Two definitions of peace according to Merriam–Webster are: (1) “freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions”; and (2) “harmony in personal relations.”

Guess what happens if you’re not at peace with yourself? It’s going to come down to a world that’ll never be a happy place to live in. If you think you’re in trouble with yourself, why not try reorganizing your thought pattern so you can improve the way you see other people, the places you get to, and most importantly, yourself.

But just why could finding inner peace be that hard?

1. You eat too much junk food.

Did you know that processed foods are rich in sugar and carbs? They leave you emotionally deflated and give you sugar crash—processed foods don’t make you feel better for the long term.

Instead, focus on healthy foods (and on appreciating them, too) that will better your energy level: lean proteins, nuts, berries, complex carbs and right amounts of water.

2. You won’t let go of your mistakes from the past.

The saying “Learn from your mistakes” doesn’t mean you should stay with them and not move on. That would be ridiculous. Why? Because you deserve the serenity and happiness of the now; you may just be rejecting them when they’re already right in front of you.

If you’ve made an immense mistake in the past, let go of and accept it—yes, easier said than done, but you should learn to stop torturing yourself. The best thing you can do is learn from that big mistake, and when another familiar circumstance tries to pounce on you in the future, you’ll definitely know how to go around it.

Someone hurt you to the bones? You guessed that right—accept it and move on. Unless you think you can reconcile with them, just think this: They can choose to be happy and you can choose pain; there would really be nothing more you can do about it—you can always have your piece of mind when you want it.

3. You don’t believe in change.

Have you ever wondered why sometimes you feel down about something you used to be excited about? That’s because when something bad unexpectedly happens, people tend to switch their positivity off and rather fixate themselves on the problem. Think about it: Even the vigor you once had might have just disappeared—that, is change.

Nothing lasts forever. A moment comes and goes. Embrace change. Finding inner peace could be accomplished even in the midst of change. Make the most out of every moment. Focus on your tasks and responsibilities. Life goes on, but you can take change on your side and use it to your advantage.

4. You don’t take care of yourself.

The world becomes a better place when you take care of others, but it is never selfish if you do it to yourself first. Have a set of good habits—getting enough sleep, meditation, eating nutrient-rich foods, setting goals or reflecting. Take good care of yourself!

5. You get bothered by what others think.

Everybody else is entitled to anything they think, say and do; you control whether you’re going to be affected or not. Concentrate on the path you choose for your life—yours only and no one else’s. Do what makes you happy—believe this is doable. When that happens, no one can disturb you ever again.

6. You’re in the zone only when in your comfort zone.

Try to do something that quite frightens you—try a new one every day. If there are no in-betweens, do more of what you’re currently doing. If you run regularly, why not hike? If you have the opportunity of handling a team in the workplace, what’s stopping you?

Peace comes with truly knowing yourself.

7. You think your workload is too much.

You may be a good critical thinker and problem solver. You may manage your tasks and time so well. But if you put on your blinders for breaks and rewards, you direct yourself to stress, depression and feeling overwhelmed all in all. All work and no play shall indeed be pointless, except that you eventually learn the importance of “play.”

Finding inner peace is about recognizing your strengths and abilities, pushed to limits while still being comfortable and fulfilled. Plan your work schedule—and work your plan! Carry on with your own pace, but remember to take a day or two off from your week-long agenda.

8. You simply don’t go outside.

Get yourself into nature. It’s a powerful way to recharge your energy and restore your zestfulness. Smell the air, see the sky’s changing color on sunset, and hear nature itself. Find joy—there is joy outdoors.

What’s more exciting is that you can actually do a lot more. Choose: kayaking, running, trekking, fishing and a bunch more. They will boost your inner peace. Who knows, maybe you’ll even do great for an outdoorsman!

9. You love reality TV.

Can you acknowledge that reality TV is a good source of negativity? Do you like all the gossiping, badmouthing, anger and hurting you see there? Are you finding inner peace with TV?

Sadly, reality TV can trigger you to actually want to watch people doing all that. Reality TV has become “the thing,” so fun to watch, and somewhat a brain stimulus to make you believe your judgement is right. But beware; all that negativity may be absorbed by you, the watcher, unknowingly, undeniably. Sooner or later you may become obsessed with watching negativity, when too much of it has already influenced you.

Slowly change your TV-watching practice. Turn the TV off at least two hours before bedtime; a good maximum figure is also two hours a day. On the other hand, you can also change your TV rituals into something productive—something that would actually improve your well-being—reading, getting involved in your local community, or simply getting out of the house.

10. You’re a perfectionist.

Now, don’t get me wrong—there is nothing wrong with seeking perfection in yourself, as long as you’ve already achieved your perceived success, and you’re completely happy with it. Sounds like the perfect plan? It dangerously does. Because not having to follow the perfect plan will only set yourself up for failure.

Stop being a perfectionist. Let the goodness in things, places and people rise. Enjoy every moment. Go with the flow. You’ll discover opportunities, opportunities that hid while you were trying to be perfect at everything. Be natural. And you will be fine.

11. You haven’t forgiven yourself.

Time does heal wounds. And time will be your friend in this regard. If it feels like impossible to forgive those who have wronged you, know that forgiveness is possible.

But the catch? Forgive yourself first.

Love yourself by accepting and letting go all the pain you keep in that chest of yours. Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Take care of yourself. There are a million and one small things you should be grateful for.

Set boundaries on matters you have almost no control over.

It’s perfectly fine to grieve, but after you’ve done so, look straight ahead, give thanks merely for the gift of life, and let time do the rest.

If finding inner peace seems impossible, consider that forgiveness might just be the key.

12. You seek love that “isn’t there.”

Getting frustrated being single for a long time now, huh? Change your story all around! See being single as an opportunity to develop and get yourself “back in the game.” Perhaps you’re seeking love but don’t really mean it. Do you get yourself some loving thoughts? If not, could that possibly be one of the reasons why you’re “repelling” love?

13. Everything is personal to you.

Nothing is ever personal, except when it comes from you. You can be positive about unfavorable events that happen to you. A company denied your application? Your lover dumped you? Your boss blamed you? Even the teller was rude to you? These ugly events are all about those people—not you. It’s about their expectations, which only incidently came across you.

Being personal means doing what’s needed to make yourself happy and content—without getting pressed down by the rest of the world.

14. You blame yourself.

Can you think of a good reason to blame yourself? Is there ever a chance that doing so would make you feel better?

Blaming yourself manifests you’re not satisfied with yourself. It evidences you try to keep up with the pace set by your surroundings, not by you. Focus on what you can accomplish. Don’t compare yourself with others—it’s an utter waste of time. Be inspired instead. Knowing your limits and improving around them will certainly give you peace.

15. You avoid things you have control over.

Make yourself accountable for the small details in your life by taking in charge of them. This opens up gateways to bigger responsibilities in life. Seize the moment. It’s an opportunity to better yourself.

Start with setting small and easy goals. Then move on to larger ones when you feel it’s time.

Taking action on things that matter, small they may be, can also keep you from negative thoughts you almost always attempt to escape from anyway.

Think About It

If you want a happier life but don’t know how to get off the ground, start by getting in harmony with yourself—have peace with yourself. Take note of these 15 reasons, and discover that finding inner peace even has a lot more in store for you!