5 Habits That Will Bring You Peace of Mind

#2: lower your expectations

Nick Wignall
11 min readDec 31, 2022


Photo by Connor Wilkins on Unsplash

Too often our minds are a storm of worry, to-dos, regrets, self-judgment, and sheer information overload.

And so, desperate for some inner calm, we resort to quick fixes: We pop a Xanax, try some deep breathing, light some incense and take a bath, or veg out in front of Netflix for a couple hours, hoping desperately to calm the storm inside our minds — if only for a while.

But there are no quick fixes when it comes to peace of mind. It’s not something that can be bought or willed into existence in a moment. It must be cultivated, slowly and surely.

If you want peace of mind, you must build better habits of mind.

In my job as a psychologist, I work with people every day who struggle with chronic stress, major anxiety, and incessant worry. And inevitably, those who are successful in creating a calmer, more peaceful mind arrive there slowly — by way of small consistent changes, especially to their habits of thought.

What follows are 5 mental habits for a more peaceful mind.

1. Less meditation, more ordinary mindfulness.

Mindfulness meditation is fine and good and will probably help you achieve a calmer, more peaceful mind. But what I’m talking about is a much simpler, more ordinary form of mindfulness.

In its simplest form, mindfulness just means keeping your attention in the present rather than the past or the future.

Your mind is most chaotic and turbulent when it’s bouncing around between past mistakes and regrets and future worries and fears. And unfortunately, this tendency to get stuck in mental time travel can become a habit, addiction even.

In fact, many people are addicted to one or both forms of unhealthy mental time travel:

  • Rumination. Rumination means compulsively brooding over past mistakes, failures, and missed opportunities. And while it can briefly make us feel good by giving us the illusion of control over things that are fundamentally outside our control (literally…



Nick Wignall

Psychologist and writer sharing practical advice for emotional health and well-being: https://thefriendlymind.com