If you want true inner peace, start saying “no” to these 12 things

Do you feel like your inner peace is nowhere to be found? Well, welcome to the club!

Finding your inner peace seems like an impossible mission if you aren’t willing to live like a monk and cut all ties with the outside world.

But, for most of us, that just isn’t something we could or would do. So instead, if you want true inner peace, start saying “no” to the following things: 

1) Excessive consumption of negative news

I’m a real news junkie, and I’m not proud to admit that I keep refreshing the news all day, every day. 

In that regard, I could loosely be compared to a news producer without actually producing any news.

I just love knowing what’s happening in the world at all times. I have FOMO. I want to know EVERYTHING about something big happening. 

Although this big and noteworthy news would reach me anyway, I want to be at the forefront, so to speak. 

But recently, all this constant exposure to distressing news stories has caught up with me, and I feel some heightened anxiety and stress. 

I mean, it’s important to stay informed, but you can limit your exposure to negative news, right? 

That’s why I now set specific times for news updates to prevent information overload. I’m also much more productive because of it. 

2) Comparing yourself to others

Like it or not, most of us compare ourselves to others. That’s obviously not so good for our inner peace because we often start feeling insecure seeing others “do better.”

Social media has blown this problem out of proportion, especially in young people. 

Comparing your life to curated and idealized versions of others on social media results in feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. 

So, if you want to feel more at peace, know that there are always going to be people who are more successful, more beautiful, and a lot wealthier. 

Focus on using social media for positive and inspiring connections, and remember that people usually share the highlights, not the full picture of their lives.

3) Toxic relationships

Toxic relationships are emotionally extremely draining and damaging to your inner peace.

For example, someone consistently criticizes and belittles you, making you feel inadequate and worthless.

Or they’re excessively jealous, possessive, and want complete control over your personal life and interactions. 

For your inner peace and a better quality of life, recognize the signs of toxicity in your relationships, and don’t be afraid to distance yourself from people who consistently bring you negativity. 

Surround yourself with people who support and uplift you. If that means finding new friends and/or a new job, so be it. 

4) Fear of failure

The fear of failure can be paralyzing and prevent you from taking risks and pursuing your goals. 

I should know. I let it dictate and hold me back for most of my life. I’m still trying to understand what it is about getting out of your comfort zone that’s so terrifying. 

You know what I mean?

But at the same time, if you aren’t willing to pursue your dreams, you’ll never be truly satisfied with life.

You’ll never have inner peace because there will always be that thought at the back of your mind:

What if I did things differently?

Instead of avoiding failure, see it as a stepping stone toward success. See what’s out there and try new things. 

5) Dwelling on the past

Yet another thing that kept me up at night was dwelling too much on the past. I kept repeatedly revisiting past mistakes and regrets, and that’s why I was trapped in a cycle of negative emotions. 

To achieve inner peace, I decided that it was crucial to live in the present and let go of the past. 

I did remember the lessons learned from past experiences and tried to use them to make better decisions today.

6) Holding onto grudges and resentments

And while I’m talking about the past, carrying past resentments is a great way to create emotional turmoil. Carry that sh*t around for years. Yeah, that will show them!

Of course not. The only person you’re hurting with this approach is you. 

Practice forgiveness, both towards others and yourself. Forgiving doesn’t mean you’re forgetting, but it can free you from the emotional weight of past conflicts and lead to tremendous inner peace.

Think about that for a moment.

7) Negative self-talk

The way you talk to yourself profoundly influences your mental state. Negative self-talk can make a significant dent in your self-esteem and inner peace

Here are some examples:

  • “I’m such an idiot. I can’t believe I made that mistake” (Self-criticism)
  • “If I mess this up, my life will be ruined” (Catastrophizing)
  • “It’s all my fault. I ruin everything” (Self-blame)
  • “It’s not a big deal. Anyone could have done it” (Minimizing achievements)
  • “I’ll never be good enough for this. I’m not capable” (Self-doubt)

Instead of criticizing yourself, be self-compassionate. When you make a mistake, remind yourself that it’s a part of the learning process and you’re doing your best.

8) Overcommitting

Overcommitting and overloading yourself only results in stress and burnout and not more things being done. 

If you don’t recognize your limits and say “no” when you can’t take on more without sacrificing your well-being, you’ll always be the go-to person they can dump their load on. 

Make a conscious decision to prioritize your time and energy for activities that truly matter to you.

For example, I’d rather start a new side hustle that I love than take on more work on the job I hate. 

9) Procrastination

Procrastination, that habit of putting things off? Yeah, it can really mess with your head. It’s like this sneaky source of stress and missed chances. 

You know you should be doing something, but you’d rather avoid it because it feels uncomfortable or overwhelming.

Here’s the deal: Instead of letting tasks pile up and create a mountain of stress, try breaking them down into bite-sized pieces. 

You’re taking one step at a time instead of trying to jump the whole staircase in one go. This way, you make things more manageable and less intimidating. 

And guess what? 

It actually makes you more productive because you’re not weighed down by this massive to-do list. 

So, tackle stuff one step at a time, and you’ll find that procrastination stress starts to melt away.

10) Clutter

A cluttered environment leads to mental clutter. A clutter-free environment sets the stage for a clutter-free mind, helping you feel more at ease, in control, and ready to tackle whatever life throws your way.

Decluttering your physical space not only makes it more organized but can also have a calming effect on your mind

As you clear away the physical mess, you’re also clearing space in your head. The act of decluttering can be therapeutic, as it allows you to let go of unnecessary things and create order out of chaos.

When I notice I’m feeling kinda cramped, I throw out, give, or recycle 10 things each day until my surroundings feel better. 

So, take time to clean and organize your living and working areas. You’ll likely find it easier to focus and experience a sense of tranquility.

11) People-pleasing

Always trying to make everyone around you happy? Sounds nice, right? Well, not always. 

See, when you say “yes” to everything to please others, it can be pretty exhausting. You’re constantly juggling other people’s expectations and needs while neglecting your own. 

It’s like trying to fill everyone else’s cups while your own is running dry.

Learning to say “no” is a skill you need to master for your own sake. It’s not about being selfish; it’s about setting healthy boundaries and recognizing your own limits. 

Saying “no” when necessary allows you to take care of yourself, which, in turn, helps you to be there for others more effectively. 

You’re putting on your own oxygen mask on a plane before helping others – you can’t help if you’re struggling to breathe.

12) Stressing over the future

Just as you shouldn’t dwell on the past, you also shouldn’t focus solely on the future.

So yes, while planning for the future is important, excessive worrying about it can result in anxiety and rob you of your present happiness. 

Plan your future, but don’t obsess over what might happen. Nurture mindfulness to stay grounded in the present moment and enjoy life as it unfolds.

Unfortunately, there will always be wars, world hunger, and global warming, among other terrifying things. 

Do your part, but don’t let it affect you too much.

Final thoughts

Learn to let go of what you can’t control. Accept there’ll always be things beyond your control, and dwelling on them only leads to inner unrest. 

Focus your energy on what you can change and influence, and release the rest.

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