Prioritize peace.

Many of us are upset about the war in the Gaza strip. We may decry the use of violence to settle disputes. Why can’t the parties involved just work things out?

We may also indulge in polarized posts on social networks. We likely see folks of differing beliefs and opinions as inferior to us, misguided at the very least.

Holidays are also a higher-stress season. The additional pressure we put on ourselves can erupt in tense interactions with others. For this reason, some of us may feel we’d rather just skip the holidays.

Year-end deadlines at work may also ratchet up the pressure. We may have more work than time in which to accomplish it.

All of these factors can leave us feeling less than peaceful, while we criticize the war in the Mideast and hold strong opinions about what the opposing sides should do to establish peace.

We cannot individually solve the tension in the Mideast. But we can try to foster more peace in our own lives. By caring for our minds, bodies, and spirits at this time, we can increase the peace in our personal existence.

We can place fewer demands on ourselves and others. Increased understanding and forgiveness of ourselves and others can reduce guilt and resentment which can destroy our peace of mind.

Eating and drinking healthily can help keep our health and moods stable. Regular exercise will reduce stress hormones, leaving us feeling easier with life.

Small daily mindfulness exercises or meditations can help us focus and recenter on what is truly important to us.

Putting ourselves on a bad news and negativity diet can also help. We attract what we tend to think about. When more of our thoughts are kind and positive, we’ll create more of the same in our lives.

Today’s message invites me to make peace in my life a priority, especially at this time of year. When I infuse myself with peace on all levels, I am calmer, happier, and healthier. My peace spills out to affect others as well.

Please reflect and share. What do you do to foster peace in your life?