The Powerful Choices That Create Inner Peace

group of five ladies with different ages sit leg crossed meditate peacefully
by Dr. Margaret Paul

Are you ready to move beyond stress and into inner peace? Here is the formula, even during chaotic times.

I have found that there are five choices we can make to release stress and create inner peace. None of these choices are hard in themselves, but they can be challenging due to the insistence of the wounded self to do the exact opposite.

Be Present with Feelings and Guidance

Unless there is actually something dangerous happening in this present moment, being fully in the moment brings a release of stress.

The wounded self is addicted to focusing on the past or future – ruminating about the past, perhaps with regret – and worrying about the future – trying to control it. If you notice your body while you are ruminating or worrying, you will notice that your body is tense. The tension is your inner guidance letting you know that your wounded self is in charge and you are abandoning yourself.

When you notice this, shift into being in this present moment and notice the peace and relaxation that floods your body.

Open to Learning

The wounded self is devoted to trying to control others and outcomes, and to avoiding painful feelings. Again, if you notice your body while you are controlling and avoiding, you will discover there is stress. When you shift your intent to learning about loving yourself and others, notice the relief you feel. The intent to learn generally creates an instant relief of stress. As your heart and mind open, your inner child feels safe that there is a loving adult onboard.

Open to opportunity and new learning

Value and Accept Yourself Rather Than Judge Yourself

Stress is created when you indulge your wounded self in judging you for things like looks or performance, telling you that you are not good enough, that you aren’t allowed to make mistakes, and so on, rather than valuing the love you are in your essence. If you tune into your feelings when you are judging yourself, you will notice the stress this creates.

We are all love in our soul essence. When you value the love you are, as well as the inner gifts you’ve been given, you will notice that the stress releases.


The wounded self loves to focus on what’s wrong and what could go wrong. It is highly creative in its ability to find SOMETHING to be upset about and is great at making up stories of all that can go wrong. This, of course, creates much stress.

When you choose to focus on what is going right and on what you have, there is an immediate release of stress. Peace floods the body when we genuinely feel gratitude for all that is good in our lives.

heal your wounded self through feeling gratitude for the present


Having faith that we are always being guided by a loving presence toward our highest good is, for many, a challenging choice, because we live in a challenging reality. Loss of loved ones, financial hardship, fears regarding basic survival, illness, physical and emotional violence, acts of nature such as fires, earthquakes, tornados, and floods – all create much fear.

However, when you remember that you are always being guided, there is an immediate release of stress. When you remember that we are spiritual beings on an earthly journey to evolve our souls in our ability to love ourselves and each other, and to fully manifest the gifts we have been given, we move out of fear and into peace. When we remember that each event in life provides us an opportunity to learn, to grow and to deepen our faith, then we can move through the challenges of life with equanimity and inner peace.

Granted, this is not easy. The wounded self, whose job it is to create safety and to survive, easily goes into fight or flight over the thought of scary things happening. We need our fight-or-flight reaction in the face of real and present danger, but because the wounded self is addicted to ruminating about all the bad things that can happen, many people are in the stress response when there is no actual danger happening in the moment.

Remember, you cannot be worrying about the future and have faith at the same time.

Here is the formula for peace:

  • Stay present with your feelings and your guidance
  • Stay open to learning
  • Value yourself rather than judging yourself
  • Stay in gratitude
  • Have faith

Not easy, but so worth working toward!

To learn more about tapping into your higher self for guidance and healing your wounded self see: Discovering Self-Love

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