We’re living in a very hectic and emotionally draining society. While looking through Instagram or flowing through Snapchat stories, I continuously feel an underlying emotion of missing out or not doing enough. With this digital generation it’s easy to get caught up on our digital selves and forget about our true selves – the self that accompanies us throughout the entire day; the self that desperately needs your love. This past year I’ve been exerting a large amount of mind effort on self-control and creating habits that better myself – physically, emotionally and spiritually.

I have never been so happy with my life. Nothing has changed though. I still work for my company, I’m dating the same man of six years and I live in the same apartment with my two kitties, but everything is different. My perception of life has so drastically changed to view the positives before the negatives have a chance to float across my brain and well, it’s life changing. I feel like self love and mindfulness greatly attribute to inner peace and happiness and these are just a few of the ways I’ve been able to achieve this harmony.

1. Practicing yoga

If you’ve never practiced yoga you may have a preconceived notion that you have to be flexible, wear designer yoga pants and be thin. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Yoga gives you an opportunity to tap into your inner self and listen to your body without any outside influences. Personally, yoga has taught me how to listen to my body and what it needs over what it wants. There are numerous companies offering yoga in San Antonio including MBS Fitness, Southtown Yoga Lofts, 5 Points Local and more. Along with studio practices, you can venture outside with groups like Mobile Om. You can find out more about these classes here – ‘Where to Practice Yoga in San Antonio‘. My one word of advice – focus on yourself only. Once your eyes begin to pick out the postures around you, ego begins to step in and you can find yourself in a comparison contest with all the yogis around you.

Photo Courtesy of Float San Antonio

2. Float

Floating is a way to pause the hectic, over-stimulation of daily life and enter a state of pure mental and physical relaxation. By removing the endless stream of sensory input, your mind has a chance to recharge, rest, and recover with renewed perspective and energy. So how do we do all this? With the float tank, also known as a pod, sensory deprivation tank, or isolation tank.

When I first read that I would be enclosed in a small space, my hands began to sweat. I have a slight (ok, perhaps it’s larger than I care to admit) form of claustrophobia and the thought of being in a pod for 60 minutes was slightly terrifying. After a 15 minute massage and deep breathing, I entered the pod for my first Float experience. When I emerged I felt a sense of strength for overcoming a deep fear and I felt a calmness that lasted with me throughout the week. An hour or sensory deprivation meant an hour of not having to actively keep my mind from wandering into the depths of my endless thoughts. I plan on becoming a regular Floater because the skills you learn in the pod can be translated to everyday life and it’s beautiful.

Photo Courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife

3. Spend time in nature

As I write this in my corner chair with coffee and only a window slightly open, I know I have to make it outside today. Being inside for hours at a time makes me restless and I become vulnerable to being sucked into the digital black hole of social media. Have you ever gone onto Instagram to search for one specific photo and then find yourself 30 minutes later gasping for breath because you’ve been scrolling through an infinite amount of images all of which are depicting completely different subjects? I escape this by going outside and spending time with nature. I also have to keep myself from snapping too many photos because then the Instagram black hole commences slowly but surely. Fortunately for us San Antonionians, Texas has over 90 State Parks to visit – here are nine of our favorites.

Rise Up Pitaya Candy Bowl4. Eat clean

Since this is a topic that has been written about countless times before, I shall tell a personal story. For years I have been under the impression that coffee directly relates to success. When I worked in an office job I would chug two to three cups of coffee with large amounts of sugar before the clock hit 10 a.m. In reality I was unhappy with my job and coffee provided me with happiness – pouring the black liquid into my styrofoam cup, stirring in my then favorite liquid creamer, taking the first sip with my eyes closed – oh yeah, I loved it.

A couple months ago I began my day at Rise Up, a raw, vegan and organic food truck turned brick and mortar. I ordered an acai bowl and Rise Up’s Coffee Bear – a scrumptious concoction of cold-brew coffee, almond milk, banana, cinnamon and honey. After finishing my acai bowl and sipping on the Coffee Bear for a bit, I got a burst of energy that was unlike that I receive with a hot mug of black coffee. My body was happy, my mind was happy and my business was happy because I accomplished so much work. This got me thinking – if I make eating clean a lifestyle, how much will my life change?

5. Travel

I recently booked a trip to Ireland (don’t worry, there will be tons of photos!) and as I excitedly spoke about my trip I was met with stressful questions from others including where are you going to stay, do you have enough money set out for daily activities, did you book the hotel, is your rental car ready?? Traveling has been made into such a stressful activity that can cause most people to shy away from it. Another question I received was – why? Why am I going to another country? I am traveling to Ireland for a new experience. I don’t have family there, there’s not a huge festival happening, I merely want to experience a different country.

Now how does this all relate to finding inner peace? We talk about breaking through our comfort zone a lot on Twenty Something and this is a huge step for me and I’m meeting it with only positive thoughts, leading to a stronger inner peace. While booking the tickets I felt the anxiety rush through my veins – I literally felt it – but instead of closing the tabs and saying maybe another time I allowed myself to feel the discomfort and told myself it’s ok. This is scary, but it will be all worth it in the end. Multiple Instagram quotes have told me that happiness rests right outside your comfort zone and I believe it.

What do you do to achieve inner peace? Please let us know in the comments below!