peace. Around being able to let go and move on, permanently.

You simply have to do the work.

Do you take a “perceived” quicker approach, and try to apply tips and strategies, willy nilly, in the hope of achieving results, one day soon?

Do you jump in the cart and try to shortcut the process of finding inner peace?

  • the cart, being lists of tips and strategies extrinsic to the real issue, which will work, eventually, after you have done the real work.

Or.

Do you take a “perceived” slower approach, yet get to resolve those underlying issues for good?

Do you jump on the horse, do the work, then shortcut the process of finding inner peace?

  • the horse, being the underlying negative beliefs that trigger feelings that send your body/mind into conflict. A conflict that creates lack of inner peace.

It is up to you.

Take the “perceived” quicker road.

Or.

Take the more off-beat approach. Getting to the real, underlying issues that trigger stressful situations, and which will guarantee your success?

I know what I would do as a stress and wellness specialist.

Let me know how you get on and

Leave a comment before you leave.

Blessings.

About the Author: Celine Healy is a speaker, writer, blogger, and a trainer on topics such as: stress, wellness, leadership and corporate wellbeing. Celine is also passionate about mental and physical health. Celine approaches these topics from a scientific point of view. “If you can’t measure something you will never understand it”. Discover how to increase your overall wellness by utilising The Ultimate Guide to Letting Go and Moving On (In 2019) Visit Celine’s website: https://www.wellnessthatworks.com.au

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