How do you go to sleep? Do you watch the news before you go to bed, or while lying in bed? Do you read the paper or mull over all the negative things that have happened over the course of the day? Do you sleep well doing this or things similar to this?
In this chapter Peale suggests that if you aren’t sleeping well that perhaps it’s time to take a look at what you do in preparation for bedtime. From what he writes; it is clear that by reading positive inspirational material you will be better off psychologically and wake more rested the next day. From his publication; we can conclude that even listening to or watching inspirational material is preferred rather than the negative content on the news for a more peaceful mind and restful night’s sleep.
Of course, Mr. Peale feels that the Bible is an excellent source of inspirational material given his background and rightfully so. He tells us that reading inspirational or motivational material out loud is an excellent way to ease one’s mind before sleeping. It is suggested in this chapter, too, that this is not an activity that one has to do alone. It certainly can be an awesome way to share time with a loved one, for sure!
Peale also talks here about emptying your mind of things that are troubling you. Letting go of fear, hate, regrets etc. can really transform our mindset and overall feeling in general to a more positive state of being. He suggests that this should be done at least twice a day but acknowledges that it may be advisable for some to do it more often than this.
In talking about how to bring peace to your mind Peale suggests that we can use visualization as an effective aid. Visualizing peaceful scenes like lakes, beaches and forest scenery could certainly do the job for some folks alone. But, if this is not the case for you; he also suggests using the technique of saying peaceful words to go along with each visualized scene. These words could be ones like tranquility or serenity. I’m sure most of us could come up with our own list easily enough but you get the idea. Visualize a peaceful scene and say to yourself a peaceful word. See what happens!
If you want more tips for achieving a peaceful state of mind Peale’s certainly got them. In this chapter he also talks in his writing about how while in conversation with others, your very tone of voice, combined with the words you use, can really make a difference in how peaceful or anxious you and those around you can feel! Say things in an agitated way using strong language and you will get stress! Say things in a calm tone of voice using words that express more peaceful ideas and you get a more relaxed state of being for yourself and those around you.
This chapter also talks about how it is important to take at least fifteen minutes a day to stop actively thinking. Take time to disengage the mind and do this in the quietest place available to you. This regular practice will go a long way toward helping you maintain peace and calm within yourself. Understandably this is not always that easy to do given our modern society. There is a lot going on around us even though we ourselves may be quiet and still.
However, Peale does offer a suggestion that may help us to create a peaceful environment within ourselves when no place of absolute quiet is available. When you go to a place that is peaceful take it in to your memory as much as possible so that when you need to return to it in your mind you can.
Peale also talks in this chapter about how some folks have difficulty in obtaining a peaceful state of mind because they are punishing themselves over something they experienced or something that they once did. He talks about how this lack of self-forgiveness drives some to a heightened level of activity in an attempt to rid themselves of the guilty feelings. His suggestion for those who are having difficulty in forgiving themselves is to ask Jesus Christ for forgiveness and healing, in earnest.