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How to find peace in chaos
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During this busy time of year, we yearn to feel the calm and joy of the season. Three simple practices and they are practices can help make that a reality. - photo by Connie Sokol
During this busy time of year, we yearn to feel the calm and joy of the season. Three simple practices and they are practices can help make that a reality.

1. Choose not to take offense. Being offended is an action we choose to take on. Yes, there may be times when a person says or does something hurtful. However, thankfully, we get to choose our response. What Ive found is that more often than not, people say or do things daily they have no idea is offensive.

We can respond in a number of ways. One way is from the Japanese martial art of Aikido. This includes the practices of letting your opponent's negative energy pass by rather than aggressively fighting back. When someone is offensive, simply let it pass by and move forward. Another more soul-searching response is to dig for a nugget of truth. It may be that the offense is a wake-up call to something we need to see within ourselves. If so, weve been blessed. If not, we can let it go.

2. Make time for peace. To practice peace, we need to first value it, then make time for it. I call it create a place and space. The benefits of peace are truly amazing, including a sense of inner strength and power; more patience, tolerance and tact; more efficiency in handling daily affairs; and falling asleep easily and sleeping well. Im so there!

Now set a timer, a time of day and a place. It could be in your car, office, bedroom or by the Christmas tree. Be still or read a quiet book, simply letting down and soothing your soul.

3. Live in gratitude. Soak in the very real power of switching your view of a difficult person or situation to find the good things in life right now. Again, the positives of gratitude are incredible, with study after study touting that it strengthens immune systems; lowers blood pressure; raises levels of positive emotions, leading to more joy, optimism, and happiness; and contributes to feeling less lonely and isolated.

Whether you say three things out loud, write them in a journal (paper or digital), or use an iPad or smartphone app to express it, gratitude is truly the starting magic bullet of all wellness practices.

Give one of these practices a try, especially when youre knee-deep in a tense or difficult situation. As you choose not to take offense, practice peace, and express gratitude, you will feel a shift in your mood and day.
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